Without providing background, as I assume you have already been briefed, I write only to voice my personal thoughts on the matter. I felt I could not stay silent as I watch from the sidelines the contention of the blocksize debate radiate into every pore of any Bitcoin-related discussion.
Gmaxwell sent the email shortly after the Extension Blocks proposal was published, exposing Bitmain’s covert exploitation of the ASICBOOST vulnerability while implying the developers behind the Extension Blocks proposal supported it. Subsequent tweets accused the developers to be in bed with Jihan and that they’d built this solution for him.
But many of us personally know the developers. We know their intentions and their actions are consistent with what they say they’re doing; it’s false to jump to the conclusion of conspiracy. The stated intent was to build a bridge between the two warring sides, where extension blocks could be made SegWit compatible while compromising with bigger blocks for the miners.
What followed though was the implication of the developers. Is this what we do to our builders? Isn’t it the slacktivists, the apathetic, the passive, the ones who’ve learned helplessness who enable the status quo?
Sure, the solution asks for compromise from both sides. It requires a bit of trust (adversarial-minded Bitcoiners are writhing in apprehension I’m sure). Have we made the debate so black and white that we can justify the fast thinking of ostracizing the exceptional community members who have the wherewithal to make significant impact on the positive direction of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin has some of the smartest people in the world who operate in the world class arena. Yet somehow the team of world class cryptographers, developers, and intellectuals appear like a bevy of politicians, schoolyard bullies, and chess players. If this is what it looks like when the world’s very best convene in a global virtual war room whilst shouldering the burden of a $17.9 billion economy, then how does the common man even stand a chance to rise to their knees against the status quo?
How can we unite and make progress as the revolutionaries who first saw in Bitcoin the game-changing technology that promised to liberate us from the unilateral control of money from the greedy hands of our controllers if we don’t sidestep the obstacle of ourselves and manage the varied needs, morals, and perspectives of each branch of the community?
Faith. But do we have enough faith in others to make progress?
Coming into Bitcoin, I had the vision most early adopters of Bitcoin had/have. I still do. It’s what keeps me involved with Bitcoin and it’s what I love about it. But as a community we’ve lost sight of this vision and got sucked into the void of technical details and technical scaling. Don’t forget; technology is only as useful as its capacity to serve the betterment of humanity. Amir Taaki’s voice materialized on the Crypto Show just in time this week, as cosmic happenstance would have it. He reminds us that it’s the beating heart that’s shared among members of the Bitcoin community which drives the positive forward movement of Bitcoin; the technology itself is ancillary. Decentralization, censorship-resistance, secure-at-all costs, are but features that serve a much greater just cause. Without the heart and the passion driving the vision, Bitcoin is another empty technology that will serve nobody besides the most autistic among us.
If we cannot get miner adoption or get them to see from our perspective, then it is we who must be the greater (wo)man. We are much stronger united, and unity can only be achieved with compromising, vanquishing blame, and taking a leap of faith for all parties involved. Rage tweets, finger pointing, and making others the butts of jokes is provably effective only as fuel to the forest fire. To build even a semblance of the original idealist’s vision, perhaps we can shift the intense focus on the civil war toward the much broader picture and remembering why we are fighting for Bitcoin in the first place.
Viva la revolución.