The elegant way bitcoin resists censorship. A short article by DanConwayDev. Only on nostr:
Bitcoin is freedom money. Part of what this means is that it is money for enemies. This is made possible because bitcoin is censorship resistant. From Satoshi's first transaction with Hal Finney to the latest donation my alter-ego just made to Elizabeth Warren's BTC Pay Server. No valid transaction with a fee above the market rate has ever failed to make it into a block.
Part of the beauty of bitcoin's design is that it achieves this in a freedom maximising way. It's super elegant. Let's say I'm a miner and a little bit of sick just came up at the thought of being knowingly responsible for facilitating an Elizabeth Warren donation. No problem! I can elect to include or exclude whatever transactions I want from the next block I am mining. If someone told me her xpub I could censor away to my hearts content and still sleep easy tonight.
The thing is, my alter-ego is not a fee-cheapskate. The transaction will get included in the next block by other miners who are compelled by financial incentives. Yet my censor-loving self can drift off into peacefully sleep; freed from culpability.
Let's suppose I'm not the only censor-loving miner and 90% of the hash rate on joins in. Even then, when I undertake my morning ritual of perusing the mempool over a cup of earl grey, I will still find that the transaction has confirmed overnight.
If every miner, except for one, actively decided to censor the transaction, it would still make its way into a block eventually.
What if I decided that a transaction was so heinous, so unbelievably evil, that not only would I not mine it, but I wouldn't mine on top of it either? Unless I hung up my ASICs for good, I would have to ignore any blocks containing the transaction and attempt to build a bigger chain on top of the previous block.
I'd need to produce 2 blocks before another miner produced the next block. If I wasn't successful I'd have to produce 3 blocks before another miner produced the next block. The task becomes exponentially more hopeless as each block is mined.
The only way I could be successful is if I either controlled 51% of the hash rate or convinced 51% of the hash rate to join me. Even in the unlikely event that other miners were ideologically inclined to censor, they would only join in if they believed 51%+ of the hash rate were following the same regime.
And thus this is how bitcoin has successfully resisted censorship ever since that fateful January afternoon in 2009 when a kindly soul, with butterflies in their heart and The Times of London in their hand, published the genesis block.
Bitcoin is beautiful!