This post was inspired by the video “Roger Ver’s Thoughts on Craig Wright”. Oh, wait. Sorry. “Roger Ver’s Thoughts on 15th November Bitcoin Cash Upgrade”. Not sure how I mixed those two up.
To get it out of the way first and foremost: I have nothing but utmost respect for Roger Ver. You have done more than just about anyone to bring Bitcoin to the world, and for that you will always have my eternal gratitude. While there are trolls on both sides, the crucifixion of Bitcoin Jesus in the past week has been disheartening to see. As miners, I respect your decision to choose the roadmap that you choose.
It is understandable that the Bitcoin (BCH) upgrade is causing a clash of personalities. However, what has been particularly frustrating is the lack of debate around the technical merits of Bitcoin ABC vs Bitcoin SV. The entire conversation has now revolved around Craig Wright the individual instead of what is best for Bitcoin Cash moving forward.
Roger’s video did confirm something about difference of opinions between the Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV camps. When Roger wasn’t talking about Craig Wright, he spent a portion of his video discussing how individuals should be free to trade drugs without the intervention of the state. He used this position to silently attack Craig Wright for allegedly wanting to control the free trade of individuals. This appears to confirm what Craig Wright has been saying: that DATASIGVERIFY can be used to enable widely illegal use-cases of transactions, and Roger’s support for the ABC roadmap stems from his personal belief that Bitcoin should enable all trade regardless of legal status across the globe.
Speaking for myself, I think the drug war is immoral. I think human beings should be allowed to put anything they want in their own bodies as long as they are not harming others. I live in the United States and have personally seen the negative consequences of the drug war. This is a problem. The debasement of our currency and theft at the hands of central banks is a separate problem. Bitcoin was explicitly created to solve one of these problems.
Roger says in his video that “cryptocurrencies” were created to enable trade free from government oversight. However, Satoshi Nakamoto never once said this about Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto was explicitly clear, however, that Bitcoin provided a solution to the debasement of currency.
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 02/11/2009
As we’ve written previously, the genesis block is often cited as a criticism of the 2008 bailout. However, the content of the article outlines that the bailout had already occurred. The article reveals that the government was poised to go a step further by buying up the toxic bank assets as part of a nationalization effort! In this scenario, according to the Times, "a 'bad bank' would be created to dispose of bad debts. The Treasury would take bad loans off the hands of troubled banks, perhaps swapping them for government bonds. The toxic assets, blamed for poisoning the financial system, would be parked in a state vehicle or 'bad bank' that would manage them and attempt to dispose of them while 'detoxifying' the main-stream banking system." The article outlines a much more nightmarish scenario than bank bailouts, one that would effectively remove any element of private enterprise from banking and use the State to seize the bank's assets.
The United States is progressively getting to a point where cannabis can be freely traded and used without legal repercussion. As a citizen, each election has given me the opportunity to bring us closer to enacting that policy at a national level. However, I have never had the ability to have a direct impact on preventing the debasement of the United States dollar. The dollar is manipulated by a “private” organization that is accountable to no one, and on a yearly basis we are given arbitrary interest rates that I have no control over. The government uses its arbitrary control over the money supply to enable itself to spend trillions of dollars it doesn’t have on foreign wars. Roger Ver has passionately argued against this in multiple videos available on the internet.
This is what Bitcoin promised to me when I first learned about it. This is what makes it important to me.
When the Silk Road was shut down, Bitcoin was unaffected. Bitcoin, like the US dollar, was just a tool that was used for transactions. There is an inherent danger that governments, whether you like it or not, would use every tool at their disposal to shut down any system that enabled at a protocol level illegal trade. They, rightfully or wrongfully, did this with the Silk Road. Roger’s video seems to hint that he thinks Bitcoin Cash should be an experiment in playing chicken with governments across the world about our right to trade freely without State intervention. The problem is that this is a vast underestimation of just how quickly Bitcoin (BCH) could be shut down if the protocol itself was the tool being used for illegal trade instead of being the money exchanged on top of illegal trade platforms.
I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with Roger’s philosophy on what “cryptocurrencies” should be. However, I know what Bitcoin is. Bitcoin is simply hard, sound money. That is boring to a lot of those in the “cryptocurrency” space, but it is the essential tool that enables freedom for the globe. It allows those in Zimbabwe to have sound currency free from the 50 billion dollar bills handed out like candy by the government. It allows those of us in the US to be free from the arbitrary manipulation of the Fed. Hard, sound, unchanging money that can be used as peer to peer digital cash IS the killer use case of Bitcoin. That is why we are here building on top of Bitcoin Cash daily.
When Roger and ABC want to play ball with governments across the globe and turn Bitcoin into something that puts it in legal jeopardy, it threatens the value of my bitcoins. Similar to the uncertainty we go through in the US every year as we await the arbitrary interest rates handed out by the Fed, we are now going to wait in limbo to see if governments will hold Bitcoin Cash miners responsible for enabling illegal trade at a protocol level. This is an insanely dangerous prospect to introduce to Bitcoin (BCH) so early in its lifespan. In one of Satoshi Nakamoto’s last public posts, he made it clear just how important it was to not kick the hornet’s nest that is government:
“It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 12/11/2010
Why anyone would want to put our opportunity of sound monetary policy in jeopardy to enable illegal trading at a base protocol level is beyond me. I respect anyone who has an anarcho-capitalist ideology. But, please don’t debase my currency by putting it at risk of legal intervention because you want to impose that ideology on the world.
We took the time to set up a Q&A with the Bitcoin SV developers Steve Shadders and Daniel Connolly. We posted on Reddit and gathered a ton of questions from the “community”. We received insanely intelligent, measured, and sane responses to all of the “attack vectors” proposed against increasing the block size and re-enabling old opcodes. Jonathon Toomim spent what must have been an hour or so asking 15+ questions in the Reddit thread of which we obtained answers to most. We have yet to see him respond to the technical answers given by the SV team. In Roger’s entire video today about the upcoming November fork, he didn’t once mention one reason why he disagrees with the SV roadmap. Instead, he has decided to go on Reddit and use the same tactics that were used by Core against Bitcoin Unlimited back in the day by framing the upcoming fork as “BCH vs BSV”, weeks before miners have had the ability to actually vote.
What Bitcoin SV wants to accomplish is enable sound money for the globe. This is boring. This is not glamorous. It is, however, the greatest tool of freedom we can give the globe. We cannot let ideology or personalities change that goal. Ultimately, it won’t. We have been continual advocates for miners, the ones who spend 1000x more investing in the network than the /r/btc trolls, to decide the future of BCH. We look forward to seeing what they choose on Nov 15th.
Roger mentions that it is our right to fork off and create our own chains. While that is okay to have as an opinion, Satoshi Nakamoto was explicit that we should be building one global chain. We adhere to the idea that miners should vote with their hashpower and determine the emergent chain after November 15th.
“It is strictly necessary that the longest chain is always considered the valid one. Nodes that were present may remember that one branch was there first and got replaced by another, but there would be no way for them to convince those who were not present of this. We can't have subfactions of nodes that cling to one branch that they think was first, others that saw another branch first, and others that joined later and never saw what happened. The CPU proof-of-worker proof-of-work vote must have the final say. The only way for everyone to stay on the same page is to believe that the longest chain is always the valid one, no matter what.” – Satoshi Nakamoto 11/09/2008
- Connor of The BCH Boys
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