Odell Vs Saylor - Should Bitcoin Devs Dev?by@maken8
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Odell Vs Saylor - Should Bitcoin Devs Dev?

by M-Marvin KenApril 16th, 2024
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A Bitcoin Developer called Odell has posted on Nostr a series of posts, all claiming that Michael Saylor has come out to fight Bitcoin ETF companies that plan to hire and finance Bitcoin core developers. The implication is that Saylor believes this is really bad for Bitcoin, but the other implication is that people are mean to Bitcoin developers, thinking they do nothing all day except look for typos in Bitcoin core. As Bitcoin is "unchangeable". Well, Is it? And what is a developer who does not develop? Do we even need developers?
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Part 1: Odell vs Saylor

It was only last week, exact date and time unknown given how well-protected is the individual data.

A Nostr client and Cypherpunk going by ODELL, unleashed a seething post from the depths of his Post Office.

The post started by saying it was not controversial, in capital letters.

Then proceeded to say something controversial.

This, in addition to other, capital-lettered posts.

In brief, Odell claims that Michael Saylor, a prominent Bitcoin whale and renowned hodler, is against the funding of Bitcoin developers.

Let Bitcoin “ossify”, believes Saylor (says people on his side). So the code can become something so usual humans sing it in an anthem.

Like, unchanged.


Meanwhile, Mr. Saylor hasn't said anything to either deny or verify the aforementioned claims nee sayings in his name.

The Advantage of Not Funding Bitcoin Developers

Aside from the snide remarks and memes on X comparing BTC Devs to busybodies, the biggest threat of the ‘Dev Funding Race’, goes the argument, is that it incentivizes fiat overlords to bulldoze Bitcoin into the shape and form that they want.

Masked as “maintenance” and “upgrades”, perpetual changes to Bitcoin's code could leave vulnerabilities.

Currently, Bitcoin is still struggling, and the price won't stop dancing around $69k.

It is barely a trillion-dollar asset.

Meanwhile, the fiat world boasts hundreds of trillions of dollars, and Bitcoin ETF companies alone are bench-pressing north of 100 billion dollars.

And they want to dangle all those carrots in front of our developers.


But it might be true.

Jack Dorsey mentioned names.

Ark might have some explaining to do

Bitcoin developers have lived for years like the Fremen of Dune.

Modestly quenching their financial thirst with drops of donated water-satoshis.

Recycling each sat they get their hands on while leveraging more circularity than a hamster on a new wheel.

Yes, while we all reap the benefits.

Now, the promise of big money raining down on their well-honed skills is a big threat to the core code.

Like lawyers, they are itching to change the Constitution.

But hey, what is a developer who does not develop new tools?

The devs in the wider cryptocurrency community must be cracking their ribs with laughter. And counting their lucky altcoins, grateful for the fact that they can buidl.

A Developer Shall Develop.

What do you call a developer who does not develop on a whim?

A Watcher.

A Waiter.

Waiting for the call to help. Like a Lone Ranger in a Western.

But that is painfully lonely. And sounds segregative af if we enforce it on other people.


Developing is a form of free speech. So no one can actually stop developers from speaking their speech.

Go ahead, develop.

It is the highest form of individual autonomy known to humans in this digital age. Paid or Not paid.

For if you can develop, you can maintain your digital privacy (which is just privacy), maximum autonomy, and making a few bucks for people who want features isn't too bad either.


I dare say, if we could all develop (We cannot. It is a vocation some of us shall only inch towards. Slowly), this would not even be an issue. It would be strange for Saylor, anybody, to even suggest that Bitcoin developers try not to develop too much.


Bitcoin being what it is, a global community project of extreme importance, actually constrains hacker ethos so much there won't be any cypherpunks like the pre-Bitcoin OGs.

Forget flipping it to centralized systems anymore by engineering some arcane codex. Now, it is a game of sitting and waiting and watching.

Praying that the price stops dancing around $69k.

Saylor and his crew imply that the price of freedom is to follow the majority. And the majority says just sit, wait, and watch.

But do they?

The conversation is still evolving.

Here is more data so that you have an informed opinion.

How Odell and His Crew Are Right

Here is a listicle of all the good points supporting Mr. Odell and his band of merry devs.

  1. The First Bitcoiner was a Bitcoin Developer.

He was called Satoshi Nakamoto. You might have heard of him.

2. The Last Bitcoiner will be a Bitcoin Developer.

When the Bitcoin is finally dead (a nuclear holocaust will end it), only a developer listening for its faint signals in the cold dark nuclear winter shall help keep the flame of freedom alive.

3. When in doubt, we ask Bitcoin Developers.

Don't know why Michael Saylor is so confident that the US government cannot hack his bitcoins?

Ask a Bitcoin Developer.

4. Developer Wars birth great stuff. Like the Lightning Network.

Once Upon a Time, Bitcoin Developers fought for 2 bitter years over how much storage space should be held by Bitcoin.

In the end, they doubled the storage space from 1MB to 2MB, invented Segwit which kept fees very low for a long time, and work on Segwit helped birth the Lightning Network.

When developers fight, good things happen.

When politicians fight, …

5. If ETF people want arcane-looking wallets with features from the year 3000, they have a right to pay for them.

I think the key problem in this battle between Odell and Saylor is the fear that deep-pocket ETF funds may corrupt most Bitcoin developers.

Otherwise, Bitcoin developers have been funded forever, and no one has been complaining.

Indeed, Ark Invest should tell us what they need to pay OG Bitcoin developers some eye-popping sums of money for.

If they want features, they could pay this to anybody else who is into UI. Bitcoin core devs are OUR lawyers, and they unravel weird shit like weird fee hikes and why LN nodes need a balance before any money can be received at all from other nodes.


OG Bitcoin core devs have a right to build what they want and that does not mean they are corrupt.

If a job developing UIs pays more than one developing arcane zk proofs, I'm taking the UI job. Let's not put evil intent into people's praxeologic actions.

Give Ark and Bitcoin devs a chance. Then judge them when they mess shit up. Coz it could be magic.

It can always be unmessed up. It is software, and we have all the commits in the GitHub repo.

(It is not the same as giving Ark your money. That is on you. DYOR).

Basically, let's all have some balls and break some dev rules.

6. ETFs paying Developers does not mean we shall be bought as well.

Point 5 above feels like if the OG Bitcoiner developers are bought, doom and gloom for the rest of us non-dev plebs.

But I assure you, if Bitcoin drops its 21 million coin supply cap for any reason, I will not follow it. That will not be Bitcoin but some silly hard fork.

Call it BFD - Bitcoin For Devs.

It will be worth exactly 0 US dollars after a few days.

7. Developing is greater speech than English.

Last for today, but certainly not least.

We should all aim to be Bitcoin developers, AI developers, Quantum Developers, and Math gurus creating an alternative universe free from the greed and psyop pervasive in this universe. But on the same planet earth. Orthogonal to this one in cyberspace.

Bitcoin has done it for money. But planting a seed and watering it are two different things.

And it will start by paying devs and supporting the right to pay devs.

100 years from today, Bitcoin should look like it is 100 years from today.

Developing is how that happens.

If developers break something we can always cancel them on X.

Then unbreak it back.