Why I am Leaving Bitcoin Unlimited

Amaury Séchet
Mar 25, 2019 · 3 min read

I originally became interested in Bitcoin because of the potential I saw that it could be a civilization changing technology. By combining the properties of hard money, with the convenience of digital cash at scale, it had the potential to greatly increase global freedom and prosperity. I decided to become active in Bitcoin development when I saw that this potential was threatened by the direction Bitcoin Core was steering the project. My motivation has always been the same: to help create sound money that is convenient and usable for the whole world.

Even though it wasn’t the first time I played with the Bitcoin protocol, contributing to BU was the first time I did so publicly. It was quickly apparent to me that there were serious problems with the development process, and I wasn’t the only one who saw things this way. I decided to provide support on that front, but unfortunately, I was met with resistance, for instance by opening a new pull request for a feature, instead of addressing the feedback provided. Failure to address these problems lead to a failure to activate large blocks properly on testnet and a series of 4 vulnerabilities allowing to bring nodes down remotely which ruined any chances for a majority big block fork.

You might think this is appalling, but, for better or worse, the reality of the software industry is that most software is built this way. Such practices are, however, incompatible with the development of crypto currencies, and so Bitcoin ABC was created in order to power what would become Bitcoin Cash. Here is an accurate historical account of the events by freetrader, who was one of the most important developers in the inception of Bitcoin Cash.

Eventually, Bitcoin Unlimited would improve, and who knows, maybe even Bitcoin ABC would become unnecessary. Or so I thought.

Antony ‘Mengerian’ Zegers recently decided to resign from Bitcoin Unlimited. He was one of the first to join, and certainly one of the most important members BU has had. This departure led me to reconsider my involvement in BU, as a member.

Today, BU membership is composed of numerous BSV supporters. Not only some of them think that suing developers (including myself) providing open source software for free is good, but many are openly hostile to Bitcoin Cash. The BUIP process has turned into a sad joke, with proposals more and more absurd being voted on. BU leaders are complacent and, while saying that the attitude of the BSV community will cost them developer support, they continue to enable the toxic behavior by supporting BSV.

As if this wasn’t enough, it all comes with a revisionist view of history and backstabbing of the talent who made Bitcoin Cash a reality. Hopefully, and once again, freetrader provides an accurate record of history and refutes the illegitimate accusations from BU leadership.

When it all happens over an extended duration, the pattern is not immediately apparent, but after taking a break and looking back, the accumulation is simply too damning to ignore. It is no wonder that smart and talented people such as Antony decides to leave, and this is why I’m doing what I should have done a long time ago: resigning my BU membership.

The Bitcoin Cash project seeks to bring more freedom to the world by engaging in voluntary cooperation to build a better form of money. It is important that the Bitcoin Cash community protect itself from people and groups attempting to take advantage of its cooperative nature and undermine the project. This means employing the principle of reciprocity, and detaching from those who are not willing to cooperatively reciprocate.

Thanks to you Antony, for having the courage to stand up for what is right and to all Bitcoin Cash supporters who are doing an amazing job building services and pushing adoption. Times have been difficult for Bitcoin Cash supporters lately, but as we say in France, “It is in adversity that true friends are revealed”. I now know you are my true friends, and the ones I should spend my time with. My goal is to help make Bitcoin Cash successful. Life is too short, and convenient sound money is a goal too important to be distracted from.

25th of September 2019 addition: A vote recently took place for BU to split its holding 50/50 between BTC and BCH. It was rejected.

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