Deconomy 2018 saw shots fired from both bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) camps. Roger Ver (BCH advocate) accusing Samson Mow (BTC advocate) of setting back digital currency by years and crying out that babies are dying in third world countries because of not being able to help the unbanked quick enough and Samson Mow acting too cool for school. Even Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum taking aim at BCH advocate Craig Wright.
But, let us take a step back and have a look at how this all came about and why it is escalating. The reason Bitcoin Cash exists is because of differing viewpoints in the bitcoin community. Some questioned the scalability of bitcoin and believed that bigger block sizes was one of the best ways to go about this.
Others did not believe this would help and would weigh down the chain. After not being able to come to a unanimous agreement, there was a hard fork on 1st of August 2017 creating Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash hopes to solve bitcoin's scalability problem whilst achieving faster process speeds and ensuring lower fees. The one notable feature that makes Bitcoin Cash different is, as discussed above, the block size. Compared to bitcoin's 1MB size Bitcoin Cash has upped their block size to 8MB.
Roger Ver, is the CEO of bitcoin.com and was a BTC advocate for many years and was even nicknamed 'Bitcoin Jesus', is now a BCH advocate. Ver is not a developer, but he is passionate about getting digital currency out into the world as quickly as possible and fervently believes that BCH is the only current way to do this. Ver, on paper seems like a great guy, according to Wikipedia:
Roger Keith Ver (born January 27, 1979 is an early investor in bitcoin related startups. He identifies as a libertarian, an anarcho-capitalist, peace advocate and advocates for individualism and voluntaryism.
But unfortunately, in real life, he is less charming than his Wiki. A terrible interview where Ver lost his cool in November last year saw Ver 'rage quitting' an interview. Numerous memes and mocking ensued from this interview. With hundreds of thousands of views, it spread like wildfire. Bitcoin Error Log, who was interviewing Ver at the time of his 'rage quitting' continued, as many of us do, to call Bitcoin Cash 'Bcash' and inferred that Ver employed sneaky tactics to get the word out for BCH which set Ver off.
Ver issued an apology shortly after the interview, saying that is how to not keep your cool and that we are all human. But Ver continues to rub people the wrong way and in turn, so do many of the BCH devotees. Reddit is full of BCH subs where BCH advocates are as volatile as the price of bitcoin. Defending Ver for every little indiscretion and vehemently touting Bitcoin Cash as the one and only bitcoin. Even the @bitcoin handle on Twitter seems to be owned by a BCH devotee which lacks the much needed gravitas of the BCH community. The Twitter handle @bitcoin was recently removed from the current owner, of whom we do not know who it is (many believing it is Ver) and was given to someone else before BCH community backlash ensued and the original owner reinstated.
Quick recap of what happened to the @Bitcoin account:— Bitcoin (@Bitcoin) April 9, 2018
1. ~36hrs ago I discovered the account had been suspended.
2. A new account using the same username began posting nonsense.
3. Community&media outrage ensued
4. Now reinstated, with 750,000 fewer followers than it had before
BCH advocates accusing Twitter owner Jack Dorsey of doing this on purpose as Dorsey had recently donated money to Elizabeth Stark's Lightning Labs which is an open protocol layer created to help BTC with its speed and efficiency. Elizabeth Stark and Samson Mow have worked together on Lightning Networks and are both vocal supports of BTC. Samson Mow is Blockstream's CSO and Pixelmatic's CEO. At Deconomy he spoke about how blockchain technology is in its infancy and needs to be handled with care. He said:
"I think scaling Bitcoin, we have to take into consideration the computer science aspect of it. We can't just make things up. We actually have to look at the code and we have to follow the consensus rule, so if you look at what Bitcoin Core has been doing, is they've been scaling all along so that everything is backwards compatible."
Mow was accused of being too lax and wearing his distaste for Ver on his sleeve at Deconomy. From what I have seen, although Samson is a smart guy, he is not the best public speaker. I think his nerves got to him and lets face it, Im not sure anyone would know how to handle Roger Ver. The war continued on Twitter with both BTC and BCH advocates choosing Ver or Mow as their hero.
Woke up last night in a cold sweat. Guilt is unbearable. https://t.co/h4fS4v19Or— Samson Mow (@Excellion) April 5, 2018
This whole fiasco bought up the question when we are trying to create a better world, why would we lower ourselves to fighting over which is better? One Reddit user responded to the question:
"The war itself is not childish or ridiculous. It is the very appropriate battle for the future of money. Some of the tactics being employed by one side are childish and ridiculous, and those tactics, unfortunately (deliberately) reduce the conversation to appear that we're all that way. I'm afraid that this is not the time for moderation. If we value freedom, this is the time for sticking to principles."
I'm not sure how employing derogatory tactics is sticking to principles. Especially when most of the general public does not even know there is a war going on and the crypto community just want to see who can come up with something great, something that moves crypto forward. The petty arguments do reduce the conversation, but you could look at it as a bit of 'healthy competition', so long as we do our best not to have a repeat of Deconomy as that was just painful to watch! What do you think? Do you prefer BTC over BCH or would you like to see both spaces evolve and see what they bring to the table? Make sure you let me know on Twitter! @CaseyLPyne