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Motion: Security is about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners (Anatoly Yakovenko vs. Dankrad Feist)

Guests:Anatoly Yakovenko (twitter.com/aeyakovenko)Dankrad Feist (twitter.com/dankrad)Host:Richard Yan (twitter.com/gentso09)Today’s motion is “Security is about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners.”This is a mouthful. The minimum set of colluding miners is the smallest cartel of dishonest block producers you need to attack a network. Maximizing that set is about increasing the size of such a successful cartel, essentially making it harder for block producers to collude. Note this debate statement leaves out full nodes. And that’s the essence of this debate: Are they important in securing the network?So, to get more context on this, take a look at a recent blogpost by Vitalik Buterin on limits to blockchain scalability. This article instigated the sparring between our guests on Twitter, and led to today’s debate. In his article, Vitalik argued that the ability for consensus nodes to collude and do bad things should be held in check by full nodes. And therefore, there’s a strong need for regular users to be able to run full nodes. Today’s debate is essentially an examination of the validity of that statement. Is security about maximizing the minimum set of colluding miners (aka increasing the smallest number of consensus nodes required to censor or collude), or should we also worry about making sure to onboard more full nodes?The two debaters today are from Solana and ETH 2, respectively. When it comes to ensuring security of the network, they disagree on how important it is to make it easy to run full nodes.The debate took a major detour. The two debaters were very passionate about their respective projects and went down the rabbit hole several times pointing out potential weaknesses they see in each other’s designs. I decided to keep all of that in, because one way or another, those discussions found their way back to the topic at hand.If you’re into crypto and like to hear two sides of the story, be sure to also check out our previous episodes. We’ve featured some of the best known thinkers in the crypto space.If you would like to debate or want to nominate someone, please DM me at @blockdebate on Twitter.Please note that nothing in our podcast should be construed as financial advice.Source of select items discussed in the debate (and supplemental material):Multicoin article on Solana’s decentralization: https://multicoin.capital/2021/05/25/technical-scalability-creates-social-scalability/Solana’s dashboard for validators and full nodes: https://solanabeach.io/Dankrad Feist article on full nodes: https://dankradfeist.de/ethereum/2021/05/20/what-everyone-gets-wrong-about-51percent-attacks.htmlVitalik Buterin’s article on the limits of blockchain scaling: https://vitalik.ca/general/2021/05/23/scaling.htmlGuest bios:Anatoly is founder and CEO of Solana, a layer-1 public blockchain built for scalability without sacrificing decentralization or security, and in particular, without sharding. He was previously a software engineer at Dropbox, Mesosphere and Qualcomm.Dankrad Feist is a researcher at the Ethereum Foundation, working on ETH 2.0. He was previously an engineer for Palantir, and co-founded a healthcare startup named Cara Care.

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It seems that the future of blockchain industry can go down very different paths, and each path has its group of hard core believers. They can’t all be right. Perhaps by hearing the experts debate, the rest of us can compare their reasoning and see the future a bit more clearly. Whether you’re a builder or investor, whether you consider yourself blockchain-savvy or blockchain-curious, if you want to hear all arguments before predicting the future of blockchain, this podcast is for you. Follow our twitter at @blockdebate. Host: Richard Yan (@gentso09). See you soon! Consensus optional, proof of thought required.