It’s Big.

The DCG is not Bitcoin. You are Bitcoin

There is widespread panic and seemingly insurmountable confusion on many sides about “Segregated Witness”; the complete solution to the Bitcoin scaling problem. This confusion, and the irrational opposition to it is yet another symptom of the problem of widespread Computer Illiteracy.

The “Digital Currency Group” or “DCG” is run by a group of people who are not software developers, trying to crowbar a place for themselves in The Transformation; the global shift away from fiat currency to a market generated and programmable sound money in the shape of Bitcoin. The DCG serves no useful purpose in Bitcoin. They don’t produce any software, and when they discuss Bitcoin with legislators, their Computer Illiteracy causes profound misunderstandings that once upon a time, before the election of President Donald J. Trump, may have triggered a raft of damaging legislation like the notorious and corrosive BitLicense of New York.

The recent publication by the DCG Scaling Bitcoin: Reflections from the DCG Portfolio exemplifies this problem very well, which is why I will use it today as a framework to address this dangerous, reckless group.

The article starts with the following TL;DR top level assessment:

It’s difficult to know what to support and how to contribute to Bitcoin scaling. We want to break out of this current template.

It is only difficult to know what to support if you don’t understand Bitcoin and what improvements Segregated Witness (SegWit) offers. Anyone who has an interest in Bitcoin has looked at Segregated Witness and the alternative of changing a single parameter to increase Bitcoin’s transaction rate capacity.

Bitcoin, in order to remain Bitcoin, cannot have its shape changed so that only a few gatekeeper businesses own nodes that can initiate transactions. Everyone should be able to send transactions without permission. Read this article about what Bitcoin is and potential barriers to entry caused by a reckless block size increase.

The DCG want to “break out of this template” but what does this actually mean? No one is forcing the companies in this group to use Bitcoin; they can all join together with their billions in capital and launch their own version of Bitcoin that works exactly the way they want it to, and then watch Bitcoin die. The problem is that none of the people at the DCG can write software, and none of the developers (sorry boys) at any of its member companies is as gifted as the developers contributing to Bitcoin Core.

You can never “break out” from Bitcoin, because you can’t develop software. Even if you do as I recommend, and fork Bitcoin, you will forever be stuck on a branch where there is no groundbreaking development. R3 tried it and failed, and you would fail also, while Bitcoin improves in exponential leaps and bounds, leaving you in the dust. More on that later.

Following a few days of chatter, we all agreed it would be beneficial to take these discussions, piece them into a more structured narrative, and share with the broader community in the hopes of fostering a more open, pragmatic dialogue about how to break out of this current pattern of stalemate, which seems to be affecting everyone in different, but overall negative, ways.

This is the problem. “Chatter” doesn't create executable software. Narratives are for novelists, not software. There is no “Bitcoin Community”. Dialogue doesn't matter; software matters. Bitcoin is not in a stalemate. Eventually SegWit will activate, and when it does, everything will change. There is time for this to happen, and even if SegWit were to activate now, a significant amount of retrofitting, business model adjustment and software development needs to be done to accommodate it.

There are no libraries in high level languages that developers can use to make integrating SegWit processes easier, and there are conceptual mountains to climb in integrating it. I have a suspicion that it is this software retrofitting that many companies simply do not want to do, as it is time consuming, expensive and risky. They understand the proposition of Bitcoin, and now they are being asked to un-know what they know and rethink everything. It’s painful to think about. Software is a tough racket.

We (as most if not all of you) are affected by network congestion and it’s difficult to know how to push bitcoin forward from a scaling perspective. Last year we got on the Bitcoin Classic bandwagon out of desperation. Our stance was: Segwit sounds complex and Classic seems easy and buys us time. Today, a year after, it’s difficult to know what to support and how to contribute to Bitcoin scaling.

All of the businesses have built their work on a broken model, based on a flawed idea of what Bitcoin is. There are many people like this, and the more brave ones have created forks of Bitcoin that reflect their curious notions of what money is, Freicoin being my favourite example; a coin that decrements your balance if you don’t spend your money, inspired by the fanciful idea of demurrage.

They say SegWit sounds complex. This is an astonishing statement for people in the software industry. Every software tool used by everyone on earth is as complex as SegWit at the protocol level. Take reading this page for example. Loading this page in a browser might sound “simple” to the DCG, but it is in fact, a hideously complex process.

Whenever you visit a site that has SSL enabled (the little green lock in the upper left hand corner of the window, to the left of the URL [the address of this page] for this Medium post) a fantastically complex series of steps is undertaken, but all you as the user see, is a little green lock, that means the content of your session cannot be observed by eavesdroppers

And I am leaving out the other very complex networking steps that HTTP servers use to deliver content, and all the other layers to do with displaying images, styling text and so much more.

Web developers, the equivalent to the members of the DCG, never interact with any of this complexity, which has been abstracted away into high level tools that are simple to use. For example, with Lets Encrypt, setting up SSL is much simpler than it used to be, requiring a single command line instruction, whereas before, it was a real headache.

SegWit is exactly the same as SSL on the web, and SMTP, POP3 with email. All of these low level protocols are hideously complex, but you don’t have to worry about them, once they are abstracted away from you. Very few people will ever interact with these protocols directly, but billions will use them without knowing anything about it, every second of every day.

The DCG says classic “seems easy”. This statement is not serious. It is the same sort of lightweight thinking that created “Blockchain not Bitcoin”:

Software is not about what looks or sounds nice, and certainly no decision about anything should be made on the strength of “it seems easy”. Once again, anyone with sensible objections does not speak like this. Increasing the block size has profound and detrimental implications for Bitcoin, and anyone who brushes them off with a scoff is a propagandist, not a serious contributor to discussion.

We took risks and built _on bitcoin_ with our current project — not generic “blockchain” but real public-blockchain BTC… simply demoing to prospective customers has been an exercise in frustration due to simple user experience issues with the network confirming transactions. e.g. we pay an above-average fee and sometimes still takes multiple blocks to confirm.

You took risks. Risk does not mean you are guaranteed success, or give you special privileges above any other user. Risk means there is a real possibility that you will fail. This attitude is the result Millennials being trained from a young age that “everyone gets a prize” and trying hard is enough.

It’s interesting that these people, who are promoters of “Blockchain not Bitcoin” now say they represent Bitcoin. Which is it? Once again, your frustration is a result of your broken business models, not any problem with Bitcoin, which never made and could never make any promises to anyone. The people who built correct business models, like LocalBitcoins are thriving. You should look to them for inspiration, and cease trying to shove Bitcoin into your Procrustean Bed.

Its been particularly bad last few days, some users sending to [our exchange] were sending over 100 satoshis/byte and still waiting for over 12 hours for a confirm.

This is whining. Bitcoin is far cheaper and quicker than Western Union, and it doesn't violate your privacy. This is nothing more than temper tantrum antics, and really, should not be listed at all as a complaint. If Bitcoin could handle billions of transactions per second, all of them taking exactly 12 hours to confirm, it would still change everything. This is not a valid objection, and it’s why serious men don’t invite you to secret meetings.

It’s really bad right now. Bitcoin is starting to make SWIFT look attractive. If this isn’t fixed, I expect we’ll see the non-speculative use cases migrate to other chains.

This is worthless emotionalism. Saying SWIFT is better than Bitcoin shows that whoever made this statement doesn’t understand what Bitcoin is for, or why it was developed in the first place. They should stop using Bitcoin now, as their fundamental premises are wrong. And by all means, migrate to other “chains”. Thats what they are there for. They’re waiting for you.

The current situation is that a Bitcoin node code revision has been put forward (by Core), and it has not secured sufficient ‘votes’ from miners to be ‘adopted’ by the network. Why is this?

The language in this is telling. Nodes running Bitcoin Core version v0.13.1 are not “voting”. Bitcoin is not a democracy. It is taking time for everyone to upgrade to SegWit for several reasons. One of which I outlined above. You cannot take advantage of SegWit without writing software, and this is difficult, expensive and dangerous. Also, there has been a concerted propaganda effort from celebrity Bitcoin investors who are not developers who have been spreading FUD. This is “why”…and why do you ask? Even if SegWit were activated immediately, none of these people are ready to take advantage of it because there are no libraries to accommodate easy, abstracted access.

The sensible thing to do in this case, in their own narrative of being “Good members of the Bitcoin Community”, would be to write and freely release SegWit libraries so that developers can take advantage of it as soon as it activates. Of course, this means putting weapons in the hands of their agile and unencumbered commercial adversaries. Difficult choices for the people desperate to pull up the ladder!

As you can see in the SegWit adoption list, there are 106 (one hundred and six) companies that are actively preparing for SegWit, with confidence it will activate. They’re doing the hard, low level work that needs to be done, quietly, and everyone will eventually benefit from it. Compare and contrast this with people who don’t even run a full node, or who haven't run any tests, let alone build services against the new software.

So how do we cross this impasse before it’s too late? There have been quite a number of attempts to secure agreement on the best path, and yet here we are, no further forward. Why is this?

“Too Late”? Too late for who? 106 companies are not sitting around waiting to see what will happen, they are well along the SegWit path, gaining knowledge and building tools. “Wait and see” is not how entrepreneurs behave, they forge ahead and take risk. And note how throughout this, the DCG talks about miners as an abstract other or third person. If they are not DCG members, why not, and if they are, why do they not cite, “the miners who are our members”?

When they say “too late” I suspect they mean that these businesses are not profitable, and they are burning through VC cash with no prospect of ever becoming profitable with Bitcoin as it is. They made a bad bet on Bitcoin and are desperately, frantically trying to tweak their way out of it. This is probably why Coinbase is making insane bets like adopting Etherium.

SegWit, is at its core, a technical issue. For entrepreneurs who are busy running their company and trying to keep their products and platforms running for the paying customers, it can be challenging to also try to focus on making serious changes to the core bitcoin protocol.

Another telling paragraph. The entrepreneurs in Bitcoin are in a technical field, they are not in a field that is separate from the nature of Bitcoin. This thinking is a leftover from the days when bosses used to dictate to typists on typewriters, and years later secretaries on desktop computers clacking out emails. Your business IS the “tech”. You cannot be separated from it, ignore it or do anything other than be totally immersed in it if you want to succeed. The days of developers being “back room boys” are over, and this is part of The Transformation.

The geeks run the world now. They design the software that runs your cars, washing machines, phones and the locks on your doors. Nothing happens today without software mediating it, except growing carrots. If you think you can suceed in Bitcoin by dictating to geeks you will fail. Your business models must start with the geeks otherwise, you will not be able to compete.

Bitcoin works exactly as expected. It is you that has to change. What we are seeing here is a group of people bereft of imagination and creativity. There are ways that services can scale to billions right now; all it takes is some imagination and skill. Entrepreneurialism can never be free of risk. Risk is your business; that’s why you're in Bitcoin.

Our summary of SegWit is not “bad” but “complex” — in all senses of the word. SegWit is a good “lego block” foundation advancing the ecosystem. It is also very complex, technically, governance-wise, from a technical readiness standpoint, and more. This is why we’re working on a “SegWit for CTOs” style document.

See my points about complexity above. This is a patently absurd complaint. It’s apt that Lego is used as an analogy. The point about SegWit being complex governance wise is telling. These are the people who are desperate to inject the poison of the State into Bitcoin. There are no “governance” problems in Bitcoin, SegWit or any software. Bitcoin is self governing and doesn't need any help from non entrepreneurs or developers in keeping the system running.

We’ve been asked by a number of people now to endorse it (whatever that means), and while we like it conceptually, I don’t think it would be responsible to endorse it unless we’ve performed rigorous analysis and testing ourselves (which we’ve not)

Similarly, the DCG “endorsing” SegWit is completely meaningless, unless they run a cluster of full nodes full time. What these people think has no effect on running software, and it’s amazing that they don’t employ developers to contribute meaningfully and usefully, or even do the most simple act of running a cluster of full nodes. All they do is arrange for people to be bullied by the legislature. Thanks to Trump, they will be milked of their venom and de-fanged.

They say they like SegWit “conceptually”. This is not possible, obviously, since they are not capable of understanding it. They admit they haven’t done any analysis or testing of it, and they are not capable of doing so either. There is nothing wrong with not having a skill, expertise or understanding; the problem is not having them, and then running to the legislature to control the men who do.

Testnet has been SegWit-active for a while now, but little testing has been done by major bitcoin network players. Several larger players are waiting for lib updates to go to production before beginning their own testing.

Little testing has been done. How do you know this? If you know this, why have you not paid for testing to be done so you can accept or reject SegWit based on evidence instead of feelings? As for lib updates….I told you!

Our understanding is its only been tested by core devs on testnet… the main worry would be that this testing may not match what enterprises actually need on a production level

Bitcoin does not belong to “enterprises” who happen to be your members, and what they require is irrelevant to Bitcoin, which does not belong to your members or any particular person. Once again, you can solve this problem by starting your own DCG alt-Coin, where all your members and their collective genius and billions can have absolute control over what you are using, and exclude anyone who doesn't agree with you.

Some of us feel that SegWit and Lightning are both in the “exciting, but still in the lab” category — and that nuance is often lost in the SegWit / Lightning excitement.

SegWit is in the wild. Your feelings don’t count. Nuance?!….

THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS.

We don’t want to be anti-SegWit or pro-SegWit, just pro-pragmatism. There seems to be a disconnect between what the devs are developing, and what business actually need and want, which is a bigger problem about how resources are directed.

You can’t be anti-SegWit and also pro-Bitcoin. SegWit is Bitcoin. It is also absolutely pragmatic, with exponential benefits for everyone, causing Bitcoin’s capacity to exceed VISA and MasterCards transaction per second rates. What business wants is not what matters. Bitcoin is not a “business network” or a tool made for business. It is made for users of every class; businesses are nothing more than peers on the network, with no special position, precedence or privilege or right to demand anything whatsoever.

In general, the bigger problem is the pursuit of niche projects over business & user needs that could actually change the the user experience in much needed ways.

Bitcoin itself was a niche project when it was released. None of the people who want the block size increase today even cared about the form of the money in their pockets in 2009, or encrypted their email or had any dream of a stateless, irrevocable anarchist currency. I do not invoke the ridiculous, bogus, worthless and frankly stupid claim that because you were an early participant in something, your opinion counts more than others, but it is a plain fact that Bitcoin was designed for a specific political and philosophic purpose, and that purpose was not to serve a small number of businesses who want a life without having to innovate.

Calling SegWit a “niche project” is not sane. Given that SegWit will cause Bitcoin to outperform the biggest credit card companies on earth, combined, while maintaining its distributed network shape is a staggering achievement of breathtaking creativity and genius, and it is an unimaginably powerful and profound addition to Bitcoin. Taking into consideration what SegWit will deliver, it’s worth dismantling all the software the DCG members have written and re-writing it to accommodate SegWit. If they don’t accommodate SegWit, someone else will.

It would be helpful to have a constructive dialogue with realistic views on technology timelines vs. user experience benefits delivered by technology to prioritize how and when upgrades are deployed to benefit the greatest number of stakeholders.

Helpful to who? A dialogue with whom? Who is to say what is realistic and what isn't? The capacity of Bitcoin SegWit, if you had offered those numbers two years ago would have been thought completely unrealistic, and now, they are real. This section is nothing more than a pre Trump Washington Wonkesque call for the takeover of Bitcoin Core, with its oily talk of “stakeholders”. No one is buying any of this. If SegWit does not activate, you will not gain control of Bitcoin. If it does, you will not gain control of Bitcoin.

Overall, there are better ways we could deal with new technology as a community. For example, NASA deals with new-new technology all the time, and came up with a ladder to assess how close to production a technology is, called a Technology Readiness Level: https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/scan/engineering/technology/txt_accordion1.html

NASA? Really? This is absurd, but what else would you expect from people who think you need the State to regulate Bitcoin? In case you have’nt been watching the YouTube, you don’t need the State to get into Space, (or regulate Bitcoin) and NASA’s way of doing things is completely shown up by Space-X who are performing acts that are mind blowing in their innovation, from the live video links of every section of the fight to the shriek inducing landings of the first stage boosters on robot platforms.

It’s 2017, and you're asking the government for guidance? Give me a break.

And there is no Bitcoin community. What you are talking about is the needs of your monoculture members, not anyone else, pure Argumentam Ad Populum.

We’ve never understood why it has to be one or the other — why can’t there be both? Why can’t we introduce 2nd layer technologies (as they are ready) AND have a block size increase as well?

You don’t understand because you don’t understand Bitcoin. You can’t have both because increasing the block size will lead to centralization, which is anti-Bitcoin.

If you remove all the us vs them rhetoric being thrown around — we could gain benefits from both approaches (block size increase and SegWit)

Here we go with the “sotto voce violation of the Verbal Morality Statute” mantra that robust arguing is counter productive and inappropriate. This really is a matter of “us vs them”. On one side, you have a group of men who have a limited horizon view of Bitcoin with strong incentive to repay Venture Capital firms so they can exit and rid themselves of this seething morass of anarchists and geeks. On the other, you have the seething morass of anarchists and geeks, and a few ethical entrepreneurs thrown in for good measure. This is a fight over the biggest software breakthrough since public key cryptography, or the various tools that make up the basic internet protocols. Bitcoin has the potential to change everything; expecting people not to argue over it is irrational.

There are no gains to be made from centralizing Bitcoin, if you are interested in Bitcoin. What the DCG call “gains” people interested in Bitcoin call death. These people are wrong because they can escape at any time and form their own network. In years, if they have made the right bet, they will be the biggest financial network on earth. The problem is they have already bet incorrectly once, and are nervous about making another wrong bet, while Bitcoin goes on to explode without them. They also know that they have a serious technical deficit in the form of strong developers; if this were not the case, they would not be complaining about SegWit, and would be busy writing the libraries I described and that the DCG concedes must be written.

All of this is a logical conclusion based on the facts, and you are not entitled to your own facts. You cannot refuse to take a side, because there are no sides in this matter. SegWit is the logical choice and it should be activated immediately. The only reason why you would be against this is that you are frightened that a startup is waiting in the wings to eat your lunch with its zero conf high speed service that wipes you out. If things stay the same and SegWit never activates, then you get to avoid having to spend a fortune on new, dangerous software, and can pull the ladder up and prevent a startup from obliterating you. The choice is clear for them; SegWit must be stopped. They can participate in any future centralized Bitoin Clearing specialist as privileged actors and the VC spigot will never be turned off. They might even end up being the ones running it. These are the secret thoughts behind the anti SegWit animus.

It’s difficult to identify how we move the discussion forward productively — anyone who takes any sort of position in public, even one of compromise, is instantly labeled to be a seg-wit supporter or a seg-wit blocker and the discussion just ends/degrades into name calling

This is more soap opera. There are developers who are above this sort of nonsense, being more concerned with the quality of their important work. What anyone “labels” you is irrelevant. People who were undecided have openly said they now support SegWit activation, often after having it explained to them. It’s not easy to understand. There is no discussion to move forward in any case; software is not about discussion; it is about the delivery of code.

We know that increasing the block size alone will irreparably damage Bitcoin, so this is not an option. We know that SegWit will increase the capacity of Bitcoin beyond VISA and MasterCard. Thats it. It’s a no-Brainer. Furthermore, the block size limit will be increased to 2meg giving companies with anxiety time to get their SegWit solutions in place.

Everybody wins with SegWit
As a community, we should avoid all-positive documents on SegWit (prudent to include some cautions), just as we should avoid all-negative SegWit commentary. This is a hugely complex upgrade, as the devs themselves have noted many times.

Another call to group think, and DCG wants to be the cult leader. It’s a fascinating position to take, but quite understandable when you consider that they are absolutely bereft of power and influence. There is nothing at all bad about making a categorical statement that something is completely wrong if it is in fact, wrong; this is another way of claiming that this matter is nuanced. which should trigger anyone who is interested in Bitcoin’s success. It is a way to say that no matter what your position is, it is always flawed in some way or subject to interpretation, which is obviously wrong.

There are absolutes, there is right and wrong, there is good and evil.

What we’ve observed is that communication has done downhill — people are calling one another liars, claiming the “other side” is destroying bitcoin, calling anything that doesn’t match their proposal a “coup,” and it’s incredibly unprofessional. It makes everyone in bitcoin look bad. We want to see communication return to a professional, scientific level.

In order to melt iron you need heat. You cannot produce steel without a hot furnace. When men debate, they get angry, they fight, they use curse words and lose their tempers. This is completely normal, expected and useful.

The people who want to centralize Bitcoin really are on the other side of an argument. They really are a threat, not only to the idea of Bitcoin, but to what people can do with their money; transmit it without permission. If you threaten to steal someone’s money, they are going to get angry. This is completely normal, rational and legitimate. As government issued fiat is withdrawn, permission-less Bitcoin is now more important than ever. This not just an academic debate any more, this is a matter of human liberty and dignity.

Trying to wrest control of the Bitcoin source repository and control of the protocol by lying, threatening, attacking the network with thousands of artificial transactions has all the markings of a coup:

Spreading FUD, attacking the network with spam, whispering in the ears of company owners to get employees who are pro SegWit fired, (yes this actually happened) are all attempts to take over the root operation of Bitcoin but worst of all, is the launch of a buggy rival reference client “Bitcoin Unlimited”, which is tantamount to the firing of a weapon against the Bitcoin network. This is in no uncertain terms an attack, and an attempt to steal control of or spoil Bitcoin, and it is entirely justifiable and reasonable to call these attempts a coup and to vociferously argue against them.

It is not unprofessional to protect your work, and in software, the only thing that matters is whether or not your code works correctly. This is why in offices all over the world, the geeks are allowed to wear their hair in any way they like, are allowed to smell, to keep their work spaces like pig styes, work in their pyjamas and all other sorts of unimaginable, filthy indulgences that only a few years ago would be unthinkable behaviour for any office. In fact, if you do not provide beds, slides, free food, massages and an absence of rules (on top of a fortune in money, equity and benefits) you can forget hiring the best developers. I could Google many shocking pictures to prove this, but ill spare you having to buy a new keyboard. Heh.

Nobody who writes software cares about looking bad in front of normies. All they care about is their work, and that it compiles, and is appreciated by their peers. This is why Open Source software has eaten the world; people working for the good of other people and respect of their peers; those motivations were enough to change everything, and now that energy is being applied to the problem of replacing fiat money.

Making a claim that people are not being professional because they won’t tolerate you destroying their money is absurd. Men really are trying to destroy Bitcoin; this is not exaggeration; it is a statement of fact. That is why people are so angry and they are right to be angry at the reckless selfish acts of vandalism that are being launched at Bitcoin, and the useful idiots who know nothing about Bitcoin, can’t write “hello world” in C but who think they are “Stakeholders” trying to force their ideas on something they know nothing about and that they're fundamentally ideologically opposed to.

But It’s Clear the Current Approach Isn’t Working
We’ve thought long and hard about this — if anything, what we would really like to see is compromise (e.g. both sides working together on a solution that works for as many as possible) — but its like trying to get someone from the extreme political right and left to agree on something they fundamentally disagree on — any push towards compromise/confronting the issue seems to just entrench the two sides that much further

Yes, it is working. SegWit has been developed and is now in the reference client. SegWit is the solution, if you want to work with Bitcoin. No one should compromise with any idea that means Bitcoin becomes centralized, in other words, stops being Bitcoin. This is the problem the DCG does not understand; they are looking at Bitcoin through the lens of their iPhones and not at what makes it work, or valuable. Its just a number on a flat screen, indistinguishable from any other.

And as for the comparison between left and right in politics, this is a perfect example of how the DCG does not understand Bitcoin. The left in politics believes that the Federal Reserve and central banks should control the supply of money, by right. Bitcoin was written because its author understood that this is not correct, and that money is a product and service that should be produced by the market, not the State. If anything, the DCG is a Socialist organization, because it is for the State and its “regulations” and the de facto centralization of Bitcoin.

The men who produced SegWit are not entrenched. They've produced working software that will change everything, and that you may opt not to use. Every single member of the DCG can carry on exactly as they are and not adopt SegWit. No one is being forced to do anything, and this change is very accommodating and respectful of everyone, not breaking anyone’s software or disrupting anything.

Compare and contrast this with Bitcoin Unlimited, which will eventually push small operators off of the market by making it impossible for them to run a full node. They are the bad guys. It is they who have launched a poison fork, it is they who are spamming the network, running propaganda and asking for employees with different opinions to theirs to be ruined. No one from the SegWit side is going those unethical things.

It seems that so far, the approach of “get [devs] to all sit down and figure out how to work together” is a lost cause and that trying to push it has done more harm than good. Events like the Hong Kong Meeting, the various Roundtables, have all isolated rather than included opinion.

There is nothing to discuss any further. There have been many hours of discussions, and flying all over the world to solve this “problem” and everyone has had literally years to write software to make their vision real. Only Bitcoin Core has come up with something, at great personal expense, and it’s more than just something, it’s a work of genius that changes everything.

Anyone that has anything to offer needs to offer it in the form of working software. Talk is meaningless and so are the endless “white papers” that cannot do anything. If you really have something to offer, you can write some C, or develop a service; either way, you have to write some software to have influence. That is the only thing that matters.

Private, closed-door meetings do little to address the main issues found in support tickets that we’re seeing every day. We need to talk about alternatives and options to get these issues addressed. It seems like a better use of energy to identify a new mechanism that gets devs, business operators, and miners together — not in secret, invite-only roundtables

This is a veiled threat to push for the State to directly intervene in Bitcoin’s governance as Primavea De Philippi brazenly called for in Wired

this is what it means when the DCG says, “a new mechanism”. And there is a reason why men have to meet in secret to discuss these matters. All of them are on the same side of this problem. They want Bitcoin to scale. They want to continue to profit. They do not want Bitcoin to break. They all know what they are talking about, at a source code and network protocol level. Having the DCG and other people, even entrepreneurs who run services on top of Bitcoin but who don’t have expertise in cryptography or C at a meeting would be completely pointless. The people who can’t contribute feel left out, become emotional, and feel like they are being talked down to…which is true and often completely justifiable.


Bitcoin is not about community, meetings, the DCG, endless conferences and lawyers; it is about software. It is not about your opinion. There is no “we” that needs “other methods”. You do not “have a say”.

Whether SegWit activates (it should) or not, what we are dealing with is a profound cultural mismatch between at least three different camps. Two of these camps are powerless, and they can’t stand it. They don’t have the ability to start their own network, or write their own software, and they can’t influence the Bitcoin network, one of the most successful and reliable software projects ever launched. They are trapped. It is the success of Bitcoin which everyone now understands and that is attracting undesirables who want to change the rules of something they never saw the need for and couldn't possibly have imagined.

As I've said many times, if Bitcoin cannot successfully repel these low level attackers, it will have no chance against the State. This is the big picture of the Bitcoin Unlimited vs SegWit competition, which is about the future of Bitcoin, and how in that future everyone interacts with it.


Now, everyone buy me beer: writing is very thirsty work!

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