Explain UASF Like I’m Five

If you still can’t figure out what the heck UASF is…

User Activated Soft Fork

(In this article I’ll refer sligthtly incorrectly to BIP148 as UASF, since crowd trumps terminology.)

Some people asked me if I am shaolinfry, the creator of UASF. `I am not shaolinfry` is my previous article, where I detailed this story. I also stated there:

In the end I don’t know if I support the concrete proposal or not. I read all proposals and I understand them, but I cannot figure out how the network would behave. I am just not smart enough to understand its implications. However I strongly support its intention.

The Chicken Game

The implications of User Activated Soft Fork is finally clear for me, but I still don’t know if I support it or not. UASF is a chicken game, a Hawk-Dove game. You know when two car is rushing straight towards each other and the winner is the one that doesn’t turn the wheel.

User Activated Soft Fork

There are a few paradox situations when illogical behaviour is the most logical behaviour. For example if you get into this situation you want to drink a bottle a vodka in front of your opponent, sit in the car and throw out the wheel.

The UASF Chicken Game

  • If UASF wins, Bitcoin will scale the best way.
  • If it loses we can anticipate hundreds of dollars of transaction fees, based on the current trends fairly soon.
  • When the cars crash, that’s chain split.

In the event of a car crash we can only hope we are just as bad asses as the Fast and the Furious guys in the video. Or in other words: the industry is prepared, so we can smoothly sort out which chain will survive.

Or if you wish UAotELUSF. Just kidding. Back to work: if the exchanges don’t prepare and don’t let us trade the newly minted coins on both sides of the split, we are going to have a bad time.

That’s what the “industry is prepared” means. Well, partly. It’d also not be a bad idea if wallets and other companies prepare for the car crash and not let people lose money or get confused.

Of course the crash can be avoided if by August one, more than 51% of miners choose UASF or the UASF crowd backs down before that day. Or, if crash happens, it can be survived smoothly, if the industry is prepared.

So where are we now? Are we rushing towards each other? Did the UASF crowd already thown out the wheel? Or we’re just drinking the vodka?

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