The most fascinating vote in the crypto space has been on-going for the past four days, with three more days left on the question of whether Parity’s 500,000 eth should be restored.
Currently, the token-holders consensus appears to be against the proposal. 530,000 eth, some 67% of all voting ethereums, say No, while 263,000, at 33%, say Yes.
The vote has three more days to go, so it may change, with the results very much in flux in the past 4 days, swinging from in favor, to a split, to against.
Where it will end up remains to be seen, but it seems very clear that there is a significant split in opinion.
That, in itself, shows many of the criticisms against these sort of votes as a governance process are actually misplaced.
Which is why we think coin-voting, although an imperfect measure, is actually highly persuasive to the point of binding when the results are clear as there is no other non-sylable way to discern general opinion.
Because without such votes as somewhat fairly determinative to decide what ethereum itself should do, then the question rises as to who decided?
We think that when such votes are clearly in favor, perhaps 70% or above, ethereum clients should offer a choice with the pro-option as default.
Where it is 60% in favor and below, they should offer a choice with no default option. And, as in this case if this was the final result, when the results are against, then the ethereum clients themselves should not offer a choice at all.
That does not mean, of course, that the free market can’t offer a choice on its own. In this case, Parity could decide to intentionally chain-split fork to a Parity coin with its own network in a fairly amicable way.
They said, at a somewhat decent core devs meeting debate on the matter, that Parity has not yet made a decision on whether they would go ahead even if the majority are against in eth.
That would be a very big decision, and in a way it would be a decision for ethereum too as it would lose a great team.
We think the most important factor to considering in this decision is how it would affect the development of Casper and Sharding.
This applies to all three discussions: the asics fork, the fixed supply proposal, and here the eth restoration.
The main question for all three for us is whether they would delay casper or sharding, both much needed upgrades that are fairly complicated and should be done as quickly as possible.
The answer for the asics fork and the fixed supply, at this point, we think is yes. And the same probably applies for the eth restoration. And if that is indeed the case, we think all three are a distraction.
In regards to asics, their gain is hardly much anyway and the PoW miners’ reward will be slashed to 0.6 in 3-4 months. In regards to fixed supply, inflation is planned to be brought down to 0.5%, then it gradually goes down by itself, which is pretty much the same thing as a fixed supply.
In regards to the parity eth restoration, well that eth is not going anywhere, it’s staying there forever. The community clearly appears to be against it at this stage, so going ahead regardless, even perhaps as a minority fork, might be an unnecessary distraction.
We think it’s in the interest of everyone in this space, and the world more widely, for ethereum to finish its roadmap and get to sharding as quickly as possible.
Then, once sharding is done, there can be a trillion debates about anything anyone wants as the house would be finished so to speak, so people can happily enjoy their discussion in the nice new kitchen.
Until then, we think any distraction should be kept to preferably zero, with full focus on getting casper and sharding out, because other matters are insignificant by comparison or can wait.
We are aware, however, that developers are not charities, and that they need to eat. So if Parity, or the other affected teams, still require funding then they could have a second ICO.
We don’t think they can honestly be blamed for what happened. These are new frontiers and mistakes or hiccups here and there are expected.
Nor do we think the pioneers should be punished, but looking at the entire picture it appears clear to us the costs of restoring the eth would be far too great at this stage, and the benefit would instead more easily be gained by other methods.
A beneficial solution can therefore be gained by all without necessarily restoring the eth, while keeping focus on what matters: sharding and getting rid of that energy waste.