The ecosystem is moving, a blog post on the danger of protocol stagnation

A blog post by Signal messanger developer moxie0 about development problems and possible threats that the Safe Network will also face after launch. Highlights the danger in the “We’ll just change/fix/update/write new code to address that after launch” attitude (e.g. shall we start with 9 decimal place Safecoin now and “simply” upgrade to 28 later when needed).

History is teaching us that we probably won’t be able to make many changes after launch. The problem only gets worse as the Safe Network becomes really popular. Or will it - perhaps there is a non-centralised development governance method(s) that can be established from the start that help mitigate this well established trend?

From the Signal messenger blog post:

We got to the first production version of IP, and have been trying for the past 20 years to switch to a second production version of IP with limited success. We got to HTTP version 1.1 in 1997, and have been stuck there until now. Likewise, SMTP, IRC, DNS, XMPP, are all similarly frozen in time circa the late 1990s. To answer his question, that’s how far the internet got. It got to the late 90s.
That has taken us pretty far, but it’s undeniable that once you federate your protocol, it becomes very difficult to make changes. And right now, at the application level, things that stand still don’t fare very well in a world where the ecosystem is moving.


Positive Incentives was the missing layer to the cake in the 90s IMHO. There are some PoW projects that I could suggest that continue to experiment with governance. I’m still hardcore PoW because of the Positive Incentives it gives to it’s members to maintain the protocol and even upgrade it. No need for those monkeys in suites to be involved. You know the ones that pretend to actually do something but really just throw poop for an hour then collect a paycheck from taxation.


I would argue that the internet standards today are work of many and when many are involved nothing changes, where in the safe network the only one who decides for changes is maidsafe and when one party decides it can make the changes that are needed!

PoW is not immune most development has been shifted to layer 2 but the underlying protocol has already been frozen in time. The infamous row over block size and it’s ultimate rejection (causing a major split in the Bitcoin community) is exactly the sort of dynamic moxie0 is referring to.

That is true right now before launch. After launch it becomes a permissionless network which will increase the number of stakeholders as it becomes more adopted, new browsers produced by third parties etc. The higher value the network the higher the stakes will be and thus the harder to ship changes to the core protocol.

Ethereum’s shift to PoS could be interesting to watch as a counter-example - if that community manages to pull it off that is. Other blockchain projects that are already very small communities and/or not very distributed in comparison to Bitcoin/Ethereum still have the freedom to make core protocol changes without much resistance.

That’s exactly what I thought about when reading what moxie0 wrote. I can suggest this thought process. Even though it seems to be a horrible thing. that is the major split in that community. I think it is more of a positive than a negative. Not suggesting that every project have the same dramatic experience in hopes of achieving the platinum level medal. I think the true test of whether a project will survive is if the ego can be put down on both sides. Figure out how the findings, discoveries, and strengths on both sides can be used to make that unicorn.