This piece was originally published in Bitcoin Magazine.
The idea that Bitcoin lacks innovation compared to other cryptocurrencies is pervasive, but is it true?
The Bitcoin protocol undergoes significant changes much more slowly than other cryptocurrencies, the latest, of course, being the implementation and activation of Taproot. But this is a feature, not a bug.
As the foundation of a massive open-source ecosystem, changes should be well thought out and should consistently demonstrate widespread consensus that the benefits of the change outweigh costs. While true and generally accepted, this line of thinking can also be a cop out. It’s important to recognize the necessity of consensus, but we must think deeply about what consensus means, how it is achieved and how we could potentially improve upon how it happens.
Overall, the idea that slow development is a better pattern is simply an awful heuristic and a false dichotomy. The options available to the Bitcoin community’s protocol development are infinitely more varied and nuanced than simply “slow” or “fast.” Careful, comprehensive, deliberate, inclusive; all of these adjectives do a much better job of describing what the Bitcoin community should actually aim to facilitate. This explicit wording is important, for whatever values we subscribe to will be used to judge initiatives and efforts, and the only aspiring ideal worse than slow is likely fast.
Click here to read the full piece in Bitcoin Magazine.