There's some interesting recent back-and-forth on the bitcoin-dev mailing list about proof of stake. I'll add some links here as I come across them.
First, I love how simple Voskuil makes his anti-proof-of-stake-argument, albeit it's only one angle, it's kind of interesting:
This blog about attacks on proof of stake reminds people of the anti-DOS feature of PoW which is easy to forget: https://medium.com/@dsl_uiuc/fake-stake-attacks-on-chain-based-proof-of-stake-cryptocurrencies-b8b05723f806
This blog (not the only one by the author) critiquing PoS security in adversarial situations is interesting: https://hugonguyen.medium.com/proof-of-stake-the-wrong-engineering-mindset-15e641ab65a2
I deliberately didn't even mention the old proof of stake writings by Poelstra or Sztorc ("truthcoin"), I guess everyone already knows them and they're pretty old now.
It's also a good idea to read the Ethereum proof-of-stake FAQ if you find this interesting (they take an alternative view, of course!).
I agree pretty much down the line. Stake is obviously interesting because it should improve allocation of resources (i.e. less waste) but these risks are very real. Perhaps there is some algorithm which settles on a "peacetime" (delegation/stake) model, but if disturbed, will trigger a "revolutionary" model where PoW enters the story again. This might be an interesting area of research.
@cjd My intuition has always been more along the lines of proof of stake not being saving of waste (see Storzc's "nothing is cheaper than proof of work" argument; see also my counter to the concept that we are talking about waste in https://joinmarket.me/blog/blog/pow-a-pictorial-essay/ in particular section "So is all this waste bearable?"; I am a windbag).
Your mixed concept, yeah, perhaps, but I see that as similar to saying "we don't always need 100% decentralized/censor-resistant solutions", which is definitely true.
@waxwing thanks! Yes, I find Voskuil's book interesting and thought-provoking in the way it lays out frameworks on these topics
bought the paper book and am thankful to my Chaincode residency flatmate James Chiang (a very good person) for his work on it
@jon funny you mention it, i just saw it pop up on my amazon feed, I'll probably buy it too. Not many books about Bitcoin I would buy, so far I've only bought "The Blocksize War".
@waxwing any good?
re crypoeconomics, note that the many links in the online book are ofc inoperant in the paper version but are noted with underlining, so in this way it's less convenient but i still prefer reading and highlighting passages by hand in real books and getting away from the omnipresent screens
> any good?
Yes, for us. It's effectively a very detailed collation of Jonny's experiences during the whole process, and he was indeed somewhat of an insider. I think it's excellent as a historical document, not biased either. He offers thoughtful commentary on the events, but doesn't overdo the editorializing.
I actually enjoyed reading it, but it is not the typical style of writing that journalists and novelists use. Much more the style of a blog.
Your point seems absolutely valid that they incur opportunity cost, but I don't think it requires rising prices, does it?
Meanwhile, I think the dynamics are what distinguishes the cases: both have an initial upfront capital cost, but, over time, a censor in pow needs to overcome *all* other actors, meaning a greater and greater running cost; in pos, once 50% is reached (crude analysis, I know real algos are not simple), it's *over*. There is no more counterattack.
@lain So it's like, yes there is an opportunity cost in that initial outlay but it's calculable (just like buying some consumer good).
I know in the real world a bunch of dynamics come into play (and exact PoS algo can change it all kinds of ways), but I still think his core point is something to take very seriously. It's just one angle on why to my mind PoS is not an alternative to PoW.
> staking is exactly not like buying a consumer good, because it is productive: you get a return from staking.
Yes, good counterpoint, but (and this applies to most of your argument): you are assuming only an economic incentive "in-game".
An attacker's goal may not be to gain in terms of the "in-game" currency: it may be to kill the currency. For this attacker, it's more like a consumer good, because their goal is not the staking rewards.
That's why PoW's *external* cost matters.
@lain i mean yeah, propping up a fiat; promoting an alternative crypto-ccy; geopolitcal gains; who knows?
But: At some point you can, very reasonably, argue, that that's academic: if they succeed in totally censoring PoW for 6 months, everyone who is honest might give up, so only theoretically is it "permanent energetic cost".
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