Author Topic: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?  (Read 282 times)

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Offline matle85

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As highlighted in some recent discussions there is an oddity on bitUSD, bitCNY and similar that the "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" and override transfers option is active.

Bitshares is decentralised and we are pushing these coins forward as trustless so I propose these permissions are turned off.

I wanted to raise it here so we can discuss:
  • What are the benefits of the permissions remaining on?
  • Do these outweigh the negatives of it remaining on?
  • If we turn it off how is that decided and done? 

In my view the function would (/should) never be used and leaving it on significantly undermines the fundamental premise of them as decentralised / trustless stable coins.

I think the only reason to leave them on would be if there was a significant and clearly defined regulatory or legal advantage...and even then I think I would take some convincing but I welcome views from others :)

« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 01:11:58 pm by matle85 »

Offline xeroc

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 03:25:39 pm »
1. I can only think of two scenarios: a) to make it "compliant", there may need to be an option to seize assets and b) to allow recovery of incorrect transfers (difficult topic, tho)

2. Personally, I don't see a "negative" for keeping the permission available. Executing that permission still requires a) to enable the flag (not just the permission) and to actually make use of that feature. Both requires a proposal to be approved by the committee, and the voters in both cases have a way to kick out committee members that approve such a proposal. Either way, there is transparency about what happens and I am sure committee would approach the voters BEFORE trying to make use of that flag.

3. The permission can be disabled by the committee with a proposal being approved by 50%+1 of the committee members.

I certainly agree that some discussion needs to take place around those permissions.
But so far, the downside is stronger than the upside considering that the feature cannot be used behind closed doors.
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Offline armin

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2018, 11:05:52 pm »
/+5% xeroc, I think for assets that are not committee-owned its much easier to screw holders and this tag should probably be removed for those coins. For committee assets though, its "decentralized" in a sense and much harder to do something wierd

Offline matle85

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2018, 08:57:07 am »
Thanks guys - I agree we would never choose to use this function and shouldn't rush into doing anything that might cause us issues down the line (compliance? I think this needs some discussion in itself because having the ability to do something opens us up to being compelled to do it through legal channels).

I remain of the view that this feature leaves us open to significant criticism - if we get traction for our stablecoins it's an easy attack line and I think the 'we would never use it' defense would get lost in the noise, particularly as we are attacking other stablecoins for having this exact feature.

https://twitter.com/bitshares/status/1055064272722710528?s=19

(I'm not sure who controls @bitshares and recognise it's not committee controlled but I mean the royal 'we', the decentralised bitshares community)

Offline Crypto Kong

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2018, 09:10:06 am »
Tough one... I'm actually quite unsure where I stand on this one... How many people is 50%+1 for commitee majority? Less than 10 I presume. Its a very small number of people that governments can put pressure on to seize assets. I dont like that at all. On the other side of things... its good to have options to be able to stay compliant. I lean towards my first point than my second but i am in the middle.

Offline matle85

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2018, 09:35:12 am »
Tough one... I'm actually quite unsure where I stand on this one... How many people is 50%+1 for commitee majority? Less than 10 I presume. Its a very small number of people that governments can put pressure on to seize assets. I dont like that at all. On the other side of things... its good to have options to be able to stay compliant. I lean towards my first point than my second but i am in the middle.

Thanks Kong, not dissimilar to my view really...I could be sold on a considered basis for leaving it turned on but would like it to be a conscious decision because of x, y and z so that we can have a clear defence to the inevitable FUD around it.

In my gut I don't like it and think it should be truly decentralised but I don't want to be the idealogue that blindly pushed it through if it's the thing that stops Amazon adopting bitUSD down the line ;)

Offline Thul3

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2018, 05:47:54 pm »
I'm for holding that option open however i don't agree its being decided by a small group which CryptoKong already mentioned if somebodies asset can be seized or not.
Thats a risk i personly don't like since it has nothing to do with community consense but something similar with banks where a few holds the majority of voting rights

Offline matle85

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2018, 06:26:47 pm »
I'm for holding that option open however i don't agree its being decided by a small group which CryptoKong already mentioned if somebodies asset can be seized or not.
Thats a risk i personly don't like since it has nothing to do with community consense but something similar with banks where a few holds the majority of voting rights

Who can do it at the minute? Is it a multi-sig account between all committee members or just a single account?

Offline Thom

Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2018, 10:24:40 pm »
(compliance? I think this needs some discussion in itself because having the ability to do something opens us up to being compelled to do it through legal channels).

^^^this

By removing this option you also reduce risk to committee members. Should some bureaucRAT / jurisdiction get it on their agenda to control bitassets and the committee consensus is not to take action they ALL might be thrown in the slammer. Yes I know that would need to occur in multiple jurisdictions, but I don't think it's out of the question with so few on the committee. Much more difficult undertakings have been accomplished by governments, so don't underestimate them. Removing this permission is a preventative measure IMHO. We need to be proactive rather than reactive when some "official / legal" entity requests such action.

I am in favor of removing this permission for the same reasons mentioned by others who also favor removing it.

Thank you matle85 for bringing more attention to this.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 10:46:05 pm by Thom »
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline xeroc

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Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 07:18:41 am »
As a community, the easiest way forward would be to appoint *additional* committee members.
No one forces us to stick with the hard-coded minimum of 11, code only prevents us from reaching 1002!

So, community, please apply for committee membership!
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Offline iamredbar

Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 08:27:14 am »
Removing this permission is a preventative measure IMHO. We need to be proactive rather than reactive when some "official / legal" entity requests such action.

Agreed. It is better to be above reproach.

Offline Thom

Re: Remove "asset owner can transfer asset back to himself" on stablecoins?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 04:10:44 pm »
As a community, the easiest way forward would be to appoint *additional* committee members.
No one forces us to stick with the hard-coded minimum of 11, code only prevents us from reaching 1002!

So, community, please apply for committee membership!

It would require quite a large number of additions to be an effective level of decentralization against they-them-those that control billions and trillions. I don't disagree on principle but it isn't a truly practical solution until the numbers get much larger.

Moreover, where are the docs (do any exist?) that describe the operation of the committee? I know there is at least one multisig account each committee member uses, but I'm not aware of any doc that describes how often they meet, how they select issues to discuss or which parameters should be reviewed and how often...

Such information should be documented (perhaps it is, but I am not aware of it) so those who are newly elected know what to expect and can be prepared. I wouldn't volunteer for a role if all I knew about it were generalities.

Think about when you get a new job. Usually the info one needs right away comes from the boss or peers. Company policies and procedures are typically more important for Human Resources than for your every day work, assuming you're not in management.

So when somebody gets elected to committee (clockwork and johnr are most recent additions, you 2 could speak to this) how do they know what to do? Do they rely on other committee members to tell them when meetings occur? Can they be effective in the committee without guidance or instruction from others? How can a new committee member avoid manipulation? Primarily by being well informed and confident the information is accurate.

It seems to me the more we rely on ad hoc methods to orient new people to the role the less independent they will be in making decisions, at least initially, especially of those decisions and issues are framed to achieve an agenda.

I hope these concerns about adding members to the community are baseless, the documentation is available and I'm just not informed of the manor the committee operates.  Regardless of committee operations, I just don't believe we could add enough informed committee members to be an effective solution, but the concept of decentralizing the committee further is indeed a good direction to take. 100 or 1000 committee members will be nothing more than puppets to someone's agenda if they are not informed and able to act in the role independently.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html