Can open-source blockchains be coercive? In a recent debate between Erik Vorhees and Alex Gladstein, Vorhees asserted that “there is nothing in Ethereum that is based on coercion, period.”

Vorhees went on to clarify:

“I have a pretty high standard of coercion. It’s basically like physical violence or the threat of physical violence, or theft or breach of contract. Those categories of things I call coercive. What’s not coercive is if you’re part of an open-source software project and the majority in that project wants to do something and you don’t. And so the project goes in a direction that you didn’t want it to go in. That’s not coercion. That’s called market forces. People I think often will ascribe the word coercion to just things that are inconvenient or unpleasant or that or that feel like they harm them or that lost them money. That’s not coercion. I reserve that for more intense interventions… I don’t think anything that happens in open blockchains is coercive, period, unless there’s some kind of fraud going on… I think open-source software protocols can’t be coercive.”

Voorhees, “What Bitcoin Did: Bitcoin Vs Altcoins 2 With Alex Gladstein And Erik Voorhees

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