Three Things The Great Bitcoin (BSV) Developer Unwriter Is Wrong About

Bitcoin App Dev
Aug 24, 2019 · 6 min read
Image for post
Image for post

It’s cool and fun to act like we care about Bitcoin, and we love BSV, and all that warm fuzzy juju, isn’t it?

So nice making so many friends who love each other and hate “bcash” and “SegWit coin”.

Yaaaaayyyy Commmuuuunity!!!

And yet… Seth Godin tells me to denigrate the status quo if I want to make something happen.

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m a clueless n00b and that’s the way I likes it.

So, much respect to Unwriter and other transaction masters killing it in the bit game.


If you’re around Bitcoin SV, you might have seen me gently trolling Unwriter lately.

Frankly, they (until I know he’s a “he” I’m going with “they”… deal with it) seem to have some misconceptions about economics and the big picture of Bitcoin.

Since influencers in BSV appear not to “like” me anyway, and I’m waiting until February, at least, to see what CSW does etc before I build anything major, I figured I’d go ahead and point out three elements I find unscalable in what I perceive to be Unwriter’s philosophy.

I’m still gonna use DataPay, Bitbus, Planaria, etc… I love this un-dude!

But here’s three things they get wrong so far:

1. We should tip in BSV because that’s a beneficial economic activity

Obviously popular among the BSV society.

Give this man Bitcoins! Woo hoo! Next stop, mass adoption!!!

But, as I replied:

Tipping does not scale.

But please, don’t take my word for it, just ask Ella Qiang, who is an awesome RelayX superwallet team member!


It’s kinda why, when I used to be a poor beggar / street performer, I noticed poorer-looking people tended to give me more money.

Sad but true.

Sales (of real value-adding products and services) and investment are the foundations of economic growth.

I’m not against micro-services. But that oughta be an act of buying, not tipping, for economic growth.

I reached out to the musician, @marcrebillet to see about making a deal to sell his music on the blockchain.

Who knows, anything’s possible! I’m down to partner with artists.

2. “Owning data doesn’t give you any competitive advantage in the Bitcoin world thanks to the open nature of the ledger.”

Bitbus is really cool. I plan to use it once I feel confident that the BSV protocol is “set in stone.”

But owning, organizing, and optimizing data does give you an advantage and always will.

Here’s my reply:

In “the Bitcoin world,” privacy laws still apply.

CSW can claim that “privacy is dead,” and he has.

But he has preached all the more that Bitcoin exists in the real world.

I agree much more passionately with the latter sentiment.

It’s awesome to see people putting EDI on the blockchain:

But that data must be encrypted, or else everyone will be auto-doxxed, know what I’m saying?

In a “Duck Creation” online store example, Joshua Henslee delights Marianne Jett with his on-chain EDI for a purchase:

Press “Play” above to see the EDI screen shot.

Great vid, worth watching in full.

But we can see all the customer data on chain, there.

I know it’s just a fun example, but it’s important for app devs to understand that privacy and user controls matter, a lot, legally.

And if we do put sensitive customer data, or “PII” on chain, we can’t get rid of that evidence of our crime.

So, we need to be a lot more careful about what data we publish, in a Bitcoin world.

Customer data (aka the most valuable data) aside, a Bitcoin world would allow for transparency but smart companies would probably encrypt user info, too.

Facebook shares tons of user data in its Audience-building tool for advertisers.

Sure, anyone can use that data for niche research, and many do.

But it’s a no-brainer to run ads on Facebook, because it’s convenient, as they give you the data, and they have all the users, right there on one platform.

I use Scrapebox and I love it. That is a cool piece of software.

It lets me scrape and download anything from anywhere on the Internet.

Hell yeah.

Need to schedule a few months of Facebook posts?

Scrape and auto-download images for your niche’s keywords, pay someone a few bucks an hour to schedule them as posts, and you’re done!

That simple.

Guess what else I can get with Scrapebox?

Any publicly-available data at all.

Just like anyone will be able to do in the Bitcoin world.

It’s the same.

Data we choose to make public can be made public.

And that which we choose to keep private, may be kept private.

The advantage comes from the ability to optimize marketing.

Facebook could dox everyone in the world, and yet:

Only advertisers who know their Key Performance Indicator metrics (KPIs) and keep their ad campaigns within KPI will scale up successfully.

Hashing is already used in big data architecture, whether for paid ads or SEO, to manipulate / put content in front of users without technically knowing their identity and violating their privacy.

In that sense, I do agree with CSW about privacy being “dead.” If they can get to ya without even knowing ya, that’s… even scarier, no?

Same deal, in every world, regardless of the backend.

If anything, it will be more challenging for app devs because there’s the “gotcha” of knowing that if they mess up and put any sensitive customer data on the blockchain, they’re screwed.

3. Robots will take over the world, or something like that

Like the unster says, it’s a 3 step process:

Except BSV is not censorship-resistant, as CSW points out in his blog.

Maybe I should say it’s not censorship-proof.

But, you get what I’m saying?

Miners could collude and censor anything, and they must, for illicit transactions.

I’m going to reply to this tweet by referencing another tweet as feels appropriate:

Robots can’t prosper.

They have no sense of prosperity or poverty.

They are machines, “living” in a human world.

Even Bitcoin, without being fueled by human money in transactions, has no use and can’t grow, let alone “prosper.”

Interesting story.

And maybe Unwriter is just sort of personifying the robots and isn’t serious about that aspect of it.

Bottom line, the autonomous robot “economy” has never been, and will never be, independent of human input.

How could it? Human money is required to pay for electricity.

Robots will always be dependent on humans for something, and if malicious terminator-style robots do take over the world, the last thing we will need to worry about is Bitcoin.

As an origin myth, I like what Unwriter offers in the above three-step fantasy tale.

But it’s just not really how Bitcoin has come about or how it will develop.

It will be through more efficient economic processes, not necessarily “pure” but more efficient, that businesses will be won over, and then businesses will influence the people and governments.

Summary: What’s Unwriter wrong about, again?

  1. Owning data isn’t an advantage? Sure it is, if you can optimize it!
  2. Autonomous robots make bitcoin win? Maybe in part, but not in a “robots take over” kind of way. Business use cases will lead to mass adoption.

Or maybe I’m wrong about all of the above.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store