Since there are so many discussion about net neutrality, this triggered the question, especially since usually the proponents of blockchain and cryptocurrencies are also big proponents of net neutrality.

At least at first glance it seems true to me, the transaction fees present in most blockchain implementations => paid prioritization => no network neutrality.

Maybe there is some economic perspective that I am missing that makes this not true, or maybe that at least it resolves all the problems usually associated with an absence of net neutrality.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Pieter Wuille, Max Vernon, Highly Irregular, alcio, Jestin Dec 8 '17 at 21:14

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It has nothing to do with net neutrality. The concept of paying more for faster service isn’t against net neutrality. It’s part of internet providers strategy for years and it’s ok as long as the speed is the same for every website or internet service you want to connect. Problem with net neutrality arises, when your provider differentiate the access to internet websites and services basing on which plan you have. So, for example I can imagine that provider makes only Facebook and YouTube working fast, but GitHub will be a lot slower (but if you buy special “developer” offer for 100$ then the speed is back to normal). This will be against net neutrality.

I would rather look at the fees in crypto currencies from the perspective different bank wire transfers. There may be standard transfers (cheaper) and express transfers (more costly but faster). There is no differentiation between clients and to whom you send money.

  • ISP charge a price for faster internet, not for prioritization. In blockchain if everyone is paying the same fee then no one gets faster transaction speed. What you described regarding net neutrality can indeed happen in blockchain: Rich companies/users can pay high fees so miners will make their transactions fast, while everyone else is on the slow lane waiting for those transactions to complete. – dragosb Dec 3 '17 at 8:58
  • Still, this doesn’t correspond to the concept of net neutrality, same way the online bank fees have nothing to net neutrality. On the other hand, imagine that the miner knows that you are behind some address and refuses to add any of your transactions to the block they are mining. And convinced other miners to do the same. No matter how big fee you offer you can’t add transaction to block chain. He just doesn’t like you or have some other reason to block you. This situation might happen and would better correspond to the concept of net neutrality. – Michał Zabielski Dec 3 '17 at 9:13
  • and why cant this happen in blockchain? Majority of miners could decide to block transactions of companies they do not like. I am not sure why you say it doesnt correspond with the concept of net neutrality when I took your example and showed it can happen with no problems in blockchain – dragosb Dec 3 '17 at 9:16
  • Because your original question was about size of the fee and the concept of net neutrality. More you pay, the faster your transaction is processed. The more you pay the faster internet you have. It has nothing to do with net neutrality. Net neutrality is about discrimination of users and websites, so ISPs can differentiate their offer more, to gain more profits. And this indeed may happen on the blockchain when miners will charge bigger fees to send/receive money to certain addresses or deny the service at all. But it's different from charging for faster service (no other strings attached). – Michał Zabielski Dec 3 '17 at 9:24
  • As I commented already, there is a difference that you dont understand: ISP's charge for faster service, miners charge for prioritization. With an ISP both me and google pay the same price for the same speed. In blockchain If I pay the same price as everyone else then there is no faster service, thus the rich ones who can afford to pay more will get faster service, while the rest of us are stuck with slow service – dragosb Dec 3 '17 at 9:28

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