Link (via reddit)

Currently the vast majority of miners just don't vote. Was there a mistake made in organizing the voting process (maybe most miners haven't heard about this vote?), or perhaps most miners really don't like either proposals?

  • 1
    Well I for one had no idea I could vote. Or how to do so. I'm guessing that because I'm mining in a pool that I forfeit my vote to the pool owner? Jan 23, 2012 at 9:56
  • @SeanChapman - yeah, the pool owners decide how to vote. To vote for yourself, either solo mine or join P2Pool.
    – ripper234
    Jan 23, 2012 at 12:16
  • 1
    Most miners sell their vote to their pool operators for very little in return.
    – Holliday
    Jan 23, 2012 at 18:55
  • 2
    Well I think I have an incredibly slim chance of solving a block so I think I'll give my hashing power to a pool that is voting the same way I want to vote Jan 24, 2012 at 10:11
  • 1
    @SeanChapman - your expected contribution to the vote stays the same anyway, and switching to P2Pool is a good idea in general. You get a small bonus, instead of a fee, and contribute to decentralizing Bitcoin.
    – ripper234
    Jan 24, 2012 at 12:28

4 Answers 4


Here is my personal opinion as to why:

1) There are no release binaries available for the new client, so it must be compiled from source. Some of the smaller pools and P2Pool users may not have the technical knowledge how to do this.

2) If you are running a modified client merging the changes from the latest P2SH code is not straight forward. Nobody wants to spend time upgrading when the changes might have to be reverted if the vote doesn't get past.

3) Downtime during the upgrade process is bad for business, particularly for large pools.

4) No votes ultimately count as votes against, as you say perhaps they don't like either proposals enough to care.

5) Voting hasn't officially started yet - It is based on the last 1000 blocks so should begin sometime on the 24th Jan.

  • 1
    1) There are backports available for older versions of the software, so pool operators can deploy easily. 2) Gavin implemented it for many versions 4) very true 5) this is the actual reason, probably :) Jan 24, 2012 at 2:13
  • It is the 24th today and the majority of miners still aren't voting.
    – user418
    Jan 24, 2012 at 15:25

As mentioned in BIP0016, this proposal will cause a dangerous-to-the-network blockchain split in the following case:

  • "A pay-to-script-hash transaction that is invalid for new clients/miners but valid for old clients/miners."

Therefore, at least 51% of the miners (and probably more to be really safe) must confirm that they are aware of this problem and promise to upgrade their software very quickly after any new client is released that implements the proposal (again, if the proposal is accepted).

In this context, abstaining technically ought to be interpreted as "I vote NO to p2sh but I may change my vote to yes later" since p2sh is only safe once 51% of the miners have indicated their agreement with it. Simply failing to indicate disagreement has to -- at least temporarily -- count as a "no" vote in order for this election to achieve the intended purpose.

The voting technically won't begin for another day, but I think the low turnout so far is certainly telling. It's not like there's any penalty for a pool starting its votes early, and since changes like this require testing there is a risk to waiting until the very last minute to start encoding votes.


As mentioned in BIP 0016, voting will take place at the end of januari 2012. votes you see now (januari 24th) are from pools who have already upgraded their software to vote either for or against. There are some pools who have said they will upgrade, but haven't done so yet.


The big set-back is that the original P2SH proposal (BIP 12 aka OP_EVAL) was Withdrawn by its author, Gavin. In its place, he proposed a new, much inferior system that is broken by design. Despite a sanitized P2SH being proposed in BIP 17, however, he continues to promote and push for the broken BIP 16. Hopefully once BIP 16's voting date has come and gone, he and those who follow his command will adopt BIP 17 (or propose something even better?).

  • Currently support for BIP 16 seems to about twice as large as support for BIP 17. It won't make the Feb 1 deadline, but the deadline can be postponed. I think the largest reason people (e.g. Tycho) don't commit to any of the proposals is that they fear it's rushed ... all of which can be fixed if the voting is postponed by a month or two.
    – ripper234
    Jan 29, 2012 at 7:49
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    Luke, I am grateful for the technical effort you have put into Bitcoin, but with utmost respect, you need to work on the tone of the way you promote BIP 17. Gavin has been open, self-critical, and intellectually honest. Statements like "broken by design" do him a disservice. I suspect most of his supporters don't understand the technical details, but follow him simply because of his more reasonable attitude. Please, stick to technical analysis of the proposals and don't turn this into a personality clash drama.
    – jl6
    Jan 29, 2012 at 9:46

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