Bitcoin: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To
Progress is a funny thing. Isn’t it interesting that for all of the advances the human race makes, there’s also a great number of things that were superior in a previous era?
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Progress or Not?
Fruits and vegetables used to be tastier before all of the genetic modifications. Rock and roll music was much better in the 1960s and 70s than it is today. And it’s tough to find the kind of quality craftsmanship that was common a generation or two ago.
Another example is the United States of America. Once the greatest nation on earth, it has devolved from the Land of Liberty into a socialistic, bloated, bureaucratic mess.
Bitcoin: Already Corrupted
In the world of Bitcoin, everything moves at 100x speed. Still, it is surprising that Bitcoin has already been politically corrupted, subverted, poisoned, and taken over.
As with all political corruption, one of the most effective weapons is incrementalism. What has been happening in Bitcoin is a slow motion train wreck that has occurred over the last four years.
Most people outside of the inner Bitcoin community aren’t aware of any of it. They might have read an article or two about “Bitcoin scaling” and that’s about it.
Those who do follow Bitcoin politics know exactly what I am talking about it, whether you agree with my views or not.
For those that do not follow Bitcoin and want to know how Bitcoin has been corrupted, this article is for you. I won’t go into all of the details, but instead will just try to give you some important facts.
- Bitcoin was initially conceived as Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. In fact, the title of the Bitcoin whitepaper is: Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System.
- Currently, transaction capacity is restricted in Bitcoin to about 3 transactions per second. By contrast, Visa processes thousands of transactions per second.
- This 3 tx/sec limit is the result of the Bitcoin “blocks” having a maximum size of 1MB, where a “block” happens about every 10 minutes.
- This limit was an early flood control setting which was unfortunately not removed and later became a political target for control.
- The Bitcoin “Core” group of developers refused for years to increase the limit with all kinds of silly reasons. Mostly nonsensical fears about ‘decentralization’.
- 1MB is a tiny amount of data. Today, many Internet users can download hundreds of megabytes (or even gigabytes) of data in 10 minutes. And gigabyte blocks are now being tested.
- The Core developers refused to compromise at every turn. They won’t even accept 2MB.
- Several of the most prominent Core developers are paid by corporations with millions of dollars in funding from the old establishment.
- Instead of allowing Bitcoin to grow using its blockchain technology, the Core developers want to change Bitcoin from peer to peer money into a settlement network, so that additional layers can be built on top of Bitcoin. These additional layers will be used to serve more users.
- Bitcoin, allowed to grow in its natural form, is permissionless and censorship resistant money.
- The settlement network version of Bitcoin (what the Bitcoin Core devs want) won’t be permissionless or censorship resistant. It is cunningly designed for regulation and control.
- Instead of offering a block increase, Core developers offered a convoluted proposal called “SegWit”.
- SegWit not only was falsely promised to be a capacity increase, it also greatly weakened the security model of Bitcoin which is defined in the whitepaper as a “chain of digital signatures”. SegWit Bitcoin is not.
- This subversion of Bitcoin was allowed to happen because initially the Core group of developers were trusted. It was inconceivable they would be corrupted.
- The subversion also happened through stalling, broken promises, and massive censorship.
All Is Not Lost
Although Bitcoin certainly ain’t like it used to be, Bitcoin Cash exists. Bitcoin Cash is a fork of Bitcoin that occurred on August 1, 2017. It increases the blocks to allow Bitcoin to scale on-chain, it does not include the weakening SegWit code, and it is not controlled by any single development team.
It preserves Bitcoin as it was designed, as it was meant to be: censorship resistant, peer to peer electronic cash.
Do you agree or disagree with this opinion on Bitcoin progress? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Note: The above article reflects the opinion of Jonald Fyookball and not Bitsonline editorial policy. Views expressed are the author’s alone.
Images via Bitcoin Cash team
The ‘Bitcoin Cash’ section at Bitsonline is sponsored by Bitcoin Cash. In hopes of bringing cryptocurrency to the masses, Bitcoin Cash has set out to provide a digital currency with on-chain scalability, so everyone can use the blockchain affordably. Learn more at BitcoinCash.org.