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interfluidity
a re-presentation

@EthereumSV
april 2, 2015
Steve Randy Waldman
http://www.interfluidity.com/
@interfluidity...
What is a blockchain?
• Some Bitcoin thing
• A distributed “ledger” that tracks
transactions and account balances of a
cry...
What is a blockchain?
• Some Bitcoin thing
• A distributed “ledger” that tracks
transactions and account balances of a
cry...
What is a blockchain?
• A blockchain is a description of
application state defined in terms of a
genesis state and an appen...
What is a blockchain?
• A blockchain is a description of
application state defined in terms of a
genesis state and an appen...
What is a blockchain?
• A blockchain is a parliament which issues an
ordered series of “resolutions” each of which
modify ...
What is a blockchain?
• These two definitions, um, synergize.
What is a blockchain?
• These two definitions, um, synergize.
• Yeah, dude. That’s right. Synergy.
What is a blockchain?
• These two definitions, um, synergize.
• Yeah, dude. That’s right. Synergy.
• The data structure defi...
What is a blockchain?
Oh noes it’s a Fork !
Two kinds of blockchains
• Antidiscretionary blockchains
-Bitcoin
-Ethereum
-Nodes / members lack well-defined identity
-Fo...
Two kinds of blockchains
• Discretionary blockchains
Two kinds of blockchains
• Discretionary blockchains
Oh my

GOD!
They’re made of
PEOPLE!
Two kinds of blockchains
• Discretionary blockchains
(sorry!)
• Discretionary (“soylent”) blockchains
-Nodes represent identifiable members
* Note: Identity is a complicated problem, ph...
• Discretionary (“soylent”) blockchains
-Outsiders that interact with the community
may
-tolerate a degree of temporary un...
• Antidiscretionary blockchains prioritize
values of predictability and authority
• Discretionary blockchains prioritize
p...
• Fundamentally, an antidiscretionary
blockchain is a technique for deploying a
long-running, predictable software
applica...
• Antidiscretionary blockchains try to rely on
techniques like proof-of-work / proof-of-stake,
game theory, and economic i...
• Online journals and publications
• Services like Yelp! or Facebook that rely upon
algorithms that impinge upon the inter...
Thanks
For
Listening
!!!
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Existing blockchain apps (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum) are mostly "antidiscretionary". Ideally nodes merely verify changes of state initiated by users. Discretion by the nodes themselves is a form of attack. An alternative vision, a "discretionary" blockchain, would recognize each nodes of a consensus networks as representatives of people with diverse preferences, and embody the process of consensus formation as a kind of politics. Discretionary blockchains, "made of people".

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Soylent Blockchains

  1. 1. interfluidity a re-presentation
 @EthereumSV april 2, 2015 Steve Randy Waldman http://www.interfluidity.com/ @interfluidity Soylent Blockchains “It’s people. It’s m ade of people. The blockchain is m ade of people!”
  2. 2. What is a blockchain? • Some Bitcoin thing • A distributed “ledger” that tracks transactions and account balances of a cryptocurrency.
  3. 3. What is a blockchain? • Some Bitcoin thing • A distributed “ledger” that tracks transactions and account balances of a cryptocurrency. No!These areapplications of a blockchain.More abstract please!
  4. 4. What is a blockchain? • A blockchain is a description of application state defined in terms of a genesis state and an append-only series of deltas, the integrity of which is ensured by cryptographic hashes of each delta and its parent state. definition #1
  5. 5. What is a blockchain? • A blockchain is a description of application state defined in terms of a genesis state and an append-only series of deltas, the integrity of which is ensured by cryptographic hashes of each delta and its parent state. definition #1
  6. 6. What is a blockchain? • A blockchain is a parliament which issues an ordered series of “resolutions” each of which modify the previously-agreed arrangements and behavior of a community. • A blockchain is a parliament without a parliamentarian, for which there is no single “true”, “canonical” record of which resolutions have passed, but about which individual “members” are likely to converge to nearly universal consensus. definition #2
  7. 7. What is a blockchain? • These two definitions, um, synergize.
  8. 8. What is a blockchain? • These two definitions, um, synergize. • Yeah, dude. That’s right. Synergy.
  9. 9. What is a blockchain? • These two definitions, um, synergize. • Yeah, dude. That’s right. Synergy. • The data structure defined in definition 1, if maintained by a “nodes” of a distributed system (or “members of a parliament”) lends itself to consensus maintenance of definition 2, because every state is uniquely identifiable and, from any “checkpointed” state, all that must be agreed are the ordering and identity of a series of deltas.
  10. 10. What is a blockchain? Oh noes it’s a Fork !
  11. 11. Two kinds of blockchains • Antidiscretionary blockchains -Bitcoin -Ethereum -Nodes / members lack well-defined identity -Forks are technical glitches to be resolved mechanically, as fast as possible -Ideally, all nodes or members face incentives to behave “correctly”, such that the behavior of the community is understood by and predicable to outside entities (“users”) who interact with the community.
  12. 12. Two kinds of blockchains • Discretionary blockchains
  13. 13. Two kinds of blockchains • Discretionary blockchains Oh my
 GOD! They’re made of PEOPLE!
  14. 14. Two kinds of blockchains • Discretionary blockchains (sorry!)
  15. 15. • Discretionary (“soylent”) blockchains -Nodes represent identifiable members * Note: Identity is a complicated problem, philosophically as well as technically. Each application must define its own notion of identity, perhaps piggybacking on meatspace fleshspace (thanks Flavia!) definitions and institutions. -Forks represent disagreement. They must be resolved, but may persist a while. * Eventual consistency! * Forks that never resolve represent a bifurcation of the community, a schism like that between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. * There’s an as-yet-unexplored art to defining arrangements that balance encouragement of present forking with impetus towards an eventual consensus history. Two kinds of blockchains
  16. 16. • Discretionary (“soylent”) blockchains -Outsiders that interact with the community may -tolerate a degree of temporary uncertainty -be offered a mechanism to try to force consensus -e.g. quorum and mutisig endorsement Two kinds of blockchains
  17. 17. • Antidiscretionary blockchains prioritize values of predictability and authority • Discretionary blockchains prioritize participation, representation, and flexibility. • To some degree, there is a continuum between the two sorts of blockchains - Members express discretion in an “antidiscretionary” blockchain by gaming the intended incentive system and by choices made in software upgrades. - For many applications, disagreement will be rare or the scope for discretion will be small, in which case the two arrangements will behave similarly. Different tools for different purposes
  18. 18. • Fundamentally, an antidiscretionary blockchain is a technique for deploying a long-running, predictable software application on top of a community of people whose role is merely to verify. • A discretionary blockchain is a technique for reifying and composing the ever- changing will of a community in the form of a distributed software application. Different tools for different purposes
  19. 19. • Antidiscretionary blockchains try to rely on techniques like proof-of-work / proof-of-stake, game theory, and economic incentives. • Discretionary blockchains rely on the value of relevance and participation, and the costs of bad reputation and potential banishment. Participation may also be structured by (old-fashioned) contractual arrangements and participants may face legal sanction for misconduct or fraud. • Each type of application can potentially be simulated atop the other, so different security characteristics might determine which architecture predominates. Very different security models
  20. 20. • Online journals and publications • Services like Yelp! or Facebook that rely upon algorithms that impinge upon the interest of application participants but whose details are inherently discretionary • Explicit participatory membership organizations, e.g. neighborhood associations, civic and environmental groups, etc • Shareholders of large business firms Examples suited to “soylent” blockchains
  21. 21. Thanks For Listening !!!

Existing blockchain apps (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum) are mostly "antidiscretionary". Ideally nodes merely verify changes of state initiated by users. Discretion by the nodes themselves is a form of attack. An alternative vision, a "discretionary" blockchain, would recognize each nodes of a consensus networks as representatives of people with diverse preferences, and embody the process of consensus formation as a kind of politics. Discretionary blockchains, "made of people".

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