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Standing together as Bitcoin SV builders despite the slump

Let’s remind ourselves how we got where we are so we can find a way forward as a dynamic group building on Bitcoin SV.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Bitcoin Association for BSV.

Is it a sign of passion and the emotional investment that people are putting into the BSV mission that there are such high rates of infighting and attrition?

Or would all this bickering and complaining go away instantly under the exuberance of price appreciation?

Let’s remind ourselves how we got where we are so we can find a way forward as a dynamic group building on Bitcoin SV.

A recap of the Bitcoin code’s core principles

Although the Bitcoin reference client was released on the open-source website Source Forge, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it was supposed to be a community project. The Bitcoin protocol is designed as financial infrastructure and as such the Bitcoin codebase which underwrites that functionality needs to be vetted by multiple sets of eyes.

Ensuring that cryptographic standards are properly implemented, and all bugs are identified early on before business and users come along was critical if the system was ever going to succeed.

While Satoshi left a rich set of comments on the various forums before his outward departure, there was still massive variance in individuals’ comprehension or interpretation of these comments.

From the outset, the very first discussions were people disagreeing with Satoshi over the capacity of the system to scale, or that the system needed to be modified to satisfy the wish list of the cypherpunk ideals.

It appears this constant debating and reiteration of the integrity and assurance of the system became somewhat irksome, and the elusive creator disappeared from the public forums for nearly half a decade.

For Bitcoin to function as a protocol, the system needs to be consistent year after year. There is a reason that IPv6 has taken so long to become adopted and that’s because the entire Internet infrastructure became so tightly enmeshed with the stable parameters of the protocol. This allowed the Internet to flourish building upon a fixed protocol where the core design hasn’t changed in nearly 40 years.

The codebase is not up for community vote

‘The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.’ 

Satoshi Nakamoto, BitcoinTalk, 2010-06-17

The significance of this statement has been overlooked for many years and to this day it’s being selectively ignored even by those who once championed the same quote as a reason for joining the BSV camp during the days of UASF and Hash Wars.

It’s mind-boggling that there are still people within the BSV community that are calling for protocol-level changes because they haven’t managed to understand the system well enough to solve their technical challenges.

The second part of the above quote speaks of the consequences of having a fixed set-in-stone protocol and that is that the functionality for every conceivable transaction type needed to be there from the beginning. The solution to this was Bitcoin Script which can be evaluated by nodes for whether the logical arguments can resolve to a true or false by the nodes.

Introducing or stripping functionality can have dire consequences on the ability to transmit transactions generated before such additions, or the additions themselves can expose vulnerabilities in other existent templates.

Don’t blame the recipe when you’re replacing the ingredients 

Straight after the 2018 hash war, the payload for an OP_RETURN output was raised to 100KB and a flurry of innovation occurred. A few years later with the Genesis upgrade, the PUSHDATA opcodes were reactivated allowing transactions up to 1GB.

Dr Craig Wright has repeatedly stated over the years that the PUSHDATA opcodes should be the method for sending data to the chain in 99% of cases yet almost 99% of the applications on BSV still use OP_RETURN as their method of pushing to the chain.

The developers or CEOs of these applications are often the same ones calling for protocol changes to make their stacks work properly when they haven’t tried the approach that’s been endorsed for years by the most knowledgeable man on the system.

These members of the Bitcoin community then take to social media to air their grievances at the system and the failures of others for why their business can’t succeed.

On the other hand, you have some that cling to every word Dr Wright says on various topics and dismiss the expertise and ideas of others by paraphrasing the arguments of Dr Wright as if they can be shoehorned into any context.

The division will be the cause of our downfall

Ironically, people from a community that’s rallied around court cases for defamation over Dr Wright being called a scammer and fraud have banned people from the community channels for challenging them to provide the evidence for their allegations that other people are frauds.

Some former BSV champions have gone on to advocate other platforms as the most suitable for development and die-hard supporters who did years in the trenches of social media wars get shunned by their former allies if they level any criticisms inward at the behaviour of individuals in the community.

The recent situations with the unidentified miner demonstrated further the ideological divide in BSV as certain community members were mortified at the suggestion of a central authority freezing or blocking malicious miners. Solana, on the other hand, falls over every other week and needs to be reset by the centralised developers yet many are excited about Solana-based tokens in their wallet systems. Is that not a double standard? 

Would all this bickering and complaining go away instantly under the exuberance of price appreciation? I suspect so.

No one in the BTC camp calls out Pomp or Vays for their non-sequiturs and borderline criminal financial advice. Nor do they whine about Lightning Network still being a mess after five years of tinkering by Mastercard-funded core developers.

Or perhaps it’s a sign of passion and the emotional investment that people are putting into the BSV mission that there are such high rates of infighting and attrition. After all, it’s far better to be taking baby steps in the right direction with lots of grumbling than sprinting in the wrong direction and cheering at your own demise.

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