Why I'm on the Bitcoin SV Train
A friend asked me recently, "Are you on the Bitcoin SV train yet?" At the time I was wearing a BCH T-shirt, but I thought for a second and said "Yeah... I am, TBH." I guess I was already on the train before I realized, because it wasn't a tough decision. So here's where I explain why I'm here.
I've been working in crypto media and PR for years now, so I've seen a lot happen. I also understand the ecosystem and the people in it pretty well. There's a lot of hype, hope, idealism, greed, and bullshit. And I've also met a lot of very cool people, some of whom are now my best friends. I've learned a lot and it's changed the way I think, so much that I'd probably be a completely different person now had Bitcoin not come along (and so would the rest of you probably be too).
Like BCH in August 2017, what grabbed me first was seeing the people I listened to most follow that chain. I hadn't expected that at first. I don't profess to know everything about the backend or economics of Bitcoin, and my predictions are often wrong -- so I rely on guides and teachers and take their advice when it proves reliable. Big blocks were not only feasible but the only way for Bitcoin to work, they said, so I joined them. So far, I haven't seen anything to suggest they were wrong. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Bitcoin Cash was a great idea at the time, and I'm glad they forked it away from Blockstream's BTC. I believe in on-chain scaling and optional payment networks. I don't want to be forced to use the clunky and comically buggy Lightning Network, which was touted as Bitcoin's greatest innovation and rushed out long before it was out of beta testing (or even alpha testing really).
The same people who touted Bitcoin as the world's new currency with cheap transfers anywhere were now walking around saying "HODL", waiting for the price to hit a million, and ridiculing others for wanting low tx fees or even dreaming of using Bitcoin for everyday purchases. Neither I, nor most Bitcoiners (of any variety) would've joined this circus in the early 2010s if Bitcoin had been sold to us like that.
Their attacks on BCH were childish and oddly uniform, their arguments often without substance. As with politics, that's usually a sign for me that someone's on the right side. And looking at the landscape objectively, all I saw was a Bitcoin that had been co-opted by a company with dubious connections that seemed antithetical to cryptocurrency principles. BTC may hit a million someday and they'll see that as its greatest achievement. But all I wanted was money I could use without the political interference, delays and censorship that plague the failing and degenerate fiat financial system.
BTC ain't that.
I was dismayed at the idea of a Bitcoin Cash chain split, and I'm still kind of annoyed it happened. That's why I didn't jump into BSV right away; I hoped there would be a reconciliation. But then history repeated itself -- people I respected followed SV, the "main-chainers" began with the name-calling and arguments aimed at people rather than technology.
I still know a lot of cool people in BCH, and I still don't think BCH as it currently stands is a horrible idea. But it's been condemned to the fringes with few high-profile evangelists or any clear group message about why it's the best version of Bitcoin. The momentum is gone, the community fragmented and unenthusiastic.
There's also a feeling that Jihan Wu and his team at Bitmain let the BCH team down massively -- and I agree. Bitmain went from backing new initiatives with conferences and investment, to almost-total radio silence as it pursued an ill-fated IPO, then to... nothing. I know it's not healthy to rely too much on one large corporation to support everything, but right at the point BCH could have used some big-name support, Bitmain vanished into the mist and left a bunch of projects dangling in the wind.
Others notice that and it turns them off; stops them from getting involved or working on anything new. However genuine some of the BCH devs and supporters are as people, I think it will live in obscurity from here on.
The Train Arrives
Then, right at the point that all happened, here's Bitcoin SV with an actual vision and purpose, a better claim to be the "real Bitcoin", and a community with the panache to sell its ideas.
So I "switched". I jumped on the train.
People ask me "so you believe Craig Wright is Satoshi then?" Actually I have no idea, and I don't care. He said himself once that we shouldn't follow gurus and he was right. I've spoken to Craig a few times as part of my job since 2014 and met him in person a few times. It though his ideas were on the right track, and... well, he's pretty entertaining to listen to or drink with. For the record, so is Jimmy Nguyen. And I've never met Calvin Ayre, but I like the way he does business, especially media.
I think Bitcoin should have a reference client, a firm base protocol that can't be changed, and creative people dreaming up -- and building -- new ways to use it. Projects like Metanet look amazing, even though only a few people really grasp what it's for.
I believe Bitcoin must have a friendly face if it wants to become widely-used. Whatever you believe underneath, you'll never be allowed to replace the existing financial system if your main selling point is "smash the banks and take down the government". It's one of the reasons Bitcoin (BTC) hasn't made as much traction as it could have over the past 10 years -- Investors might love it and more normies have heard of it, but it's still too hard to find regular businesses using, either for B2B or regular transactions. It isn't widely used even in situations it would be perfect, like international transactions or failing economies. Not enough people trust it, or see it as a realistic alternative.
Bitcoin SV is solving that problem with its mainstream-friendly message. After a decade in crypto you might not be 100% comfortable with that message, but it's necessary. The internet had to put on several more normie-friendly hats and increase its functionality before it really took off -- so does cryptocurrency.
And that's where I am now. The Bitcoin SV train is the only one worth catching, and it's moving fast. Jump on and enjoy the ride.
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