With nothing but a peacock, Attila Aros of Matterpool, one of the busiest men in Bitcoin, let the world know that Matterpool had won the beauty contest occurring at block height 661910 as noted on the Matterpool block explorer, which is a window into “the fourth dimension,” according to Matterpool Mining’s Chief Scientist Daniel Krawisz—a man who talks often about the beauty contest of Bitcoin.
But let’s take a step back.
What is Matterpool?
Well, like many others, Matterpool is an honest Bitcoin node—which is to say one that validates blocks by building on them with proof of work. Unlike many other pools, they are a completely independent node on the network. While cooperating with the others on chain, they have their own grand vision for bitcoin, the limits of proof of work, and an ecosystem built upon BSV with a very pointedly philosophical slant that guides their network of companies to increasing truth and liberty with proof of work.
Made up of minds from around the BSV economy, Matterpool, Mattercloud, BoostPOW, and BitcoinFiles share a number of thoughtful developers and aggressive entrepreneurs to provide uniquely cooperative services across bitcoin. A deeper dig into their white papers will also illuminate work contributed by Dean Little of BitPing and a number of people from Twetch.
Together, they are cultivating powerful tools within a robust ecosystem which enable efficient new business models to feed their honest node with tons of profitable transactions: a great sign for the future of Bitcoin SV. They see the power of cooperating on chain, while also forging their own worldview onto the global ledger of truth!
Why does it matter?
Attila Aros, when asked about his plans for the Matter ecosystem, said the following:
We will grow into being a big hasher. We are intentionally holding back until we have lots of our own transactions to mine for our products. We want to be able to have the most transactions being generated through our products so we have significant market share and then apply our hash to mine them.”
Each product will have customer demand for the unique capabilities possible with the bitcoin blockchain. We are basically building multiple income streams with real products that users want. Some of these users may not know they are using Bitcoin… but they get the benefits (low cost, replicated backups, timestamp, micro payments).
In conversation, Aros was very clear that they are building token protocols with connected explorers, dev kits and more, all connected to MatterCloud and their API that connects to MatterPool. On the topic of their Super Asset “SA20” token protocol, Aros said that it was an “ERC20 killer,” which brought a chuckle. But he clarified, “I mean ‘killer’ in the sense that we have the same security guarantees as Ethereum with the same properties that a bitcoin UTXO also has. Namely the capability to independently verify authenticity and also get SPV proofs.”
Knowing that token protocols have been top of mind this year with releases and announcements from Run, Tokenized, TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE:TAAL | FWB:9SQ1 | OTC: TAALF), Bayesian Group and more, I asked where he started on the idea, he said confidently, “…it was designed from scratch.”
But, of course that has been the ethos of everyone at Matterpool, and it is the meme ethos of “Twetch culture” to bootstrap everything with proof of work! And that is really the point, and the nature of using peacock imagery to display the handicap principle, proof of work and an honest signal.
Why the peacock?
Often touted, the peacock is a symbol of something that doesn’t make sense at first glance—like Bitcoin. Its beautiful tail would seem to be a handicap among predators because it makes the bird slower and easier to grab. However, for its beauty, it has been selected for breeding. And because of its beauty and continued selection, the peacock has become more fit and cunning over time, allowing for its beauty and strength to increase one another: a fitting analogy for bitcoin and proof of work as a whole.
But why does that (pardon the pun) matter? Well, Daniel Krawisz is excited about Matterpool’s growth in hash rate, but only because he laments that “Other miners are not playing the Stackleberg game correctly.”
Boost, and the Emperor
In regards to their “Boost” service, a proof-of-work-fueled content filtering protocol, Krawisz explained the importance of honest information for the continued growth of freedom in the world. According to him, that is precisely why Matterpool is accumulating more hash power:
It is not optimal for us to do 100% of the boost service. Other miners have more money[, so] they could have provided the service. I have been working at this all year, it would be more optimal if I could just write out protocols and have other people implement them. Instead I have had to do all this software engineering just to get it working.
Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, which explains the increasing frequency and size of blocks mined by MatterPool as they commit themselves to winning the game!
I can’t help but be reminded of the early days of bitcoin discussions when talking with Krawisz. Of course, he is of Bitcoin’s old guard as founder of the Nakamoto Institute and creator of many of the cultural mores which bitcoin still benefits from today. But he has also seen many good ideas sacrificed on the altar of the bad more than nearly another bitcoiner except perhaps Satoshi himself. At the hand of what Krawisz refers to anthropologically as “unfit males,” he has seen too many important battles lost because of the propensity for them to default to proof of stake, and leverage past reputation into future scamming.
Low hash ideas
An example of unfitness scamming people would be Andreas Antonopolous becoming popular with firebrand speeches about Bitcoin being “The Internet of Money:” a concept which won him praise and notoriety among early bitcoiners. So, when Antonopolous reneged, stabbed Bitcoin in the back and became an advocate for gutting the bitcoin protocol into nothing but a bank settlement system, people bought it. And the reason they were so easily scammed is because there was no mechanism to filter out Byzantine Generals from global information. His reputation was maintained by proof of stake, and so it was easily corrupted. Since information is also disseminated without Boost, it spreads with little friction.
Krawisz passionately discussed the need for truth, the need for Bitcoin to finally remove bad ideas through proof of work and for the “fittest” ideas to take over before it’s too late for the world. He noted that, “[…in bitcoin and in real life] we are overrun by less fit males. In the present context, that means that bad ideas have too many children. That is what has been happening in Bitcoin since the beginning, [and} we can use proof-of-work to ensure that less fit males die out quicker.” Making reference to orphans and Bitcoin, and perhaps even unfit species in evolution.
He also lamented that the world is falling into chaos because we cannot trust each other. Information comes from no proof of work, and is therefore dishonest, which is why we are living through an increased loss of liberty keeping pace with the growth in the adoption of poorly incentivized information technology. Through examples including central planning of lockdowns to the general phenomena of mass scams in Bitcoin, he punctuated repeatedly about the need for people to stop being manipulated down a path of enslavement.
Lastly, he pointed out his disagreements with Dr. Craig Wright on the nature of Boost. Wright was quick to criticize the concept, and Krawisz stood firm. Over time, Krawisz was happy to see that, a number of months later, Wright spoke strongly on “signals of fitness” at CoinGeek LIVE along with references to peacocks, tigers and the handicap principle. While Daniel is fairly sure they aren’t yet completely on the same page, that the increasing hash rate and honest signal from MatterPool may be winning some respect from the other honest nodes for showing willingness to fight for truth with their proof of work.
Craig on peacocks and the handicap principle pic.twitter.com/MybyJIxcjL
— BSV KING (@bitcoinkaiser) October 3, 2020
In short, the businesses of the Matterpool ecosystem believe so strongly in their ideas that they are building blocks with their own work to show the world that they believe in Satoshi’s vision of Bitcoin. That vision includes transparency and proof of work that will punish the bad while empowering the good, but only if we are bold enough to truly embrace Bitcoin.
For that, we congratulate them on their increased mining of blocks and their efforts in building out key infrastructure to generate demand for their powerful ideas in the Bitcoin SV ecosystem. At Matterpool, they are so sure of the beauty and the fitness of Boost and Bitcoin that, to quote Krawisz in closing, “Everyone should want to help build the goddamn thing. I want to get on with my life.”
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.