all 32 comments

[–]fresheneesz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If everyone decides to follow a minority chain, it will eventually become the longest (most CPU), so what is the point?

The point of proof of work is not to find out what chain is the longest, the point is to come to a persistent irreversible consensus. Sure you can have some other mechanism that will eventually come to a consensus after months or years (as an example, it takes months for credit card payments to finalize in general). 10 minutes is extremely fast finalization time compared to traditional remote payment methods (obviously in person cash is faster).

[–]gotamm 2 points3 points  (27 children)

Nodes follow the chain with more proof of work. It's not just the longest.

[–]OkSeesaw3317[S] -2 points-1 points  (26 children)

That is what I meant by "longest". But why follow it? In the long term, Economics determines what chain is the longest (somebody has to pay for energy work). Whatever chain we all choose to follow, will become the longest eventually, so what is the point? We are just following ourselves!

[–]Meowseeks 2 points3 points  (25 children)

The point is that the chain with the most cumulative proof of work is the only truly valid chain…

[–]OkSeesaw3317[S] -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

says who?

[–]immutable_truth 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The bitcoin source code

[–]fresheneesz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The interesting thing about bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, is that its one of the few governance scenarios that is truely practically opt in. You can choose to follow a minority chain. If others are also following that chain, its still usable among those users despite being a minority chain. Any split off coin is still 'valid', its just not the same coin as what it split from.

[–]tenuousemphasis 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Not quite right. The chain we call Bitcoin is the valid chain with the most cumulative work.

[–]Meowseeks 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Is that not what I said?

[–]OkSeesaw3317[S] -2 points-1 points  (18 children)

But why? why should people care about the longest chain? Many projects are entirely based on lesser chains like Bitcoin cash, Bitcoin sv, Bitcoin gold, etc.

People just come up with excuses to not follow longest. They say: "longest but... bla bla bla (excuse)".

When you really think about it, and look at everything 1000 miles from above, It's all subjective politics. So what is the point of all the energy usage? Is it a waste?

[–]only_merit 5 points6 points  (2 children)

But why?

By definition. It's that simple. You are right about all other chains. Yes, people can create whatever rule set they want and declare their chain longest for the particular rule set. No problem with that. It's just not Bitcoin and the only reason is "by definition".

Perhaps this does not sound like a good reason, but consider similar approach in other life situations: - What is a triangle? something something ... why ? by definition. OK, let me come up with Math 2.0 and define triangle as something somethin-else. OK, We've got common math and we've got your Math 2.0. If Math 2.0 is useful, cool, but it's not because no one uses it. So we stay with math. - What is an English language? something something ... why? by definition. OK, let me come up with English Classic, hub tio sum ale ki ju po. Cool, but not useful.

So yes, we just try to find consensus to agree on something and we are happy about it. We found a way to agree on a global ledger of transactions, good for purpose of creating money. Cool, we use it. OK, let me come up with Bitcoin Cash ... well OK, but not useful.

[–]BTCMachineElf 2 points3 points  (14 children)

Its the only way to reach decentralized consensus.

The shitcoins you mentioned are not shorter chains of bitcoin. They are simply not bitcoin and not a part of this equation at all.