In the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, there are certain universal truths and principles that guide development and community norms. Though not formalized into an official doctrine, these "commandments of the blockspace" represent core ideals a good developer must hold.
All human relationships are transactions.
On the blockchain, every interaction is a transaction of value and information between addresses. This transactional nature extends to human relationships in blockchain communities, which are built on a foundation of exchange, agreement, and mutual benefit. Trust is established and maintained through transparent transactions.
Every new relationship carries over trust assumptions or assumes good actor.
There is a default expectation within blockchain networks that participants are acting in good faith and in the interest of the overall community, unless proven otherwise. New relationships and partnerships therefore inherit some baseline level of trust, though additional trust may be built up over time.
The second law of thermodynamics mirrors on the memory state of blockchain networks.
Like any complex system, blockchains tend towards increasing entropy or disorder over time as transactions accumulate. The ledger becomes more chaotic and randomized. This is akin to the second law of thermodynamics in physics. Maintaining order and usability requires concerted effort and coordination.
Murphy's law holds true on any chain: What can go wrong will go wrong.
The more complex and ambitious a blockchain project, the more likely something will eventually fail or break unexpectedly. Planning for failure and designing fault-tolerant systems is critical. Murphy's law is ever present in blockchain development.
Jevon's Paradox and Braess' paradox hold true on chain.
Efficiency gains may increase net usage and congestion on blockchains. If transaction fees fall, or the speed increases, usage and costs tend to rise according to Jevon's Paradox. Similarly, adding network capacity may slow things down as per Braess' Paradox. Blockchains are subject to these counterintuitive economic principles.
The altar of blockspace must be protected and respected: Write no code in purely selfish interest.
The blockspace is a shared, sacred resource that must be protected. Developers have a responsibility to be good stewards, avoiding technical optimizations that benefit themselves at the expense of overall network security and performance. Code should serve the community.
A piece of code is a peace effort and a war campaign, it must be treated as such.
Protocols have politics. They can empower or disenfranchise users. Code commits can forge connections or cause conflicts between factions. Like any social institution, blockchains require diplomacy and occasional confrontation. Code is power on the blockspace. It must be wielded judiciously.
Privacy is a right that cannot be questioned.
Privacy needs to be balanced against other rights and public interests. For example, privacy rights may need to be limited in cases where public safety or national security is at stake. There can be debates around where to draw the line. But given a user has not violated any statures known to man, her privacy must be maintained without question. “We kill based on metadata” - and thus metadata should be similarly protected.
Systems tend to centralise, we must resist.
Centralization is a natural tendency for institutions that often leads to reduced innovation, individual autonomy, and system resilience. According to Leibenstein's "X-inefficiency theory," monopolistic centralized structures tend to operate inefficiently versus competitive decentralized networks. However, excessive decentralization can also hamper coordination. Systems must strike a balance between distributed control and strategic consolidation. The optimal equilibrium enables decentralization's benefits of fault tolerance, creative freedom, accountability, and human agency while still allowing central coordination on shared goals when advantageous. We must be vigilant to reinvent institutions to disperse power, resisting over-centralization.