Bitcoin is not about human flaws or feelings. It is about software. This is the factor that everyone who isn’t a software developer doesn’t want to accept. If you don’t develop software, you don’t get a say. You can have meetings, write on Bitcoin, vote, go on retreats and do whatever else you like, but you have no effect or say in Bitcoin. That is a fact. Even if you are a software developer, if what you design is worthless, it will not be incorporated or run by anyone.
The “human side” of Bitcoin does not exist. Bitcoin is a purely technical software problem, and what irrelevant people think about it does not matter. If there are irrelevant people, you might ask, “Well then, who are the relevant people?” That’s easy to answer. The men and women who write the software and run the services are the relevant people. They are the ones that matter, and no one else.
No one needs a “Cellphone Community” to be able to make and receive calls on their phone, they don’t need a “Bitcoin Community” either. Apple and Samsung make phones, and there is no “Samsung Community” for you to join and “have your say”. You buy your phone, make your calls, pay your bill and that is it. If you don’t have a Samsung or Apple phone: no calls for you. If you want to have an influence on Bitcoin, run a full node,
The most significant issue facing Bitcoin today doesn't receive a lot of attention. Unlike the price, the network…www.contravex.com
build a new business on it, build a mining company, or learn to write C. Those are the only ways you can have influence, and even then it will be limited by how well you are doing what you are doing. And that limitation is a very good thing, because it keeps everyone secure.
Who is “we”?
Over and over we hear talk of this “we”. Who is “we” exactly, and why do people keep referring to them? Who says who is part of “we” and who is not? Thankfully in Bitcoin, who “we” is is a pure meritocracy; only the developers and entrepreneurs are “we” and no one else. They have the power, and they exercise it. No lawyer, association runner or blogger matters; silicon cannot execute what they have to offer.
There is no “Bitcoin rift”. Bitcoin is not broken and is running exactly to its specification. The people involved in the Bitcoin Soap Opera on the other hand, have reached an impasse. So far, every time an attack is launched on Bitcoin, the last one being being the Bitcoin XT coup attempt, the people in Bitcoin worked quietly to defend the network. And they suceeded. This is a very good thing. It strengthened Bitcoin, and showed that hostile takeovers won’t be tolerated.
The problem here is that there are people who want to control Bitcoin, or a network like it, but who don’t want to do the work in building a new network from scratch. If you really believe in your large block size plan, then start an alt-coin from nothing and use your prodigious social skills to get everyone to run your client. The problem is that no one will follow such a plan; everyone instantly becomes absolutely rational and ruthless when it comes to money, and the soap opera is switched off. That is why starting from nothing is a non starter for the people who want to capture the actual Bitcoin network and its incredible power.
Allow me to introduce you to someone who has the potential to be very important in the future of Bitcoin. His name is…www.cryptocoinsnews.com
This is not about personal relationships and codes of conduct. This is about people trying to steal the power of Bitcoin and take control of it, centralize it and neuter it. No amount of talk, weekends in the Bahamas and private conferences can change the nature of theft, or convince people who believe there is nothing wrong with the CIA that what they are doing is fundamentally unethical. Obviously all men and women who are rational would rather live without this idiotic drama, but for the people who only have drama as their sole connection to Bitcoin, this is what Bitcoin is. It is a series of characters, names to invoke, positions to hold, single page vertical scrolling websites with countdown tickers and other interactive things.
Whilst all of that entertainment is going on, the people who are moving forward are the billionaires, entrepreneurs and software developers who are getting on with their difficult, hideously complex, insanely risky, mostly experimental, ground breaking and dangerous work. Those are the people who matter, and no one else.
Trust, But Verify
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. The only way that anyone can be trusted is if their position is correct, and their actions are in line with Bitcoin. If their actions are not in line with Bitcoin, no treaty, mea culpa or confession will be of any value. All it will mean is that you have left the door open to a man who you already know is an enemy and a thief, to corrupt and destroy your work and try to steal from you again. Only a fool trusts a thief twice.
Forgiveness is proper behaviour, but it does not, once again, mean leaving yourself open to attack over and over. Anyone who is trying to fork Bitcoin is an enemy of Bitcoin. This is non negotiable. Anyone who is launching a coup against the single true network is trying to steal the network. There are no two ways about this. It isn’t a matter of opinion, nuance or point of view. Trying to hijack Bitcoin is unacceptable, and you can be assured that it won’t be tolerated, just as XT was not tolerated and purged.
To assert that logic must come above emotion is correct, but ethics are important also. It is simply unethical to launch a hostile Bitcoin client on the network in an attempt to fundamentally change its nature and hijack it. The Bitcoin network doesn’t belong to you, and no, just because you held a vote, it does not mean that you can suddenly own something that doesn’t belong to you. Bitcoin is not a democracy.
Bitcoin is not Socialist. It is not Democratic. It is a system of voluntary, entirely non violent, free association.medium.com
This is about people’s behaviour. If you launch an attack on Bitcoin, what you think doesn't matter; its what you are doing that matters; you are trying to steal something that does not belong to you. That is the only behaviour that matters; are you attacking the Bitcoin network with your software or not? Speech is irrelevant and so are people’s feelings. This is about software only, not feelings and nebulous “Community”.
The Metal. The Software. That’s it.
The only thing that matters in Bitcoin is the software. That is the framework that you have to live inside. That is the sole source of guidelines that are required. The only code of conduct that matters is how the protocol mediates and interacts between Bitcoin clients. Everything outside of this is noise and a distraction. If you remove the noise from the picture. there are few problems in Bitcoin, and the ones on the table are great, solvable challenges, but the software attacks are intolerable and evil and grossly unethical, and you don’t have to be involved in Bitcoin on any level to understand this. Stealing is wrong. Breaking contracts is wrong.
The answer to this nagging problem is already being implemented. The hostile Bitcoin XT coup was defeated and so will other attempts to Americanize and centralize Bitcoin. Even American lawyers are warning that putting your name to a new version of Bitcoin will get you in very deep water.
By Daniel S. Friedberg February 11, 2016 Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, is intended to allow online…www.riddellwilliams.com
Your best bet, if you are trying to pollute Bitcoin, is to back down now, permanently, and work on software ancillary to Bitcoin. In the unlikely event that you succeed, the State will punish you severely. In the very likely event that you fail, you will have wasted your time for nothing, and wound up making the thing you are trying to destroy stronger. Trying to corrupt Bitcoin is the very definition of a fools errand, and you should quit now while you are ahead.
Signing pledges in software is worthless; imagine a thief burgling your house and asking him to sign a pledge not to steal from you. This is the nature of what is being asked for when people ask others to sign a toothless pledge not to misbehave. Every contract has clauses specifying what happens when a party defaults. We are talking about individuals who have no conscience or ethics, and who think nothing of trying to steal a multi-billion dollar software network, who think government blacklists are acceptable to add to Bitcoin and other hideous, unethical totalitarian garbage. These bad actors are actively trying to destroy Bitcoin, and rather than asking them to cease and desist and sign a piece of paper where they are under contract with grave consequences for breaking its terms (not a meaningless unwritten pledge that is in any case, only good for gentlemen) they are being asked to sign a pledge to be…
You couldn't make this up if you tried.
The participants who run Bitcoin have proven that they are very good at protecting the network, and I have a strong feeling that they will continue to do so, and quite aggressively. This power and bespoke arrangement has been achieved without open discussion or worthless paper pledges. There is too much at stake in terms of money and power. The face of the enemy is out in the open, and no one is being fooled by them, even once. The reason for this success is that the objective truth of this is in the software, not in anyone’s mind. The software in the metal is the only thing and place that matters, and defending it rigorously is being done.
Being Held to High Standards
If anyone wants to be held to a high standard, they should say explicitly what those standards are. Here are two for you.
1/ Don’t steal.
2/ Don’t attack Bitcoin.
Those two foundational principles alone are enough to destroy these problems forever. Unfortunately, there are those who want to use Bitcoin as a skeleton to hang their professions on, or as a tool to enslave people. Improvements to Bitcoin are going to make these acts impossible, no matter what you want or vote for. And for the record, you are better off going along with Bitcoin rather than fighting it. Ask the MPAA/RIAA about BitTorrent and their attempts to kill it for a clue.
The trappings of the past, codes of conduct, voting, majority rule, summits of non developers, have no place, value, or power in the software that mediates between users. That is what Bitcoin is for; it is the arbiter, the judge and the means of dispute resolution. You either have the keys or you do not. The people who want to slather human layers of tears and grease on top of this pristine construct of symbolic logic and metal are not in Bitcoin. They want a place in it, but there is no place for them, because they don’t develop software or run Bitcoin businesses. If they did, they wouldn’t be suggesting any of this. They would simply say, “yes” or “no”, and that would be it.
What we are seeing is a glimpse into a world where opinion doesn’t matter. Pieces of paper you sign have no power or effect. Only the math matters, only the private keys matter. You are free to say whatever you like, go wherever you like, form associations, break associations, be polite, be rude. None of it matters. The only thing that matters is software in general and Bitcoin in particular. It is a profound transformation of society from one of force to one of math. There is no place for feelings in the execution of math. Of course, your feelings in human interactions remain unchanged, but this is of no effect in math and Bitcoin, and it should not be.
Violent people are hell bent on destroying the usefulness of the internet.medium.com
We can only hope that in the future, a version of Bitcoin emerges that has self defence built in to the protocol, where if rogue clients appear on the network, they are detected and all the nodes DDOS it. This “Self Healing Bitcoin Network” could run unattended, since it is self protecting, rejecting all attempts of the Statists to launch hostile clients. Who knows what is going to emerge to strengthen Bitcoin; all we can say for certain is that it is clear who is right and who is wrong in these matters, and there is no excuse for attacking the network and invalidating other people’s agreements.
Anyone who wants to fix problems doesn’t try to appease the enemy. They rebuke them and at the very least, try to make them cease and desist. Normal people don’t appease burglars; they lock them out permanently, improve security, lay out razor wire and sharp spikes. This isn’t a kindergarten; this is real life, and Bitcoin is a project of historic significance, perhaps, even more important than the advent of the internet itself. Anyone who wants to destroy Bitcoin is an enemy of mankind. The enemies of Bitcoin will be stopped and permanently prevented and locked out from being able to poison, centralize, Stateize and corrupt it. I am confident that they will fail completely.
On a final note about failure. There are understandable doubts about R3CEV and their vapourware, which we are now being told will be Open Source.
“What they’re (R3CEV) trying to do is protect themselves,” said Mullen. “They need a way to protect their business so they’re trying to develop a new infrastructure, a new protocol, to communicate among banks and various financial institutions.”
As I said before, the “Blockchain not Bitcoin” fad is just that, and anyone who wants to build real applications does so on Bitcoin not in a siloed private system better suited to MySQL/Oracle. What this looks like is Lightning
Abstract. The bitcoin protocol can encompass the global financial transaction volume in all electronic payment systems…lightning.network
layer that sits on top of Bitcoin. Notice what Lightning is doing; rather than trying to steal the network or supplant it, they are harnessing its enormous power and making it more useful with their software. This is innovative, ethical and beneficial to everyone.
Why are R3CEV making their tool Open Source? Do they think that the words “Open Source” will confer legitimacy and the sheen of ethics on to what they are doing? Who is going to contribute to their code base from the public, and what incentive have they to do so? For a prediction on how many contributions they will get look a the GitHub repo of Open Source “Blockchain not Bitcoin” vendors and see how many contributions they have. It is literally zero across all files.
Open Source isn’t a magic formula to get people to write software for you, and people who try and polish their image with it don’t understand why software developers spend time on projects; they are human beings, and will work only on projects that benefit them. Working for free for a company trying to replace the back end of banks with irrational garbage isn’t an attractive prospect.
The banks and their cheerleader fan boys are trying to put on the clothes of The Software Transformation (“The Transformation”) and as they do so, they demonstrate that they simply don’t get it. When they have something to show for their efforts. Software developers aren’t stupid. Many of them are political. They know what the Federal Reserve banks and their cronies have done, and the very existence of Bitcoin is borne out of that deep understanding. All it takes is one developer to change the entire world. Whether that be Bram Cohen or Satoshi Nakamoto, or even Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn, the new “Public Enemy Number One”
This is the end. They don’t know it yet, just as the book stores had no idea that the internet would wipe them out. Bitcoin will do the same to many parts of the financial industry, from the top to the bottom. No one with any sense wants to go back to a time before Amazon, and soon, the idea of life without Bitcoin, real Bitcoin, will be unthinkable to every man in the street.
Organic roasted and salted Pistachios, a fine Belgian blonde beer ↴