Video - Bitcoin Q and A Developing-World Communities and Spam Transactions

Centralized payments are a powerful force for centralization of the web, creating platforms for content and services that are centralized around a payment processor/aggregator. What happens when payments themselves become decentralized? The nexus of centralization dissolves and the content platforms can become decentralized too. In this talk presented at the Los Angeles Bitcoin Meetup, Andreas examines the impact of payments and the re-decentralization of the web.


In your Bitcoin talks around the world, what cities most impressed you in terms of start-ups or community? The Bitcoin communities that have influenced me the most were those in the developing world, such as Brazil and Argentina. They taught me what it means to have a clear understanding that government money is a bad idea, where banks, corporations and governments are all the same thing.

There is no such thing as a “spam” transaction because that is a normative judgement no one in Bitcoin is authorised to make. The questions you ask about a transaction: 1) Does it validate according to the consensus rules? 2) Did it have sufficient fee to be prioritised and included in a block by the miners? If the answers are ‘yes,’ it is a valid transaction.

The point of Bitcoin is that we don’t make judgements on transactions other than the intrinsic validity of the transaction according to the consensus rules in the market. The moment you introduce a normative judgement, you introduce a judge. When you ask whether a transaction is valid according to a normative judgement, you are also asking “who is the judge?”

Written by Andreas M. Antonopoulos on September 21, 2016.