Bitcoin sCrypt and Decentralization

Bitcoin sCrypt was created to put Bitcoin back into the hands of the community in response to the threat of mining centralization arising from the proliferation of ASIC miners.  This threat is both real and justified.

As integrated circuit die sizes continue to shrink in size (from 28nm to 20nm to 14nm and so on), the non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs to develop ASIC’s will eventually be so high that only corporations and other groups with sufficient capital resources will be able to afford these future generations of ASIC miners, thus resulting in the increased concentration of mining power.

Crucially, because corporations have a legal duty to their shareholders to stay within the bounds of the law that gave them existence, the centralization of mining power into the hands of corporations could eventually give government regulators a hand in affecting the Bitcoin protocol.  Indeed, as Bitcoin SHA256 continues to grow  it seems to be getting more comfortable with the same regulators it once despised.

This very real threat of centralization is why Omega6 created Bitcoin sCrypt and why the community must remain vigilant to the continued threat of mining centralization, especially with rumors of sCrypt-ASIC’s just around the corner.

But beyond just mining centralization, the Bitcoin protocol is threatened by other forms of centralization that the Bitcoin sCrypt community should actively combat.  To be clear, I propose that we work together as a community to make Bitcoin sCrypt’s mission the decentralization of all things Bitcoin.

For instance, decentralization can be viewed in the context of mining, information dissemination, and transactions:

·         Mining
o   Update the Bitcoin sCrypt mining algorithm to keep it ASIC resistant even as new technology comes out.
o   Look into decentralize mining pools by encouraging and/or incorporating p2p pools.
o   Look at ways to make Bitcoin sCrypt resistant to profit-switching pools

·         Information Dissemination
o   Create mirrors of Bitcoin sCrypt websites.
o   Create mirrors of file download locations.
o   Create website/nodes/services utilizing TOR or other Darkweb services
o   Look into p2p chat functionality

·         Transactions
o   Add to the client an on-board blockchain explorer so no 3rd party knows which addresses or transactions you’re looking at.
o   Add to the client an on-board wallet explorer so you can more easily choose what coins you send (re taint analysis), rather than only having the client decide.
o   Look into creating (or piggybacking on) a p2p escrow service
o   Look into creating (or piggybacking on) a p2p exchange service
o   Look into creating (or piggybacking on) a p2p coin mixing feature.
o   Look into incorporating other anonymity features like zerocoin, coinjoin, darkwallet, etc…

This list is non-exhaustive and shows just some examples of where we can take the concept of “Decentralization” to its logical conclusion with Bitcoin sCrypt.  Indeed, very few other coins, if any, seem to appreciate the full value of decentralization, thus creating a unique opportunity for Bitcoin sCrypt to stand out among the cacophony of crypto-currencies.

However, I propose to go even one-step further:

Decentralization of Development

After developing the fix for v.1.2.0 of the client, I rose from obscurity to becoming a core developer for Bitcoin sCrypt.  While I do appreciate the increased power and control it brings, the reality is that I am a hardcore libertarian that absolutely hates the concentration of power in anyone’s hands, including my own.

With that, I have been working on developing a system to decentralize development by putting development back into the hands of the community and making it community-driven.  Rather than having a handful of developers decide which aspects of decentralization to focus on, I want the community to decide.

More details to come but wanted to share my thoughts on these matters.

In sum, I propose that we, as a community, make decentralization of mining, decentralization of information dissemination, decentralization of transactions and decentralization of development the political and technical goals of Bitcoin sCrypt.  In doing so, I sincerely hope that one day Bitcoin sCrypt will become not only the beacon of decentralization in the crypto-world, but also its fortress.

I look forward to your thoughts, comments, questions, flames, etc…, on my thoughts regarding Bitcoin sCrypt and the decentralization of all things Bitcoin.