Consensus vs. government – Why Bitcoin is not a democracy

With Bitcoin not only a digital means of payment was invented, but also a new mechanism for the leadership of society manifests itself in the protocol: the consensus. What is the difference between consensus and democracy? What are the effects on government and society?

Over the past 200 years, the ideal of democracy has moved to the center of society – democracy as the apotheosis of society. Accordingly, decisions must be taken democratically in order to claim legitimacy. Abstractly speaking, the majority subjects the minority to a democratic decision. Democracy is a form of government.

Bitcoin turns the cryptosoft system upside down

At cryptosoft conferences you hear again and again „democratization of X“ as the goal of the digital revolution 2.0. But let’s remember back: this revolution 2.0 was kicked off by Bitcoin – the decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The fundamental peculiarity of Bitcoin is its cryptosoft leadership.

This is where the difference between government and governance becomes clear: the government is the authority that determines the course; in return, the leadership is the process by which something is decided.

We already know that in Bitcoin there is no central authority, no government to make decisions. That’s not a bug – it’s a feature. The absence of a ruling authority leads to a unique leadership mechanism: consensus.

While in a democracy the majority determines the minority, in a consensus everyone determines himself. Participants only have decision-making power over themselves and their property. This means that in Bitcoin it is not the majority that decides – but everyone, everyone, who decides about themselves. Whoever participates in the network implicitly agrees to the rules. Everyone agrees on these rules. All interaction is based on a voluntary basis.

Decisions on the crypto trader

The example of block scaling demonstrates the consensus principle by onlinebetrug: In 2016 and 2017, one question dominated the Bitcoin world: How should Bitcoin scale to a global means of crypto trader payment? The answers were as varied as they were contradictory. Two camps pulling in opposite directions – „Larger blocks“. – No, SegWit! A hopeless dilemma? After all, there is no instance that says where it is going. The status quo is maintained. But that was not the end of the story.

After several years of debate, the Bitcoin protocol showed its true strength. Instead of imposing something on one camp or another, there is a third option in Bitcoin country. In the words of Dora the Explorer: „Por que no los dos? (Engl. „Why not just both?“). In fact, this was the solution to the conflict. The Bitcoin Unlimited team forged the Bitcoin network. Bitcoin Cash implements the proposed larger blocks. Bitcoin, on the other hand, activated SegWit and implemented a different approach to the scaling issue.

All users could and can decide for themselves. If you want larger blocks, you sell your Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash; if you want SegWit, you sell your Bitcoin Cash for Bitcoin; undecided people don’t have to do anything. Whether you want to use Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash (or neither) is up to you. Essential: All decisions are voluntary.

Hard forks instead of majority decisions
In a democracy, the majority must be united in order to make a legitimate decision. In consensus, this condition is drastically tightened: everyone must agree on this. If there are differences of opinion, the paths fork. This is called a hard fork. Then there are two networks that are incompatible with each other. Within the systems, however, there is still a consensus.

The power of consensus is evident here. It tolerates a plurality of opinions and everyone can live them out. Where in a democracy only one variant can win and be implemented (Trump or Clinton? German Mark or Euro?), the consensus model allows everyone his ideal world. Whether larger blocks or Lightning are the right way to scale or not, time shows us. We will see, because both approaches exist.

So Bitcoin is not a democracy. Although there is no government, there is leadership. By participating, everyone implicitly agrees to the consensus rules. Decisions are made by all participants. Everyone decides for themselves. Suggestions for improvement are discussed in the community. Ultimately, everyone can take the helm and „forke“ the computer code – that is, realize their own ideals. How many people are interested in the Hard Fo