Four days ago, our reporters got the rare chance to interview one of the legendary UASF supporters.
This humble grassroots bitcoin maximalist decided to remain anonymous, which is why in our article we will refer to him with the pseudonym "Mr. Jones".
Mr. Jones was nice enough to invite us in his home and even show us his famous basement.
He treated us to some delightful dried meat and explained to us that carnivory is an important part of Bitcoin Maximalism in the same way that wheels are parts of a car.
Our discussion went as follows:
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Reporter:
- Before we begin, Mr. Jones, would you explain to us what UASF means.
Mr. Jones:
- It means User Activated Soft Fork. It is called 'user activated' because people who run full nodes activate it. It is called a "soft fork" because of the way it works on a technical level.
Reporter:
- How does it work on a technical level?
Mr. Jones:
- Well... User full nodes reject all invalid blocks generated by miners, even if they were valid under the previous ruleset. The miners then have absolutely no choice but to start following the new rules.
Reporter:
- I see. That is why it is called a "Soft" Fork. Great Softness indeed.
Mr. Jones:
- Yes. Exactly.

Reporter:
- Can you tell us a bit more about what happened during 2017?
Mr. Jones:
- Yes, of course. The evil rich miners were attempting to change the rules of Bitcoin, by increasing the block size. Instead, they were forced to agree with the users into changing the rules of Bitcoin to include SegWit.
Reporter:
- Because of the UASF?
Mr. Jones:
- Exactly! The users showed them who is in control. They wanted to stop us from running full nodes, but we showed them good! Power to the people!
Reporter:
- Some of our readers might not be familiar with the block size problem. Would you explain to them exactly why it is bad to increase the size?
Mr. Jones:
- Of course! When the block size gets increased, fewer people can afford the cost of running a full node. That leads to miner centralization.
Reporter:
- You mentioned it multiple times already: "Full Node". Can you explain to our readers what a "Full Node" is?
Mr. Jones:
- Yes. A full node is a node in the bitcoin network, that does everything except mining new blocks. It is extremely important to run one yourself.
Reporter:
- Thank you. So, a Full node is a node that does almost everything a node can possibly do, except mining.
Mr. Jones:
- Yes. Otherwise it would be a mining node. Mining nodes to the Full range of node operations, while Full nodes do less.
Reporter:
- And full nodes are users.
Mr. Jones:
- Exactly. Real users run full nodes.

Reporter:
- You must be an extremely real user in that case. You should be proud of yourself. 243 Full Nodes!
Mr. Jones:
- I try to be humble about it. I am just helping the network.
Reporter:
- Please tell us more.
Mr. Jones:
- Well... my nodes relay blocks to the whole network... and even to themselves. Actually, most of the time they are sending the newest block to each other.
Reporter:
- Yes, that is extremely helpful to the network indeed. Thank you for your hard work.

Reporter:
- Tell us a bit more about yourself. Do you use Bitcoin often?
Mr. Jones:
- Yes. I HODL bitcoin every day... But I don't have a lot at the moment.
Reporter:
- Why so?
Mr. Jones:
- The Raspberry Pi Full nodes in my basement. Purchasing them costed me some money. The electricity and internet for them are not free either. I had to spend a lot of my HODL stash.
Reporter:
- Do you ever feel that you should have kept that Bitcoin?
Mr. Jones:
- No. I don't have regrets. Helping the network and fighting the evil miners was worth it.
Reporter:
- You are a hero indeed.

Reporter:
- Tell us more about the mining centralization.
Mr. Jones:
- It is quite simple actually - a few miner companies control the whole Bitcoin mining. The only way to compete with them was UASF.
Reporter:
- So it is impossible to compete with them in any other way.
Mr. Jones:
- It was possible to compete with them before, when everyone was mining on their GPUs. But they invested millions in research and development in order to build specialized mining chips - ASICs. This gave them an unfair advantage and made mining extremely centralized. Nothing like the old days.
Reporter:
- Yes. Spending millions on research and development can indeed give people a huge and unfair advantage.

Mr. Jones:
- Luckily, that advantage completely disappears when full nodes reject the blocks they don't like.
Reporter:
- How so?
Mr. Jones:
- Well... The transactions that we reject stop existing. The blocks themselves stop existing. Since our nodes don't see them, the miners cannot sell the rewards from these blocks.
Reporter:
- Are there many people like you? People who reject these bad blocks?
Mr. Jones:
- Yes, a few hundred.
Reporter:
- That makes it certain then. The blocks really don't exist if these few hundred people reject them.
Mr. Jones:
- And since the blocks don't exist, the miners can't sell the Bitcoin and get rewarded.
Reporter:
- And... nobody other than these few hundred people will be willing to buy these bitcoins?
Mr. Jones:
- Nobody. We are the majority. Together we run almost 9000 full nodes. Most of them don't run more than 5 nodes. I am one of the few that run more than a hundred.
Reporter:
- Thank you for clarifying. You heard it here dear readers. When you buy bitcoin, you are a bitcoin user, but you cannot possibly be a bitcoin user without running a full node...
Mr. Jones:
- And eating meat!
Reporter:
- ... And eating meat... Therefore - since most full nodes reject these evil blocks, and since they represent all the real users, it is obviously impossible for the miners to sell the block rewards they get to anyone else.
Mr. Jones:
- Because that is how Bitcoin Works. Power to the people!

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After the interview, Mr. Jones showed us his basement with the full collection of 243 raspberry pi full nodes.
He told us that it was also possible to have that many full nodes in the cloud, but he preferred having the hardware, as this was much more decentralized.
Our reporter had a wonderful time with Mr. Jones and hopes to interview him again one day.
 

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