Ethereum has made a new recent high today, rising slightly above $640, up another $30 or so on this very spring Sunday.
Its trading volumes are sort of unaffected, same for its transaction numbers, suggesting some at least are managing to have an actual day off. For those that can’t beat the addiction, the trend continues:
Ethereum has had some decent news recently, but all eyes are now on this Parity vote. It has been swinging considerably, but previous amounts were somewhat small. Now, more than two million eth have voted, suggesting many care.
The vote currently is 70% in favor of restoring the accidentally frozen 500,000 eth due to a bug on Parity’s multi-sig. But, there are two more days to go, so that could easily change just as it has been changing so far.
The question we’re asking is how might markets react following the final result this Tuesday or Wednesday. And of course we have no crystal ball, so we might get it very wrong. However, we’ll try think it through logically as we see it.
The first, somewhat unknown, is how will “leaders” react. Public blockchains are of course decentralized, no one has the means to enforce anything, but that doesn’t mean leaderless. There’s some difference between say Buterin, or Gavin Wood, and just some guy, with “leaders” kind of setting the tone for the rest.
Will they respect the result? Is very much the main question. We think they should, because there is no better decision making mechanism, no better way to get to a yes or no.
But it is very easy to dismiss the result. The remainers in Brexit are trying to do that by saying they didn’t really know what they were voting for. In America, of course, we had that all “not my president” thing.
But he is the president, and Britain is leaving, because the only way to reach a somewhat objective decision where all can respect it is by allowing all to voice their opinion on the vote and then have a norm where they have to accept the result. Otherwise it’s chaos.
So are we then saying Parity should not chain-split fork if the majority votes against? You know, we did not hold this view, but if this voting is going to be a decision making mechanism, we think yes, they should not in that situation split on their own.
They can, of course, no one can stop them. But we don’t think they should and we don’t think they should because the people were asked to make a difficult decision and that’s their decision.
We either believe in the wisdom of the crowd or we don’t. We either have a decision making mechanism or we don’t. We either have some intellectual base, or we don’t.
Plus, if that was the end result, there would be other things to consider such as a second ICO because, you know, the people voted, that’s sort of, that’s immutability for you.
So then are we saying eth should fork to restore the coins if the majority vote in favor? Here, we don’t think eth would have much choice. The people have spoken, how can there be a choice?
If eth doesn’t fork in that circumstance, Parity most certainly would, and if Parity is stupid enough not to, then someone should.
So then let’s take a 70% no vote, what would happen? Well, it would sort of be like this didn’t happen at all. The case would be closed. It can’t really be re-opened either. A collective decision was taken. The collective can’t be asked again and again until the “right” decision. The no would be a no.
So the ecosystem would move on, Parity and other non affiliated supporters should accepts that’s the decision. The matter is settled, ethereum goes on and does its fine thing.
What if Parity nonetheless doesn’t accept the result and chain-split forks on its own anyway? Well, here, they would probably lose many otherwise supporters. Those on the fence would also probably not support it, especially considering just how intense this vote has been, because who is anyone to say the many are wrong?
That doesn’t mean a Parity chain might not nonetheless “survive,” but it would be sort of a ghost chain because they’ll have to come up with a better way of deciding not just this matter but other controversial matters and there most probably will be some.
And if they don’t decide these matters by a token-holder’s vote, then how do they decide them? Better asked, how can that chain “intellectually” be “trusted”?
Market wise, even in these circumstances, there would still be “free” coins, and the Parity devs are a fine team, but there wouldn’t be an easy narrative, there wouldn’t be “spirit,” or so we think. There would instead be an easy “fact” one can point to, and thus the minority chain would be sort of… well, people voted against it.
It might hurt, for Parity itself and non-affiliated supporters who may think a more agile chain is better, but, sometime one needs to respect the “ground,” and one needs to take a hit from “reality,” which in this case can only be “established” by the “objective” vote results.
So then, let’s say the vote is in favor. And not “just” in favor but it’s say above 60%. There are many things that can happen here.
Let’s take what we think would be the most logical action. The Geth client and the Parity client sets a block fork number, most accept the result, ethereum forks.
This would be the second proof that ethereum is “safe.” Brands, developers, etc, would feel safer working on eth, knowing that if something goes wrong there is a fail-safe switch.
They would also of course know that it is stupendously hard to pull that fail-safe switch, and as time goes, it will get harder. But it can be done, there is some, in the extreme, there is some leeway.
They will also know there is an indisputable process by which it can be done, and that process is the ultimate decision of the token holders in a vote. That decision is necessarily unpredictable… Brexit, Trump, so on. Which means, in practical reality, it is not really an option. But if… you know… there is a fail safe, there is a cushion, we won’t fall off the ground, there is a base.
Which means, logically, you would think ethereum would become more valuable. It would show itself to be more adult like, more aware of the frailties of men.
So then that’s the dominant narrative let us assume, but some are against. What do they logically do? Their first problem is what do they call their minority chain which is going against the vote of say 70%?
Ethereum Classic is taken. Ethereum Cash would be a stupid name because it has nothing to do with cash. Ethereum Immutable would be a contradiction because they are the chain that was just “mutated.”
They might perhaps find a nice name, but what dev would dedicate his time to a chain that has 70% against? And we say 70%, plenty would switch sides in that situation as no one really holds a strong view on the matter, so it would probably be 90%, maybe 95%.
There would be no ground, in our view, not logically anyway, nor narratively, for anyone would ask why are they not on ETC instead of creating a new network?
Now, if they are smart enough to differentiate DAO ETC from Parity ETC, then the more the merry. Freedom does reign here.
Let’s then suppose 70% are in favor, but the Geth client is unwilling to offer the choice. We should think here Parity would or should fork. There are plenty of arguments that geth and the rest by association would or could make, but then what is their better decision making method?
Results should be respected. Not perfect, but it’s the closest to objectivity we have. Plenty have plenty of opinions. That’s why there’s a vote. Go voice your opinion there. If you don’t want to, or if it goes against you, then how can there really be a point to make?
If 70% vote in favor, how can geth possibly say no? They can’t. Not practically anyway. Parity would fork, and Parity is no ETC. Parity has actual devs. They kept ethereum running when geth nodes went down in 2016.
In that situation, it would be a show. It would indeed be the greatest show ever in the crypto space. It is probable anyone with half a brain would be in eth to get the “free coins.” Something magical would happen, another proof of people’s power, of just how decentralized these things are, and in that sort of situation, it is probably unlikely Parity would overtake eth, but it may well do.
Which is why we don’t think it would come to it. Buterin is smart, but then who knows. So cast your vote. Make your voice heard. Because once it is done in two days, there won’t be any ifs, there won’t be any buts.
This vote now has plenty of eth voicing their say, it has been sort of everywhere, anyone who cares is aware of it, and there are two more days.
If you want to be part of history, and make history, have your say in the people’s currency, the commons platform. Go Vote.