Garzik’s Guile Glorifies Greed

Jeff Garzik, long known in Bitcoin development circles as the corporate-friendly “colored” coin sponsor — (Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colored_coins) has an updated post on his thoughts about Segregated Witness, or more specifically, the flavor that his centralized overlords approve of — SegWit2x.

(Colored coins are a way to allow banks and governments the ability to track transactions and associate them with individual people. Jeff believes in fostering this ability.)

I won’t bother linking to it, since its thinly-veiled PR piece by a crypto-statist, however if you are curious just hit your favorite search engine and it will be revealed.

Here’s why Jeff is barreling down the wrong path, yet again:

  • System Shock Is Real — SegWit should normally be a gradual upgrade, not the Hard Fork abruptness Garzik wants. With his “upgrade” you have to change software, and then the whiplash of fees going to zero, then back to market levels when they re-establish themselves. Reducing these shocks should be a primary goal, not a secondary consideration in Garzik’s universe.
  • Block Size Sensitivity — Garzik would like to claim there is no effect, but he’s just whistling past the graveyard of bad software design. Why? Because he’s so sure, he doesn’t test it. Just because you think its “likely” doesn’t mean you don’t make sure. Garzik is a champion of sloppy assumptions in this regard.
  • Full Risk Ahead — The method and timeframe of Garzik’s Segwit2x makes it infeasible to employ industry best practices for testing and vetting code. He doesn’t even have a correct written spec for irreversible consensus rule changes — while Garzik claims they are “simple”. He expects everyone to forcibly “upgrade” within 90 days or be exposed to loss of funds. Unacceptable.
  • Rush, rush, rush! — Critical software needs months of testing and collaboration with vendors and third parties before pushing it into production, yet Garzik is just fine with a minimal time schedule with nonexistent testing. This is people’s money at stake, not the next “Flappy Bird”.
  • Apples to Oranges — Garzik cherry-picks and frames his arguments about Core users by focusing on a software wallet library by BLOQ that hasn’t been updated in some time — they are busy with AML/KYC issues — and then makes the Batman-logic leap of applying this narrow case to represent “complexity” of SegWit in general.

The best part, however, is what he DIDN’T mention in his feel-good post.

  • Garzik’s flawed SegWit2x ignores many attack vectors and performance issues (while making some of them even worse) — witness the debate on how to tack on additional consensus rules here — https://github.com/btc1/bitcoin/pull/41 — and given that these rules are changing even now, how can this software be reviewed so close to the deadline?
  • Garzik also failed to mention how SegWit2x was the product of a closed-door agreement between a Venture Capitalist and its investors. They have rejected community review and commentary, for example — https://twitter.com/james_hilliard/status/889196962406379522 — and James wrote the consensus rules Garzik copied! With tactics like these, its obvious that its the antithesis of the open source and collaborative environment of Bitcoin Core.
  • Garzik fails to mention his bias against soft forks, (the method preferred by the inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto), because he can’t stand a method that requires people to opt-in. Garzik prefers to force people into his “vision” by hard forks. His short-sightedness cost him when they had a day-long network fault on their hastily run testnet — a product of a flaw they have yet to correct.

So, in summary, Jeff likes to play the innocent spokesman but he’s part of a movement that wants to integrate fine-grained control over every user of crypto-currencies.

Garzik is a toxic influence on the Bitcoin ecosystem, and its clear that his alliances with corporate influencers and banks makes him the point man for the “Bankster Coin” that they all dream of shoving down everyone’s throats.

No thanks, Jeff — you can keep your centralized badly (if at all) tested version of SegWit2x to yourself.

At least then the only damage will be to your already plummeting reputation.