My final block size compilation post
Let me start of by saying that the narrative that “everyone wants the best for Bitcoin” is false. I thought that was true a couple of months ago, before I went deeper down the rabbit hole. I now realize that I was naive and didn’t know what was going on at all.
I have been actively trying to spread awareness, educate people, debunk misinformation,… for quite some time about the block size debate, Core vs BU, hard fork vs soft fork,… Even though I feel that there are more people around now that realize what’s going on and are educated, it’s just very demanding to battle the lies and misinformation being spread. I know that they are using the the tactic that if you keep telling lies enough, people will eventually believe them, while the people who are actually trying to tell the truth and educate people are getting frustrated and giving up.
I got into crypto end of 2013/early 2014. I started following Bitcoin end of 2013 but bought my first coins in January 2014. There was a huge altcoin bubble in 2014, I became a trader. I saw crypto as a way to make some extra money while I kept working. I’m a self-employed online marketing/UX consultant, which I started doing in 2010. I thought Bitcoin was nice, but didn’t really see it more as a way to make money at that time.
Because I was spending more time trading Bitcoin, I read more about it and slowly got more interested in the technology, the advantages,… Then when the block size debate started, I still didn’t care that much about it really. I thought the devs would figure it out fast, and that it was just a small hiccup along the way.
When the block size debate wasn’t resolved fast, I started to get more into it. And I admit at first Bitcoin Classic seemed logical, I mean increasing the block size to 2 MB isn’t that hard right? Just a fast hard fork and that’s it.
Boy, was I wrong. I read more about it, talked to some devs and came to the obvious conclusion: no, that will not work. Not just because a hard fork takes ages for preparation, but it will obviously result in a split like ETH/ETC, which is a bad thing. So first you need to optimize the space you have, before you eventually expand.
At this point I got more vocal about it, I saw through the false information that some of the (former) leading people in Bitcoin were trying to spread. That was just the tip of the iceberg I found out later.
Once you start getting a certain reputation in the community, people come to you with information/screenshots/chatlog dumps/email dumps. I learned a lot and it didn’t make me any more positive about the whole “debate”.
I’m grateful for the Bitcoin community, I’ve talked with a lot of interesting people. It’s still surprising me every day how approachable many of the developers and other crypto-famous people are. I’m very grateful that I had the chance to do that, you know who you are, I’m not going to name them since I might forget someone. I even managed to get quite a few job offers, which is quite flattering. Just to make it clear: I’ve never been paid to write/post anything.
On the other hand you have the people that just consider me an anonymous troll. If that helps you sleep better at night, feel free to believe that. There are plenty of people in the community that know my real identity. The only reason that I remain “anonymous” at this point is that there are sadly a lot of people with bad intentions here too. I’ve had so many hack attempts on my Twitter and gmail account that I’ve lost count.
I’ve learned that the best way to make your point and have people remember it/think about it is to use humor, what some people call trolling can also just be considered satire and since the whole debate is political I guess it can even be considered political satire.
About the miners
There is nothing new to say here.
- Bitmain sells 70%+ of all the asics worldwide.
- Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu dislikes Bitcoin Core. He publicly attacked BTCC for supporting Bitcoin Core and supporting Segwit.
- Their main pool remains “neutral”, the other pools they finance/provide hashpower to mine BU. (ViaBTC, GBMiners,…). Funny: look into GBMiners, their CEO is running a ponzi.
- Chinese miners and pools completely depend on Bitmain for their equipment, if they don’t do what Jihan tells them to, they don’t get equipment.
- Bitmain actively started a fud campaign against Bitcoin Core on Chinese forums (8btc) and social media/chat groups.
BU would give miners full control of Bitcoin, more so if 1 company controls the majority of the miners. This is a huge risk. Miners would obviously love it if they had more control over Bitcoin.
Not all miners have bad intentions though. While Antpool is still mining empty blocks from time to time (“because we can”-Jihan), Bitfury for example cleaned up a lot of small, low fee transactions with over 3.3K transactions in a single block.
Edit: Bitfury even managed to get over 4.4k transactions in 1 block
I’ve done a piece on them before, they are still actively trying to spread lies about Bitcoin Core and Segwit, but I recently found out that Roger Ver has 30+ employees working for him at bitcoin.com. One has to wonder why a simple website as bitcoin.com, with a very small mining pool has that many employees. It certainly wouldn’t have anything to do with posting on /r/btc to make the subreddit look active and use it to spread more misinformation ( Who on earth has time to read/write the huge posts that this “random” user writes: https://www.reddit.com/user/ydtm).
When a news outlet, and I’m using this term very loosely since it’s mostly used to pump Rogers altcoin holdings, starts writing articles with quotes from “random” redditors (see https://news.bitcoin.com/cost-full-bitcoin-node/), you know that there’s something fishy going on. Funny to note though that “BeijingBitcoins” was probably sitting at the desk next to the author of that article since he’s also working for and being paid by Roger Ver. “BeijingBitcoins” is Ver’s Chinese propaganda guy, sorry “Business development”. He used to work for Bitmain and is now going around China setting up meetings with miners to try to convince them with lies to switch to Bitcoin Unlimited.
This is a tricky subject which is often used to cry wolf, much more so than the previous ones. Let me start of by stating the obvious: Not a single Bitcoin Core dev is a moderator on /r/bitcoin or has anything to say about its moderation policy. The reason why some (there are ~100 so only a few of them) Bitcoin Core developers are active there is because it is currently the biggest community. Claiming you don’t like Segwit or Bitcoin Core because of censorship makes no sense. The 2 are not even remotely connected. Come up with some real arguments.
There is a fine line between moderation and censorship and sometimes that line gets blurry. However it really is needed to keep /r/bitcoin efficiently moderated. The stronger moderation policy started with the start of BitcoinXT. This was because in every single thread, not even closely related to scaling or alternative clients, people would start brigading and bringing up XT. The same thing we can witness now and the moderators have to carefully decide what they allow and what they won’t since everything gets out of hand that quickly.
For example as soon as there is a scaling/BU related thread on /r/bitcoin, someone posts it on /r/btc and the thread will get overrun with aggressive shills and voting bots.
The claim that /r/btc isn’t censored, very open and not manipulated is one of the biggest lies that’s being spread in the current Bitcoin community. Read this awesome post.
Putting all that aside I think that Reddit has been way too lenient when it comes to /r/btc.
- Roger Ver bought /r/btc, which is against Reddit rules
- Roger Ver pays most of the moderators… which is against Reddit rules
- Roger Ver is using /r/btc to promote his website (commercial use)… which once again is against Reddit rules.
- The mods endorse doxxing, as long as the doxxing is someone Core related, else they’ll ban you asap.
- Personal attacks, physical harm threats against Core developers, stalking,… all those things are allowed.
Being neutral and respecting each other’s views
This really annoys me. This is almost worse than the dishonest narrative being spread by Roger & Jihan.
- Respect: works both ways. If you don’t respect me or the people I’m associated with, then why should I respect you? To be the bigger person? This isn’t kindergarten. If I debunk your arguments for the 5th time and you keep repeating the same nonsensical argument, you are clearly not too bright or have bad intentions either way I lose respect for you.
- Other views/perspective: This one is the worst. People who deny the holocaust happened also have a different perspective. People who say that the earth is flat have a different view. People who claim that no one has ever been on the moon, have a different view. If you can give factual proof that the other person is wrong, it’s not a f*cking perspective, it’s a f*cking lie. A perspective is about something subjective, like the kind of color you like, something objective isn’t a view. It’s a fact or a lie.
So when I got this reply on Twitter from Jameson Lopp it really annoyed me.
First he implies that I don’t write constructive articles: I wrote a Segwit ELI5 information FAQ. I’ve explained how Segwit works and how Segwit is an actual block size increase and can be rolled out very fast to many people. Then he tries to claim the moral high ground with his remark about different perspectives. That’s just plain wrong. I call a liar a liar. If I can prove with facts/math that the other person is wrong, it makes him/her a liar. End of story.
Many of the Bitcoin company CEO’s claim to be neutral, yet at the last Satoshi Roundtable 90% supported Segwit. Once again though you can be neutral on something subjective as “I think the color of the Bitcoin avatar/icon should be red instead of the current orange”. You can’t be neutral on scaling/segwit/BU since it has impact on your core business. All businesses benefit from Segwit, it’s a no-brainer.
There are also companies that argue that they didn’t really test it yet/didn’t look into it much. Please fire the CEO and CTO of those companies. Testnet was live since May 2016. If you still didn’t look into it, what are you doing being a Bitcoin company?
Another false narrative is people trying to compromise. If you’re not a dev or don’t understand properly how Bitcoin works, don’t try to create a compromise. Please watch the following video and realize you’re trying to do the same thing:
One of the first comments you get when you highlight who is behind BU and blocking segwit is “AD HOMINEM! DIDN’T READ ANY FURTHER CUZ AD HOMINEM”.
You get slapped around with the following quote:
Fair enough, I agree with that up to a certain point.
You want to discuss the idea of the Segwit?
- Current Segwit adoption page has 106 companies/wallets/exchanges signed up: https://bitcoincore.org/en/segwit_adoption/
- Bitcoin Core capacity increase FAQ: https://bitcoincore.org/en/2015/12/23/capacity-increases-faq/
- Bitcoin Core Segwit Benefits: https://bitcoincore.org/en/2016/01/26/segwit-benefits/
- All kinds of other Segwit : https://medium.com/@SegWit.co
Lies about segwit:
- Someone can steal your segwit coins.
- Segwit isn’t a real increase and will take ages to take advantage off. Wrong, all wallets are ready and as soon as it’s activated it will be a big increase (~2.1MB throughput)
- Technical debt.
- It’s untested, it’s not, it’s the most tested feature in Bitcoin in recent history before a release. Companies have been actively testing since May 2016.
- It needs to be a hard fork to work properly.
I don’t think I even need to discuss the idea of BU, but in short: it will definitely cause multiple unwanted forks. Bitcoin Core devs warned about this before. If you still need more information why, read Aarons articles about it: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/how-bitcoin-unlimited-users-may-end-different-blockchains/ ; https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/why-bitcoin-unlimiteds-emergent-consensus-gamble/ .
If you want to know more about how Satoshi was against multiple implementations. Funny comment by Gavin in that same thread:
I wrote an entire section here about who is behind the lies and misinformation being spread in regards of soft fork vs hard fork, Segwit vs BU, BU vs Core, but I decided to leave it out. I know how this works. You can write an article and then people will look for 1 thing they can use against it and claim it’s not relevant or it’s fud. Even though I do believe that some people should be called out.
I want to end this on something positive. The way Satoshi wanted Bitcoin to be: controlled by the users and not by 1 tiny group (the miners). That’s why I like the idea of User Activated Soft Forks (UASF). More information you can find on Reddit and on the Bitcoin mailing list.
Flag day activation of soft forks is safe, elegant and doesn’t require majority of the miners. The idea isn’t that new, for many people it’s a new concept though and I’ve already read a lot of misinformation and desperate lies about it. I’ve seen it discussed a while back by some devs and I actually really like the idea. It’s giving the power back to the nodes, the way Bitcoin was designed to be and not to be held hostage at gunpoint.
I want to encourage you all to educate yourself, don’t just blindly believe anything anyone tells you. You will be surprised how many people are just full of bullshit and either don’t understand how Bitcoin works at all… or they do and they just spread false information on purpose. Filter out the fake news.
I fully support Core as they have the technical knowledge and skills to make Bitcoin great again. This isn’t the place for political fights, yet they do happen. We should listen to the technical community, not a couple of individuals that have no technical knowledge and their only achievement was buying Bitcoin when it was cheap.
This will for now be my last post on Segwit and block size debate, since it drains a lot of energy from me and I’m going to focus more on my trading again and some interesting consultancy jobs.
PS: If you enjoyed reading this feel free to donate something at 1FMy1kpeCY7BESwUaVcM5XAy1bmaWJaXKv. With the previous donations my wife was able to buy toys for 7 children in an orphanage for Christmas. Everything is greatly appreciated, but I don’t do it for the money. I just sometimes get people who ask how they can donate :).