CEO of Zumo, Nick Jones, comments on the Financial Time's article "Cryptocurrencies: why bitcoin should move to proof-of-stake" published on 12th April 2023.
I cannot agree with the FT’s proposition that Bitcoin should – or is able – to transition to a proof-of-stake system (as published by Lex, 12 April 2023). To me, these Bitcoin proposals demonstrate ‘proof-of-confusion’.
As last year’s ill-fated ‘Change the code’ campaign goes to show, changes to Bitcoin are effected not through newspaper columns nor even a deep-pocketed ad campaign. Rather, they are and remain the collective decision of the tens of thousands of distributed participants that make up the computer network.
Given those participants’ freedom of choice to adopt – or disregard – any implemented code amend, any change to Bitcoin’s functioning is incumbent on user acceptance. And attempting to force a change against the will of the majority must lead only to schism.
Conveniently overlooked, the Ethereum proof-of-work fork (a permanently incompatible divide of the blockchain) is the merge event’s timely reminder of that fact. If such a fork occurred even when change was coordinated, planned and willed from within, how do we expect to effect a miraculous switch from afar?
To presume to do so is no more than an arrogance of central planning.
No shortcuts for hard work, goes the phrase: Bitcoin’s hypothesis has always been that maximum security comes from maximum hassle, in computation, time and energy. That energy is Bitcoin’s security budget – what has allowed it to safeguard and facilitate the transfer of trillions in value and which has worked as intended for well over a decade. (Read the two reports we published on Decarbonising Crypto: A state of play report & Decarbonising Crypto: toward practical solutions)
Perhaps in this era of geopolitical volatility and financial instability we should see some value in that fact.
In any case, there’s no calling the CEO.