Is this Bitcoin’s Apocalypto Moment?
At the end of Mel Gibson’s 2006 epic Apocalypto, there is as frantic chase through the Mesoamerican rainforest. A young father from an idyllic hunting village desperately flees two raiders from the decadent city; they want him for human sacrifice. It’s a life-or-death, not-so-historically-accurate, morality play. This symbol rich struggle between city and village, sophisticated and innocent is fantastically important to all involved.
However, the chase suddenly emerges from the dense jungle onto the beach. The three men freeze, dumbfounded. Just off shore are newly arriving Spanish frigates delivering conquistadors, Christianity, and smallpox. The battle lines have been completely redrawn.
This scene comes to mind when I consider Bitcoin’s Great Scaling Debate: Core vs. Unlimited. I’m starting to worry that the infighting, name calling, and conspiracy theories are distracting our community and eroding the confidence of would-be adopters. No doubt, cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and blockchain are here for good. Less clear right now is how central a role Bitcoin itself will get to play. There are viable alternatives that are stealing a march on Bitcoin as the stalemate continues.
I’m for larger blocks, so I run a BU node. I also believe we need Segregated Witness, with its malleability fix, more efficient signature storage, and scaffolding for Lightning (go Rusty Russell).
It’s time for civility and compromise. The ships are on the horizon.
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.