Is Bitcoin Democratic?

The Bitcoin code can change (hardfork) if the majority agrees to a change. However, who is the majority? Just the miners? Or are the miners dependent on industry leaders, core developers, common users, etc? What basically constitutes the majority needed to make a change in the protocol?

Is it more correct that say that Bitcoin follows an immutable constitution?

I’m raising this question because it gets harder and harder to get consensus on a protocol change, even a trivial one such a max-blocksize.

I wonder the perspective on this is warped because the market is so small and the options are so few.

Consensus will follow utility and in a world with multiple alternatives to choose from, then you have decentralised effect and perhaps more democratic and representative outcomes. However, as is stands, rather perversely, Bitcoin is heavily centralised… there is no real alternative to BTC blockchain at the moment. Perhaps in the next years anther few will arise… Safecoin; BitShares etc.

Once the market is large, what we will need is a capability to move fluidly between blockchains, in order that consensus can be found and voiced. I don’t know, if that’s something CounterParty devs are naturally considering at the moment - more of a DEX option.

Currently, the technology is too complex for mainstream; once it becomes like TCP1 TCP2 and UDP in the background, the ways the blockchains wield their power over users will matter. What we will need then is technology that makes it possible and trivial to move blockchains, in order that consensus can be found and not trapped with a minority of devs controlling what happens. While CounterParty offers a good option on that, the coins are all on the BTC blockchain and I don’t know if there will be in future alt-CounterParty options on other chains and ways to jump over to those… fluidity we need.

As with other forms of consensus, like Government, we might expect to need advice from those who better understand the technical options, so it might become a bit political; winning and retaining consensus perhaps is naturally like that. If it’s easy to move chains and issues are apparent to users, then change might reflect interests promptly but the more complex the issue and the more difficult it is to move chain, the slower consensus will evolve. It’ll be interesting to see how this problem evolves over the next few years.