Market Governance of Bitcoin — FAQ

Why does this FAQ exist?

What are Market Governance and Near-Unanimous Social Consensus Governance?

What’s all this “governance” stuff? That doesn’t sound very Bitcoin-like!

Is Market Governance the same thing as Emergent Consensus?

What do Market Governance supporters specifically want to happen? Aren’t we already in a Market Governance situation?

If controversial hard forks became acceptable, wouldn’t Bitcoin’s most important properties be at risk?

Market Governance reminds me of voting. Why would we expect the market to make better decisions than a voting system?

  • In markets you are punished for being wrong, and rewarded for being right. Over time those with good judgment gain influence and those with poor judgment lose influence.
  • In markets you can add weight to your “vote,” proportional to how confident you are. Your reward or loss is proportional to this weight. This gives people with the best judgment and expertise a strong incentive to devote lots of resources to correcting any errors they see in market prices, and it gives people with poor judgment or low expertise an incentive to stay out of the market.
  • In markets “votes” are open to the whole world, which includes lots of very smart people whose main goal is not biased by any personal stake in the outcome. Their goal is simply to profit. In markets you profit by correcting pricing errors. So everyone else in the world who likes money has an incentive to ensure prices are accurate in any market they have access to.

Can’t Market Governance be easily manipulated by holders of large amounts of coins, or other wealthy groups?

Is Market Governance just a variant of democracy?

I run Bitcoin because I want to only have to trust math and code. Doesn’t Market Governance make me also need to trust the market?

If we had a persistent hard fork and both networks attempted to claim the name “Bitcoin”, wouldn’t that be confusing for users?

Doesn’t a split risk the network effect of both sides of a fork?

Do Bitcoin forks undermine the concept of digital scarcity?

Don’t hard forks allow “double spending”, since the same coins can be spent on both chains?

Does Market Governance take into account “adversarial thinking”?

Why do Market Governance advocates prefer hard forks to soft forks?

Can’t a group advocating a hard fork essentially destroy Bitcoin by forking away with a large fraction of the network?

Do hard forks allow the developers behind the new fork to take control of the protocol?

Wouldn’t Market Governance make Bitcoin more political?

If Bitcoin Core believed Market Governance was a good idea, what might they do differently?

What is it about hard forks that makes Market Governance supporters think they are fundamentally ethical?

Isn’t it unethical for supporters of a new fork to call it “Bitcoin”?

Are hard forks attacks, where promoters of the new chain try to forcefully take over the network?

What about when hard fork supporters deceive people about the effects of their proposed fork? Isn’t that unethical?

If the original network is much smaller after a fork, aren’t its users essentially forced to join the new network because of network effects? Isn’t this unethical?

Aren’t the current Bitcoin validity rules sacred?

How can we ensure that specific hard forks are ethical?

I’m still not sure how I feel about Market Governance. Where can I read more?

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