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BITCOIN DIVORCE – BITCOIN CORE VS BITCOIN CASH EXPLAINED

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. Dell, Wikipedia and airlines have stopped accepting bitcoin. SatoshiDice and Yours switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users). Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin.
Roger Ver's companies used to use or still use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) are IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08)
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this. He pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have want they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared after 2010, but we can refer to his writings. He wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. SatoshiDice, Yours.org and Bitmain switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. During this time, the controllers of bitcoin and Bitcointalk censored big blockers. Comments that criticized small blocks or supported big blocks, were deleted. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users).
Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin. Roger Ver's companies use use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) is IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08) According to this video, Luke-jr believes that the government should tax you and the government should execute heretics. Luke-jr's values are diametrically opposed to libertarians'.
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this, so he pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
MIKE HEARN EXPLAINS BLOCKSTREAM
Mike Hearn is one of the first Bitcoin developers. He explained how Core/Blockstream developers (source):
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have what they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to btc [link] [comments]

MeWe: A trip report

Among the more frequently mentioned G+ alternatives at the Google+ Mass Migration community, and others, is MeWe with over 250 mentions. The site bills itself as "The Next-Gen Social Network" and the "anti-Facebook": "No Ads, No Political Bias, No Spyware. NO BS. It is headed by professed Libertarian CEO Mark Weinstein.
As the site reveals no public user-generated content to non-members, it's necessary to create an account in order to get a full impression. I thought I'd provide an overview based on recent explorations.
This report leads of with background on the company, though readers may find the report and analysis of specific groups on the site of interest.

Leadership

Founder & CEO Mark Weinstein.
Co-Founder & Chief Scientist, Jonathan Wolfe (no longer with company).
Weinstein previously founded SuperFamily and SuperFriends, "at the turn of the millennium". Weinstein's MeWe biography lists articles published by The Mirror (UK), Huffington Post, USA Today, InfoSecurity Magazine, Dark Reading, and the Nation. His media appearances include MarketWatch, PBS, Fox News, and CNN. He's also the author of several personal-success books.
His Crunchbase bio is a repeat of the MeWe content.

Advisory Board

Ownership & Investment

MeWe is the dba of Sgrouples, a private for-profit early-stage venture company based in Los Angeles, though with a Mountain View HQ and mailing address, 11-50 employees, with $10m in funding over five rounds, and a $20m valuation as of 2016.
Sgrouples, Inc., dba MeWe Trust & Safety - Legal Policy c/o Fenwick West 801 California Street Mountain View, CA 94041
Crunchbase Profile.
Founded: 2012 (source)
Secured $1.2M in seed funding in 2014.
2016 valuation: $20m (source]
Backers:
Despite the business address, the company claims to be based in Los Angeles County, California and is described by the Los Angeles Business Journal as a Culver City, CA, company.

Business

Policy

In an August 6, 2018 Twitter post, Weinstein promotes MeWe writing:
Do you have friends still on Facebook? Share this link with them about Facebook wanting their banking information - tell them to move to MeWe now! No Ads. No Spyware. No Political Agenda. No Bias Algorithms. No Shadow Banning. No Facial Recognition.
MeWe provide several policy-related links on the site:
Highlights of these follow.

Privacy

The privacy policy addresses:

Terms of Service

The ToS addresses:
Effective: November 6, 2018.

FAQ

The FAQ addresses:

Values

This emphasises that people are social cratures and private people by right. The service offers the power of self expression under an umbrella of safety. It notes that our innermost thoughts require privacy.
Under "We aspire...":
MeWe is here to empower and enrich your world. We challenge the status quo by making privacy, respect, and safety the foundations of an innovatively designed, easy-to-use social experience.
Totalling 182 words.

Privacy Bill of Rights

A ten-item statement of principles (possibly inspired by another document, it might appear):
  1. You own your personal information & content. It is explicitly not ours.
  2. You will never receive a targeted advertisement or 3rd party content based on what you do or say online. We think that's creepy.
  3. You see every post in timeline order from your friends, family & groups. We do not manipulate, filter, or change the order of your content or what you see.
  4. Permissions & privacy are your rights. You control them.
  5. You control who can access your content.
  6. You control what, if anything, others can see in member searches.
  7. Your privacy means we do not share your personal information with anyone.
  8. Your emojis are for you and your friends. We do not monitor or mine your data.
  9. Your face is your business. We do not use facial recognition technology.
  10. You have the right to delete your account and take your content with you at any time.

Press

There are a few mentions of MeWe in the press, some listed on the company's website, others via web search.

Self-reported articles

The following articles are linked directly from MeWe's Press page:
The page also lists a "Privacy Revolution Required Reading" list of 20 articles all addressing Facebook privacy gaffes in the mainstream press (Wired, TechCrunch, Fortune, Gizmodo, The Guardian, etc.).
There are further self-reported mentions in several of the company's PR releases over the years.

Other mentions

A DuckDuckGo search produces several other press mentions, including:

Technology

This section is a basic rundown of the user-visible site technology.

Mobile Web

The site is not natively accessible from a mobile Web browser as it is overlayed with a promotion for the mobile application instead. Selecting "Desktop View" in most mobile browsers should allow browser-based access.

Mobile App

There are both Android and iOS apps for MeWe. I've used neither of these, though the App store entries note:
Crunchbase cites 209,220 mobile downloads over the past 30 days (via Apptopia), an 80.78% monthly growth rate, from Google Play.

Desktop Web

Either selecting "View Desktop" or navigating with a Desktop browser to https://www.mewe.com your are presented with a registration screen, with the "About", "Privacy Bill of Rights", "MeWe Challenge", and a language selector across the top of the page. Information requested are first and last name, phone or email, and a password. Pseudonymous identities are permitted, though this isn't noted on the login screen. Returning members can use the "Member Log In" button.
The uMatrix Firefox extension reveals no third-party content: all page elements are served from mewe.com, img.mewe.com, cdn.mewe.com, or ws.mewe.com. (In subsequent browsing, you may find third-party plugins from, for example, YouTube, for videos, or Giphy, for animated GIFs.)
The web front-end is nginx. The site uses SSL v3, issued by DigiCert Inc. to Sgrouples, Inc.

Onboarding

The onboarding experience is stark. There is no default content presented. A set of unidentified icons spans the top of the screen, these turn out to be Home, Chats, Groups, Pages, and Events. New users have to, somehow, find groups or people to connect with, and there's little guidance as to how to do this.

Interface

Generally there is a three panel view, with left- and right-hand sidebars of largely navigational or status information, and a central panel with main content. There are also pop-up elements for chats, an omnipresent feature of the site.
Controls display labels on some devices and/or resolutions. Controls do not provide tooltips for navigational aid.

Features

Among the touted features of MeWe are:

Community

A key aspect of any social network is its community. Some of the available or ascertained information on this follows.

Size

Weinstein claims a "million+ following inside MeWe.com" on Twitter.
The largest visible groups appear to have a maximum of around 15,000 members , for "Awesome gifs". "Clean Comedy" rates 13,350, and the largest open political groups, 11,000+ members.
This compares to Google+ which has a staggering, though Android-registrations-inflated 3.3 billion profiles, and 7.9 million communities, though the largest of these come in at under 10 million members. It's likely that MeWe's membership is on the whole more more active than Google+'s, where generally-visible posting activity was limited to just over 9% of all profiles, and the active user base was well under 1% of the total nominal population.

Active Users

MeWe do not publish active users (e.g., MUA / monthly active users) statistics.

Groups

MeWe is principally a group-oriented discussion site -- interactions take place either between individuals or within group contexts. Virtually all discovery is group-oriented. The selection and dynamics of groups on the site will likely strongly affect user experience, so exploring the available groups and their characteristics is of interest.
"MeWe has over 60,000 open groups" according to its FAQ.
The Open groups -- visible to any registered MeWe user, though not to the general public Web -- are browsable, though sections and topics must be expanded to view the contents: an overview isn't immediately accessible. We provide a taste here.
A selection of ten featured topics spans the top of the browser. As I view these, they are:
Specific groups may appear in multiple categories.
The top Groups within these topics have, variously, 15,482, 7,738, 15,482 (dupe), 7,745, 8,223, 8,220, 1,713, 9,527, 2,716, and 1,516 members. Listings scroll at length -- the Music topic has 234 Groups, ranging in size from 5 to 5,738 members, with a median of 59, mean of 311.4, and a 90%ile of 743.5.
Below this is a grid of topics, 122 in all, ranging from Activism to Wellness, and including among them. A selected sample of these topics, with top groups listed members in (parens), follows:
To be clear: whilst I've not included every topic, I've sampled a majority of them above, and listed not an arbitrary selection, but the top few Groups under each topic.

Google+ Groups

The Google Plus expats group seems the most active of these by far.

Political Groups

It's curious that MeWe make a specific point in their FAQ that:
At MeWe we have absolutely no political agenda and we have a very straightforward Terms of Service. MeWe is for all law-abiding people everywhere in the world, regardless of political, ethnic, religious, sexual, and other preferences.
There are 403 political groups on MeWe. I won't list them all here, but the first 100 or so give a pretty clear idea of flavour. Again, membership is in (parentheses). Note that half the total political Groups memberships are in the first 21 groups listed here, the first 6 are 25% of the total.
  1. Donald J. Trump 2016 - Present (11486)
  2. The Conservative's Hangout (8345)
  3. Qanon Follow The White Rabbit (5600)
  4. Drain The Swamp (4978)
  5. Libertarians (4528)
  6. United We Stand Trump2020 (4216)
  7. The Right To Self Defense (3757)
  8. Alternative Media (3711)
  9. Hardcore Conservative Patriots for Trump (3192)
  10. Bastket Of Deplorables4Trump! (3032)
  11. Return of the Republic (2509)
  12. Infowars Chat Room Unofficial (2159)
  13. Donald Trump Our President 2017-2025 (2033)
  14. Berners for Progress (1963)
  15. Sean Hannity Fans (1901)
  16. The American Conservative (1839)
  17. I Am The NRA (1704)
  18. Tucker Carlson Fox News (1645)
  19. We Love Donald Trump (1611)
  20. MAGA - Make America Great Again (1512)
  21. Q (1396)
  22. ClashDaily.com (1384)
  23. news from the front (1337)
  24. Basket of Deplorables (1317)
  25. Payton's Park Bench (1283)
  26. Convention of States (1282)
  27. Britons For Brexit (1186)
  28. MoJo 5.0 Radio (1180)
  29. MeWe Free Press (1119)
  30. The Constitutionally Elite (1110)
  31. Libertarian (1097)
  32. WOMEN FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP (1032)
  33. AMERICANS AGAINST ISIS and OTHER ENEMIES (943)
  34. #WalkAway Campaign (894)
  35. ALEX JONES (877)
  36. The Lion Is Awake ! (854)
  37. We Support Donald Trump! (810)
  38. The Stratosphere Lounge (789)
  39. TRUMP-USA-HANDS OFF OUR PRESIDENT (767)
  40. Official Tea Party USA (749)
  41. Mojo50 Jackholes (739)
  42. Yes Scotland (697)
  43. "WE THE DEPLORABLE" - MOVE ON SNOWFLAKE! (688)
  44. Judge Jeanine Pirro Fans (671)
  45. Anarcho-Capitalism (658)
  46. Ted Cruz for President (650)
  47. No Lapdog Media (647)
  48. Q Chatter (647)
  49. Daily Brexit (636)
  50. Tucker Carlson Fox News (601)
  51. The Trumps Storm Group (600)
  52. QAnon-Patriots WWG1WGA (598)
  53. 100% American (569)
  54. Ladies For Donald Trump (566)
  55. Deep State (560)
  56. In the Name of Liberty (557)
  57. Material Planet (555)
  58. WikiUnderground (555)
  59. Trump NRA Free Speech Patriots on MeWe Gab.ai etc (546)
  60. Magna Carta Group (520)
  61. Constitutional Conservatives (506)
  62. Question Everything (503)
  63. Conspiracy Research (500)
  64. Bill O'Reilly Fans (481)
  65. Conservative Misfit's (479)
  66. Canadian politics (478)
  67. Anarchism (464)
  68. HARDCORE DEPLORABLES (454)
  69. Deplorable (450)
  70. Tampa Bay Trump Club (445)
  71. UK Politics (430)
  72. Bongino Fan Page (429)
  73. Radical Conservatives (429)
  74. RESIST THE RESISTANCE (419)
  75. The Deplorables (409)
  76. America's Freedom Fighters (401)
  77. Politically Incorrect & Proud (399)
  78. CONSERVATIVES FOR AMERICA ! (385)
  79. Political satire (383)
  80. RISE OF THE RIGHT (371)
  81. UK Sovereignty,Independence,Democracy -Everlasting (366)
  82. The Patriots Voting Coalition (359)
  83. End The Insanity (349)
  84. Coming American Civil War! (345)
  85. Constitutional Conservatives (343)
  86. United Nations Watch (342)
  87. A Revival Of The Critical Thinking Union (337)
  88. The New Libertarian (335)
  89. Libertarian Party (official ) (333)
  90. DDS United (Duterte Die-hard Supporters) (332)
  91. American Conservative Veterans (331)
  92. Anarchism/Agorism/Voluntaryism (328)
  93. America Needs Donald Trump (326)
  94. The UKIP Debating Society (321)
  95. Coalition For Trump (310)
  96. Egalitarianism (306)
  97. FRIENDS THAT LIKE JILL STEIN AND THE GREEN PARTY (292)
  98. 2nd Amendment (287)
  99. Never Forget #SethRich (286)
  100. Green Party Supporters 2020 (283)
It seems there is relatively little representation from the left wing, or even the centre, of the political spectrum. A case-insensitive match for "liberal" turns up:
Mainstream political parties are little represented, though again, the balance seems skewed searching on "(democrat|republic|gop)":
The terms "left" and "right" provide a few matches, not all strictly political-axis aligned:
Socialism and Communism also warrant a few mentions:
And there are some references to green, laboulabor parties:

Conclusion

Whilst there may not be a political agenda, there does appear to be at least a slight political bias to the site. And a distinctive skew on many other topical subjects.
Those seeking new homes online may wish to take this into account.

Updates

submitted by dredmorbius to plexodus [link] [comments]

Bitcoin Divorce - Bitcoin [Legacy] vs Bitcoin Cash Explained

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are confusing, especially to newbies. They are likely unaware of the history and reasoning for the existence of these two coins. This ignorance is likely persisted by the censorship practised at bitcoin and Bitcointalk.org for several years. (rbitcoinbanned includes examples of the censoring.)
Most of the following is an explanation of the history of Bitcoin, when there was only one Bitcoin. Then it explains the in-fighting and why it forked into two Bitcoins: 1) Bitcoin Legacy and 2) Bitcoin Cash, which happens in the last section (THE DIVORCE). Feel free to suggest edits or corrections. Later, I will publish this on Medium as well.
BITCOIN WAS AN INSTRUMENT OF WAR
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator, and the initial supporters, Bitcoin was more than just a new currency. It was an instrument of war.
Who are they fighting against?
The government and central banks.
There is an abundance of evidence of this, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s original software.
BATTLE FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Governments around the world ban online gambling by banning their currency from being used as payment. The original Bitcoin software included code for Poker. Yes, Poker.
Here is the original code: https://github.com/trottieoriginal-bitcoin/blob/mastesrc/uibase.cpp
Search for “Poker”, “Deal Me Out”, “Deal Hand”, “Fold”, “Call”, “Raise”, “Leave Table”, “DitchPlayer”.
Bitcoin gave the middle finger to the government and found a way to get around their ban. In the initial years, it was mainly gambling operators that used Bitcoin, such as SatoshiDice. Was this a coincidence? Gambling is one of the best, if not, the best application for Bitcoin. It was no wonder that gambling operators embraced Bitcoin, including gambling mogul Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin enabled people to rebel against the government in other ways as well, such as Silk Road, which enabled people to buy and sell drugs.
ANTI-GOVERNMENT LIBERTARIANS AND CYPHERPUNKS
Libertarians seek to maximize political freedom and autonomy. They are against authority and state power. Cypherpunks are activists advocating widespread use of cryptography as a route to social and political change. Their common thread is their dislike for the government.
Bitcoin was created by libertarians and cypherpunks.
Satoshi Nakamoto used cryptography mailing lists to communicate with other cypherpunks such as Wei Dai. Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared after 2010, but we can refer to his writings. He wrote:
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”
Satoshi Nakamoto was rebellious to government control. Someone argued with Satoshi by stating: “You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.” Satoshi replied:
"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.
Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
Nakamoto was critical of the central bank. He wrote:
"The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts.”
It is no wonder that the first supporters of Bitcoin were libertarians as well, who agreed with Satoshi’s ideology and saw the potential of Bitcoin to fulfill their ideology.
One of the biggest benefits that Bitcoin supporters want, is “censorship resistance”. What does this mean? It means: to be able to spend your money any way you want. It means: how to get around government regulations and bans. It means: how to do something despite the government.
Roger Ver, an early Bitcoin supporter, heavily criticizes the government for engaging in wars around the world that kills civilians and children. When he ran as a Libertarian candidate in an election against the Republicans and Democrats, he criticized the ATF and FBI for murdering children in their raid in Waco, Texas. At the time, Ver and many other merchants were selling fireworks on eBay without a license. The ATF charged Ver and sent him to prison, but did not charge any of the other merchants. (https://youtu.be/N6NscwzbMvI?t=47m50s) This must have angered Ver a lot.
Since then, Ver has been on a mission to weaken and shrink the government. When he learned about Bitcoin in February 2011, he saw it as his weapon to accomplish his goal…his instrument of war.
Ver was already a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. He sold his company, bought Bitcoins and was the first to invest in Bitcoin startups, such as Bitpay, Blockchain.info, Kraken, Bitcoin.com, Bitcoinstore.com and others. Then he worked full-time to promote Bitcoin. Bitpay became the largest Bitcoin payment processor. Blockchain.info became the largest provider of Bitcoin wallets. Much of the growth of Bitcoin since 2011 can be attributed to Ver's companies.
More evidence of Ver’s anti-government sentiment emerged when he recently announced that he is working to create a society with no government at all (FreeSociety.com).
HOW TO WIN THE WAR
To win the war, Bitcoin must be adopted and widely used by the masses. When people use Bitcoin instead of their national fiat currency, the government becomes weaker. The government can no longer do the following:
It is not only important to get the masses to adopt Bitcoin, but it is also important to get them to adopt it quickly. If it takes a long time, governments will have more time to think twice about allowing Bitcoin to exist and will have more justifications to ban it. They can claim that Bitcoin is used for ransomware, terrorism, etc. If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses to buy everyday goods, such as food and clothing, then it will be harder for them to stop it.
IS BITCOIN WINNING?
Yes and no.
Bitcoin has definitely become more popular over the years. But, it is not achieving Satoshi Nakamoto’s goals.
Satoshi defined Bitcoin and his goal. The title of his white paper is:
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”
Is Bitcoin being used as cash? Unfortunately, it is not. It is being used as a store of value. However, the title of Satoshi’s white paper was not:
“Bitcoin: A Store of Value”
There is utility in having a store of value, of course. People need it and Bitcoin has superior features to gold. Therefore, it is likely that Bitcoin can continue gaining in popularity and price as it continues to compete and take market share away from gold.
However, both gold and Bitcoin are not being used as currency.
If Bitcoin does not replace fiat currencies, will it weaken governments? No, because no matter how many people buy gold or Bitcoin (as a store of value), they do not weaken governments. To do so, Bitcoin must replace fiat currencies.
BITCOIN LOSING TO FIAT
In the initial years, Bitcoin was taking market share from fiat currencies. But, in the past year, it is losing market share. SatoshiDice, Yours.org and Bitmain switched to Bitcoin Cash. According to Businessinsider:
"Out of the leading 500 internet sellers, just three accept bitcoin, down from five last year.”
Why is Bitcoin losing market share to fiat? According to Businessinsider:
“when they do try to spend it, it often comes with high fees, which eliminates the utility for small purchases, or it takes a long time to complete the transaction, which could be a turn-off.”
Why are there high fees and long completion times?
Because of small blocks.
SCALING DEBATE – THE BIG MARITAL FIGHT
Why isn't the block size increased?
Because Core/Blockstream believes that big blocks lead to centralization to fewer people who can run the nodes. They also believe that off-chain solutions will provide faster and cheaper transactions. There are advocates for bigger blocks, but because Core/Blockstream control the software, Bitcoin still has the original, one megabyte block since 8 years ago. (Core developers control Bitcoin’s software and several of the key Core developers are employed by Blockstream, a private, for-profit company.)
Businesses, users and miners have asked for four years for the block size to be increased. They point out that Satoshi has always planned to scale Bitcoin by increasing the block size. For four years, Core/Blockstream has refused.
The Bitcoin community split into two factions:
This scaling debate and in-fighting went on for several years. During this time, the controllers of bitcoin and Bitcointalk censored big blockers. Comments that criticized small blocks or supported big blocks, were deleted. You can read more about it at: https://np.reddit.com/BitcoinMarkets/comments/6rxw7k/informative_btc_vs_bch_articles/dl8v4lp/?st=jaotbt8m&sh=222ce783
SMALL BLOCKERS VS BIG BLOCKERS
Why has Blockstream refused to increase block size? There are a few possible reasons:
  1. They truly believe that big blocks means that fewer people would be able to run full nodes, which would lead to centralization and that the best roadmap is with off-chain solutions. (However, since 2009, hard disk space has exploded. A 4TB disk costs $100 and can store 10 years of blocks. This price is the equivalent to a handful of Bitcoin transaction fees. Also, Satoshi never planned on having every user run full nodes. He envisioned server farms. Decentralization is needed to achieve censorship-resistance and to make the blockchain immutable. This is already accomplished with the thousands of nodes. Having millions or billions of nodes does not increase the censorship-resistance and does not make the blockchain more immutable.)
  2. Blockstream wants small blocks, high fees and slow confirmations to justify the need for their off-chain products, such as Liquid. Blockstream sells Liquid to exchanges to move Bitcoin quickly on a side-chain. Lightning Network will create liquidity hubs, such as exchanges, which will generate traffic and fees for exchanges. With this, exchanges will have a higher need for Liquid. This is the only way that Blockstream will be able to repay the $76 million to their investors.
  3. They propose moving the transactions off the blockchain onto the Lightning Network, an off-chain solution. By doing so, there is a possibility of being regulated by the government (see https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/7gxkvj/lightning_hubs_will_need_to_report_to_irs/). One of Blockstream’s investors/owners is AXA. AXA’s CEO and Chairman until 2016 was also the Chairman of Bilderberg Group. The Bilderberg Group is run by politicians and bankers. According to GlobalResearch, Bilderberg Group wants “a One World Government (World Company) with a single, global marketplace…and financially regulated by one ‘World (Central) Bank’ using one global currency.” Does Bilderberg see Bitcoin as one component of their master plan?
  4. They do not like the fact that most of the miners are in China. In this power-struggle, they would like to take away control and future revenues from China, by scaling off-chain.
Richard Heart gives his reasons why block size should not be increased, in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2941&v=iFJ2MZ3KciQ
He cites latency as a limitation and the reason for doing off-chain scaling. However, latency has been dramatically reduced since 2009 when Bitcoin started with 1MB blocks. Back then, most residential users had 5-10 Mbps internet speed. Now, they have up to 400 Mbps up to 1 Gbps. That’s a 40 to 200X increase. Back in 2009, nobody would’ve thought that you can stream 4k videos.
He implies that 10 minute intervals between block creations are needed in order for the blocks to sync. If internet speed has increased by 40-200X, why can’t the block size be increased?
He claims that bigger blocks make it more difficult for miners to mine the blocks, which increases the chances of orphaned blocks. However, both speeds and the number of mining machines have increased dramatically, causing hashing power on the network to exponentially increase since 2009. This will likely continue increasing in the future.
Richard says that blocks will never be big enough to do 2,000 transactions per second (tps). He says that all of the forks in the world is only going to get 9 tps. Since his statement, Peter Rizun and Andrew Stone have shown that a 1 core CPU machine with 3 Mbps internet speed can do 100 tps. (https://youtu.be/5SJm2ep3X_M) Rizun thinks that visa level (2,000 tps) can be achieved with nodes running on 4-core/16GB machines, bigger blocks and parallel processing to take advantage of the multiple CPU cores.
Even though Rizun and Stone are showing signifiant increases in tps with bigger blocks, the big blockers have never been against a 2nd layer. They’ve always said that you can add a 2nd layer later.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS MINERS
According to Satoshi, Bitcoin should be governed by those with the most hashing power. One hash, one vote. However, Core/Blockstream does not agree with this. Due to refusals for four years to increase block size, it would seem that Core/Blockstream has been able to wrestle control away from miners. Is this because they want control? Is this because they don’t want the Chinese to have so much, or any, control of Bitcoin? Is this because they prefer to eventually move the revenue to the West, by moving most of the transactions off chain?
DIFFERENT AGENDAS
It would seem that Businesses/Users and Core/Blockstream have very different agendas.
Businesses/Users want cheap and fast transactions and see this as an immediate need. Core/Blockstream do not. Here are some quotes from Core/Blockstream:
Greg Maxwell: "I don't think that transaction fees mattering is a failing-- it's success!”
Greg Maxwell: "fee pressure is an intentional part of the system design and to the best of the current understanding essential for the system's long term survial. So, uh, yes. It's good."
Greg Maxwell: "There is a consistent fee backlog, which is the required criteria for stability.”
Peter Wuille: "we - as a community - should indeed let a fee market develop, and rather sooner than later”
Luke-jr: "It is no longer possible to keep fees low.”
Luke-jr: "Just pay a $5 fee and it'll go through every time unless you're doing something stupid.”
Jorge Timón: "higher fees may be just what is needed”
Jorge Timón: "Confirmation times are fine for those who pay high fees.”
Jorge Timón: “I think Adam and I agree that hitting the limit wouldn't be bad, but actually good for an young and immature market like bitcoin fees.”
Mark Friedenbach: "Slow confirmation, high fees will be the norm in any safe outcome."
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions.”
Greg Maxwell: “There is nothing wrong with full blocks, and blocks have been “full” relative to what miners would produce for years. Full blocks is the natural state of the system”
Wladimir J. van der Laan: “A mounting fee pressure, resulting in a true fee market where transactions compete to get into blocks, results in urgency to develop decentralized off-chain solutions. I'm afraid increasing the block size will kick this can down the road and let people (and the large Bitcoin companies) relax”
Why don’t Core/Blockstream care about cheap and fast transactions? One possible reason is that they do not use Bitcoin. They might own some, but they do not spend it to buy coffee and they do not use it to pay employees. They aren’t making hundreds of transactions per day. They do not feel the pain. As engineers, they want a technical utopia.
Businesses/Users on the other hand, feel the pain and want business solutions.
An analogy of this scaling debate is this:
You have a car that is going 50 kph. The passengers (Bitcoin users) want to go 100 kph today, but eventually in the future, they want to go 200 kph. The car is capable of going 100 kph but not 200 kph. Big blockers are saying: Step on the accelerator and go 100 kph. Small blockers are saying: Wait until we build a new car, which will go 200 kph. Meanwhile, the passengers are stuck at 50 kph.
Not only do Big blockers think that the car can simply go faster by stepping on the accelerator, they have already shown that the car can go even faster by adding a turbocharger (even bigger blocks) and making sure that every cylinder is firing (parallel process on multiple CPU cores). In addition, they are willing to use the new car if and when it gets built.
CORE/BLOCKSTREAM VS USERS
If you watch this debate from 2017-02-27 (https://youtu.be/JarEszFY1WY), an analogy can be made. Core/Blockstream is like the IT department and Bitcoin.com (Roger Ver and Jake Smith) is like the Sales/Marketing department (users).
Core/Blockstream developers hold, but do not use Bitcoin. Blockstream does not own nor use Bitcoin. Roger Ver's companies use use Bitcoin every day. Ver’s MemoryDealers was the first company to accept Bitcoin. Johnny seems to think that he knows what users want, but he rarely uses Bitcoin and he is debating one of the biggest users sitting across the table.
In all companies, Marketing (and all other departments) is IT’s customer. IT must do what Marketing wants, not the other way around. If Core/Blockstream and Roger Ver worked in the same company, the CEO would tell Core/Blockstream to give Roger what he wants or the CEO would fire Core/Blockstream.
But they don’t work for the same company. Roger and other businesses/users cannot fire Core/Blockstream.
Core/Blockstream wants to shoot for the best technology possible. They are not interested in solving short term problems, because they do not see high fees and long confirmation times as problems.
BLOCKSTREAM VS LIBERTARIANS
There are leaders in each camp. One can argue that Blockstream is the leader of the Small Blockers and Roger Ver (supported by Gavin Andresen, Calvin Ayre, businesses and some miners) is the leader of the Big Blockers.
Blockstream has openly called for full blocks and higher fees and they are preparing to scale with Lightning Network. As mentioned before, there is a possibility that Lightning hubs will be regulated by the government. Luke-jr tweeted “But State has authority from God” (https://twitter.com/LukeDashjstatus/934611236695789568?s=08) According to this video, Luke-jr believes that the government should tax you and the government should execute heretics. Luke-jr's values are diametrically opposed to libertarians'.
Roger Ver wants Bitcoin to regulate the government, not the other way around. He wants to weaken and shrink the government. In addition to separation of church and state, he wants to see separation of money and state. He felt that Bitcoin can no longer do this, so he pushed for solutions such as Bitcoin Unlimited.
MIKE HEARN EXPLAINS BLOCKSTREAM
Mike Hearn is one of the first Bitcoin developers. He explained how Core/Blockstream developers (source):
THE DIVORCE
To prepare for off-chain scaling, Core/Blockstream forked Bitcoin by adding Segwit, which I will refer to as Bitcoin Legacy. This is still referred to by the mainstream as Bitcoin, and it has the symbol BTC.
After four years of refusal by Blockstream, the big blockers, out of frustration, restored Bitcoin through a fork, by removing Segwit from Bitcoin Legacy and increased the block size. This is currently called Bitcoin Cash and has the symbol BCH.
Bitcoin Legacy has transformed from cash to store-of-value. It had a 8 year head start in building brand awareness and infrastructure. It’s likely that it will continue growing in popularity and price for a while.
Bitcoin Cash most resembles Satoshi’s “peer-to-peer cash”. It will be interesting to see if it will pick up from where Bitcoin Legacy left off and take market share in the fiat currency space. Libertarians and cypherpunks will be able to resume their mission of weakening and shrinking the government by promoting Bitcoin Cash.
Currently, Bitcoin Cash can fulfill the role of money, which includes medium of exchange (cash) and store-of-value functions. It will be interesting to see if off-chain scaling (with lower fees and faster confirmations) will enable Bitcoin Legacy to be used as a currency as well and fulfill the role of money.
This is an example of the free market and open competition. New companies divest or get created all the time, to satisfy different needs. Bitcoin is no different.
Small blockers and big blockers no longer need to fight and bicker in the same house. They have gone their separate ways.
Both parties have what they want. Blockstream can store value and generate revenue from their off-chain products to repay their investors. Libertarians (and gambling operators) can rejoice and re-arm with Bitcoin Cash to take on the government. They can continue with their mission to get freedom and autonomy.
submitted by curt00 to Bitcoincash [link] [comments]

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