I have mined Bitcoin (BTC) on GPUs until my PSUs burnt out, converted my whole house to a mining farm so we didn’t need heaters in the winter, and stayed up all night staring at Chinese trade volumes on many, many occasions. Bitcoin is the most exciting tech revolution since the Internet and its only getting better while offering more opportunities to learn about economics, money, and financial institutions. The main issue for most people is understanding the tech speak lingo that is designed to be aloof and imposing. Let me break down the main arguments over the last few months/years into easy to understand layman’s terms.
Satoshi Nakamoto, supposedly Bitcoins creator (or one of them!), wrote a whitepaper in 2008 describing a peer to peer electronic cash system that relies on cryptography and a distributed ledger technology to ensure fair and transparent transactions. All without any bank having anything to do with it. No need to ask for permission to do anything with your money. If you hold all the private keys, it’s YOUR money, not a bank’s, not an IOU, yours. It offers the unbanked (2 billion people) the ability to skip generations of technology and bank from their phone with no monthly fees and cheap transactions, as they have phones but they don’t have enough money to create a bank account. It also removes the bank’s ability to run Fractional Reserve Banking.
Big Block vs Little Block
Satoshi’s departure from the development team in 2010 allowed interested parties to become involved. This created competing visions for Bitcoin which culminated in a shady group called Blockstream hiring most of the key developers and giving them a steady wage. This sounds like a nice idea except Blockstream started to accept corporate money and this turned into a corporate vision for Bitcoin.
The first main argument is the Block Size Debate. Satoshi had mentioned on numerous occasions that Bitcoin can and should be scaled to allow more things to happen on the blockchain. As more users started using Bitcoin, the transactions through the network started to clog up. Every ten minutes, a group of Bitcoin Miners solve the current “Bitcoin Problem” (it’s like a maths problem and the winner gets 25BTC) The main Bitcoin Core Developers (Devs), paid by Blockstream, started proposing different solutions for the scaling problem, mostly surrounding SegWit (Segregated Witness). SegWit proposes to add a sidechain to the main blockchain for pushing through smaller transactions that might not go through on every Bitcoin block. Essentially, they are trying to create another side coin to handle smaller transactions and Blockstream would make around 1% profit. Blockstream have also been refusing to increase to the blocksize limit, which would allow more transactions per ten minutes but Blockstream wouldn’t make any profit. They claimed increasing the blocksize limit was almost impossible and certainly reckless.
UASF vs UAHF
The propaganda raged on through all forums. r/Bitcoin split into two as censorship spearheaded by the utterly revolting u/Theymos on reddit and bitcointalk wore down communities and friendships while creating division. Theymos is rumoured to have used his role as an admin to steal 6000 Bitcoins from users and continues to muddy the water and ban opposing opinion – a true paragon of virtue.
Blockstream created the opportunity for a User Activated Soft Fork (UASF) which is designed to wrest the voting power (hashrate in this case) away from miners and install voting options within nodes. A node is a type of program that runs the Bitcoin blockchain. Miners run their hardware to find blocks which are then incorporated into the blockchain and nodes document the blockchain to allow it to be explorable, as well as a few other services like wallets.
Blockstream noted that in Bitcoins original vision, the miners had all the power and they hated that. Miners invest considerable amounts of money on mining equipment, the exorbitant electricity costs and in time learning to keep their rigs running 24/7/365. Blockstream obviously don’t care about investment into mining, miners, or the ecosystem, they only want to control everything themselves.
So, the miners rightfully rebelled against this corporate vision and created a User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF) as “a contingency plan”. Blockstream fired up nodes around the world to influence the voting and consequently UAHF was active yesterday in the form of Bitcoin Cash, as a retaliation.
AXA vs Cypherpunks
AXA Strategic Ventures are the company who predominantly support Blockstream. They are funded by The Bilderberg Group. If you don’t know who they are you have been living under a rock. Henri de Castries is the CEO of both AXA and The Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group bought a controlling share of Blockstream for $55,000,000 so they can push whatever agenda they want, mostly in favour of slowing development of Bitcoin and promoting division and lies. This flowed directly against the Cypherpunk mentality in which Bitcoin was created.
The Cypherpunk movement, advocates widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change. The decentralised peer to peer cash system with a distributed ledger that Satoshi et al. created, flies in the face of everything banks stand for. No wonder they have invested to control Bitcoin development, it probably terrifies them.
Stagnation vs Vision
Self-imposed stagnation from Blockstream which is blatantly in the interest of archaic financial institutions, tried to slow the currency down so either A) they had time to build a new crypto for the banks to start all over again with their criminal activity (SETLcoin). B) a new currency would take the lead and diminish Bitcoins market cap (Ethereum). Whichever outcome will make Bitcoin more controllable to the banks will be the primary concern and motive. The control they yearn for must be understood.
The spats, arguments and vindictive attitude displayed by many of the leading developers, on both sides, has meant most arguments degenerate into mud-slinging. Real technical discourse has waned in favour of polarised camps which no doubt was the Bilderberg’s Divide and Conquer policy. We must rely on the libertarian vision of Roger Ver and Craig Wright in the form of Bitcoin Cash, and see what the miners do. We need visionaries who don’t mind vigorously swimming against the tide and can go head to head against powerful enemies.
Launch your miners. Fire up your nodes. Bring on the hashrate war. Bitcoin Cash is a real alternative vision for peer to peer electronic cash system and hopefully it will smash Blockstream’s corporate tirade once and for all. Wait for the difficulty to drop and watch the Chinese wade in.
As the world’s first Drone Services company to accept bitcoin, we demand larger blocks. We demand a separate dev team that has nothing to do with the banks. The banks are the issue. Almost 10 years into the Great Recession and we are staring into the abyss of another crash this Autumn as the criminal bankers were not punished, rather they were bailed out and crippled the worldwide economy enabled by the cowardice of our political leadership.