DAA Manager Insights: Third Eye Array (Part 1)
Dan Verowski of Third Eye Array believes blockchain has the potential to change the world for the better. He weighs in on the Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash debate, Ethereum’s move to proof of stake, and many other topics in his interview. Dan has a lot to say on these topics, so this DAA Manager Insights interview will be published in two parts.
You seem to be a fan of BTC, with a 25% weight of BTC in your TEA DAA and no BCH in your portfolio. Why is that? In the “About DAA” section of your DAA description, you say “The Third Eye Array (TEA) is for everyone who longs to leave this world a better place.” Do you think BTC best represents this philosophy?
So far, the only decentralized protocol that has had a running and well-tested use case in the real world for nearly ten years is bitcoin. With hundreds of devs and peer-reviewed code submitted by thousands more, the amount of work and energy put into the project is unprecedented.
The remarkable thing is that all these individuals started working together as equals (in a flat hierarchy) while each contributing something unique. This may have changed over time due to the huge growth in interest and value of the protocol. By no means are the BIP system and off-chain governance, which emerged as a means to improve the code as time and external factors change, the best possible solution, but for now the system works and is being improved on by the bitcoin community and other projects.
As some people well know, the open-source nature of the bitcoin protocol invites others to fork, change the source code, and create their own network. In some cases, this makes sense, such as if you want to change the random math problem verified by miners with a specific calculation, let’s say for folding proteins or processing deep-space radio signals. But this has also been taken as far as forking the code, changing nothing but the logo and name, and releasing it as a new currency (see Dogecoin).
In August 2017, a small group of people decided to fork the bitcoin source code to address the issue of scalability/throughput with bigger block sizes. They stated that this was Satoshi’s true vision and hence that they were continuing to mine on the bitcoin blockchain instead of creating a new ledger. This led to a user activated soft fork (UASF) without replay protection, which means that all private keys that held bitcoin (BTC) before August 2017 received the same amount of bitcoin cash (BCH). The missing replay protection meant that once the private keys were accessed on the BCH chain, the equivalent BTC addresses were exposed. Once a transaction has been signed with the private key on the new ledger, which is publicly visible, anyone can start a replay attack on the old ledger.
Shortly after the fork was activated, several bugs were encountered that impeded the launch. This may have happened because only one developer was working on the code.
The subversive means by which this small group of individuals continues to try to rebrand bitcoin as bitcoin cash (e.g. by buying the @bitcoin Twitter handle, /r/bitcoin Reddit handle, and the website bitcoin.com) are crude and costly. Their aim is essentially to con people into buying BCH, while thinking they are buying “real” bitcoin. This is called malicious intent and keeps us as a human species in the rat race of rivalrous environments.
Cooperation and partnership is what can help us progress into a future that is not overpopulated and polarized. Decentralized ledgers can help catalyze disintermediation and develop a sense of collectivity and collective decision-making — if we believe in and build them.
The story is neverending. The recent publication of Bitmain’s balance sheets shows a huge position of somewhat illiquid BCH, which, given that they have previously been moved, suggests that they were bought with BTC. This is all in accordance with previous statements by Bitmain about a more easily controlled currency.
Let’s not sugarcoat the high risk of centralization for bitcoin due to proof of work and mining monopolies.
Nonetheless, these are, however, issues that are tangible and transparent and that can and will be tackled due to the immense amount of work and effort poured into the source code and into the development of second and meta layers of bitcoin over the past decade.
I’d love to go into why I view DLT as a simulacrum of nature, but that would be too much for this interview. I’ll be sure to push out a blog post on this topic very soon!