Vandalism Is Not The New Consensus
Bitmain Israel is a small office. There are 6 of us, men and women, most of us are with families. We develop and operate ConnectBTC, a mining pool designed to be easy to use and informative to both home and professional miners.
We wake up in the morning, go to work, and spend our days doing our best to develop the best possible pool. We engage and discuss with our customers; Their needs are our priority.
I met Nadav Ivgi for the first time in November 2015. He was presenting to a group of angel investors and I was lucky enough to be present.
“Seems very smart, but he is missing an understanding of customers and business” was the repeating message in the discussion following his presentation. I heard good things about him and suggested we revisit once he gets a partner who will cover the marketing aspect of the business. We never revisited, I’m not sure what he or the company did next
If you don’t know who Nadav Ivgi is, he has been very vocal against any discussion or compromise with big blockers including his recent refusal to participate in Barry Silbert’s compromise. For those who hadn’t read his post, the main message underlying it is “There will be no Bitcoin but the Bitcoin I want”
In recent months, Nadav has been getting more and more vocal in the online community against Bitmain. He was not happy with the global company. I asked him to meet in person, hoping for a challenging and invigorating discussion. Sadly for me the discussion was less interesting then I hoped. Instead of challenging assumptions, the same assertions were repeated, counter arguments ignored and I left with the feeling that an opportunity was missed. I have not learned anything new and was not able to teach anything new. But that’s life, can’t win them all.
The attacks kept coming, even got personal at times. I disengaged. What’s the point of talking if there’s no one listening? That time will be better spent elsewhere. I left an open invitation to Nadav and anyone else that’s interested in talking to come visit our office, have coffee, and discuss.
But coffee and discussion was not what he was after. As we stopped responding online and did not engage, he decided to escalate. During the last weekend, at nighttime, while the office was closed and we were away, he infiltrated the building where our office is and decided to go on a good old fashion vandalism streak, posting messages threatening our employees.
This is a time of trial for Bitcoin, a time when communities, ideas and visions clash. We will be forged in this hour and the way we solve things today will set the tone for how the Bitcoin community solves its issues in the future.
I have little expectation that Nadav will apologize for what he has done. Once the act was discovered, we have chosen not to publish his deeds. The physical damage was minimal and our hope was that this will not become the new norm, or worse, a starting point from where these excursions will escalate. People should be able to go work, do their jobs and get back home without walking into the parking lot in pairs. Nadav however, decided this is something to be proud of. This is his moment to rally the troops and go to war.
I consider myself very fortunate to be part of this amazing community and I’m sure that the vast majority of the community will join me in saying that a line has been crossed. We are better than this and we deserve better than this. We are in the midst of a revolution, we will not let the extremists set the tone.