The State of Consensus, that sounds interesting and I like it personally.
That said, I have been at a couple of Berkeley Bitcoin/SVE meetings and witness response of others as Igor talks about Oracles and PoA. My impression is that Igor gets a negative or at least skeptical reaction when he “says” Authority … as if it violates all notions of decentralization and trust less properties that are most attractive features of blockchain technologies. Not sure if the word “State” will have similar effect … it is an interesting dynamic and one we should be aware of and consider as we build a language around how we talk about the Oracles project that resonates with the community at large.
I know the folks in the city of Berkeley all too well. So much better equipped to talk about making it a “nuclear free zone” or a “sanctuary city” than fixing potholes.They may bulk at the words State or Authority, but I assure you that they stop at a red light.
You look under their organic hemp clothing and mostly will find overeducated upper middle class bullshitniks, with an oversized sense of entitlement.
In any case, I’m more interested in doing something useful for the other 300 million in the US and 6 billion in the rest of the word.
Great discussion here, @wkarshat and @jlegassic! You are raising valid points: "authority"certainly gets perceived counter to the spirit of decentralization, especially by those who do not read past headlines. Nice suggestions also!
I like how @jlegassic put it, “consensus by independent, background checked individuals”. Maybe would add “known”. The fact that identity (and by extension - reputation) is at stake here is important. This allows Oracles Network to model incentives so that validators act in the interest of the network. For one, from management classes, we all remember Hawthorne effect, where people tend to act better when they know they are watched. Interesting enough, there have been studies that shown that displaying an image of an eye makes people conduct themselves better (@igorbarinov is that the idea behind the logo?). Also, validators sign an agreement, which in combination with info available in public domain, is an enforceable thing. Lastly, I’d imagine a validator whose reputation is at stake and the nefarious actions are easily identified is not inclined to act in a way to jeopardize his or her social standing.
A network of and by licensed professionals is a powerful and easily underappreciated mechanism.
For doctors and lawyers, and even CPAs, each highly trained and highly paid and individually licensed professional has a duty to their professional field, can be liable to the governmental or professional licensing body, and has a high level of personal responsibility toward customers/clients/patients.
Contrast that with a regular business, or an employee of such, or a random anonymous individual. Basically, those are fully expected to do whatever’s best for themselves, or their employer, within vague confines anti-fraud laws and consumer protection regulations.
I would like to throw in a tagline for consideration (partly inspired by @wkarshat): “Community Consensus”.
It’s short, sweet, to the point, and it is broad enough to grow with the project.
I also think we need to emphasize that Oracles Network is connecting communities through “controlled decentralization” rather than the “uncontrolled decentralization” that comes with most other consensus mechanisms. If we do, we can shift the narrative from “centralized versus decentralized” to “uncontrolled decentralization versus controlled decentralization”.
Here’s my reasoning. The drama surrounding the Bitcoin hardforks has shown the world that uncontrolled decentralization doesn’t stop a small group of people from having significant control/influence over the fate of Bitcoin. We can argue that controlled decentralization is better at ensuring a network remains decentralized over the long-term; because it essentially allows communities to structure the network in such a way that prevents any single person or group from having significant control/influence over it. For example, Oracles Network is structuring the core network in such a way that each validator is unaffiliated and there are legal repercussions if they were to become affiliated. Over the long-term, I have a pretty good feeling this structure is going to have fewer issues with centralization than either Bitcoin or Ethereum.
“Community Consensus” is really good, utilitarian, but maybe a bit generic.
Tagline perhaps should be more descriptive of our networks feature set.
The distinguishing features that emerged for me this week in the marketing materials are:
Ecologically better – Eco
Equitable State via Identity – Equitable or Equitable Stake
Scalable ( which is a feature of the architecture but not necessarily the Consensus )
Maybe the tagline should call out these in some clever/catchy permutation ( if possible ) – Fast Eco-Equitable Stake Consensus or Fast Eco-Equitable Scalable Community Consensus … or maybe that’s too much but certainly a win on buzzword bingo.
I really like the concept of “controlled decentralization” you came up with. This is the question (if POA brings centralization back), that we get on a frequent basis and I would like to use the way you put it for the future references.
As far as “community consensus”, in my understanding it implies that everybody (all the members of the community) are involved in validation, which is not the case. It’s more of community representatives, community delegates, who secure the network.
Community consensus would be a great slogan for projects like Tezos (maybe not anymore), where all the token holders (read - community members) were supposed to have voting rights and could decide on the future developments of the blockchain.
Agree on community consensus sounding as if it includes every token holder.
As I am also thinking about the concept “controlled decentralization”, the way @rfm described it makes sense. I read somewhere the term “explicit governance”. To me, this depicts what @rfm describes. The word “controlled” rubs off wrong. Also, “representative decentralization” (in the spirit of representative democracy in the US) may describe that a validator represents the interest of network. He is not selected by constituents, though, but rather appointed. But if we are playing with word combos, my nomination would be “representative decentralization with explicit governance”.
I think “representative decentralization with explicit governance” is most accurate technical description of consensus/network semantics.
Interestingly these arguments parallel the Hamiltonian ( strong federal government – more centralized ) vs Jeffersonian Democracy ( individual/states rights – more decentralized ) debate since the start of the United States. Note, both rely on a representative form a government.
I fear politicizing the notion of PoA and I prefer to focus on the beneficial attributes of PoA … when I think PoA, I think …
PoA – Simple, Fast, Equitable, Ecological and Scalable Consensus
… maybe the only missing word is Secure
Anyway, this is what I hope others to think,technical and non-technical people alike, when they see or hear PoA.
It side steps the whole decentralization thing but that also side-steps an invitation to argue “decentralization semantics”, an argument we can’t win with certain idealogues in the community.
Further, as Rocco pointed out the “promise” of decentralization has already been broken as exemplified by both Bitcoin and Ethereum hard forks and drama, fragmentation around them. PoA and Oracles Network still maintain attributes of decentralization but also holds the promise of being more equitable and fair over long run.
Great discussion. “Representative decentralization with explicit governance” is indeed a really concise way to capture what PoA is all about. Future democracies could operate voting systems using PoA, and those too could be based on representative decentralization.
Simple, Fast, Equitable, Eco, Scalable are all traits - and good to use as buzzwords. The single liner is a mission statement, and helps capture the essence of the innovation. Political association isn’t necessarily bad - many people are political, and even if you attracted a quarter of the populace, you’d do really well.
Leveraging hot topics through aliasing is a good way to market for attention.
In this context, it’s association with a popular subject that harvests mass attention and starts discussions. Being associated with politics when building a democratic voting blockchain based system is actually inherently systemic to the problem domain.
If I were to build a voting system resilient to foreign power intervention, I’d look into PoA.
Point is we want to send signals to the world, and be associated with hot and interesting topics. That’s how you stay in the news and people keep talking about you. Age old marketing strategy: associate yourself with something people like to talk about, and you’ll come up in the process of cognitive aliasing.
The legal language of “representative decentralization with explicit governance” is quite dry (blank stare level dry), so I’d reserve it for the one liner, while also having a mission statement that’s more emotional, rather than just logically correct. For instance PIVX is not the best coin name, but when you realize it’s Private, Instant, Verified, tX it kinda clicks. Fast, Scalable, Equitable don’t quite have the same emotional effect on the end user - they are sort of expected techno jargon. Perhaps for POA the key points are:
Ensuring Integrity of Decentralized, Eco-Friendly, Representatively Democratic Connected Blockchains
Though that’s also a mouthful. I like Ethereum’s “Build Unstoppable Applications”. Are we the “Build Green and Affordable Unstoppable Applications” alternative?
We want to get across that we are all about decentralization, not wasting energy on PoW, consensus through representative democracy voting systems, and that we enable the world of connected blockchains.