Update (May 20, 2017, 3:13 PM EST): Nadav Ivgi reached out to Bitsonline and provided a statement that further clarified his group’s purpose in organizing the protest.
Escalating tensions revolving around Bitcoin’s scaling debate is starting to get personal for Bitmain, as they recently found out their Israel office had been “vandalized” and their employees threatened by disgruntled protesters last weekend.
Opposition to Bitmain Hits a High Point
Gadi Glikman, the VP of International Sales and marketing at Bitmain, formerly of Spondoolies, recently wrote an op-ed detailing the events leading up to their office being vandalized.
Glikman writes that Nadav has been a dogmatic voice in the scaling debate for refusing to accept any compromise between what he wants and what others want in a solution, citing his rejection of Barry Silbert’s proposal as an example.
The main point of his op-ed rejecting the compromise was described by Glikman as “There will be no Bitcoin but the Bitcoin I want.”
Nadav has also been an opponent of Bitmain and their favored solution, Bitcoin Unlimited. However, right before the vandalism occurred he had become increasingly vocal with his complaints of the company.
His opposition reached a high point when he and a few others, according to Glikman, broke into Bitmain’s Israel office in the middle of the night and defaced it with printouts. The printouts referenced the Antbleed miner backdoor and warned people of a potential DDoS attack to be perpetrated by the company against the Bitcoin network.
Furthermore, Glikman also claims that the act involved threats against their employees, but did not specify what these alleged threats entailed.
Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu told Bitsonline that the event marked the beginning of a Core dictatorship with Nadav as their enforcer.
“Core has its storm trooper now,” Wu said. “This is a very important step in the growth of a dictatorship.”
The Protester’s Side of Things
Glikman had tried to smooth things over with Nadav by sitting down and talking with him so that the situation wouldn’t escalate any further.
While he was able to talk with him, what he had hoped was going to be an intellectually stimulating conversation ended up being a stale regurgitation of talking points that left him with a bad taste in his mouth.
Things just deteriorated from there and eventually resulted in the act of vandalism and the alleged threats to employees. He went on to say that he hoped that activities such as this would not become normalized and that they were “in the midst of a revolution” and that that they “wouldn’t let extremists set the tone.”
Some Redditors came to the defense of the perpetrators, with with Nadav himself participating in the discussions. They saw their actions as a form of legitimate protest against Bitmain, believing that the company is prioritizing their own interests over Bitcoin’s. Nadav claimed that the protest wasn’t vandalism at all, and denied even breaking into the building, saying that they went to a part of the building that was open to the public.
“The protest in question took place in the public areas of a shared office building that’s freely accessible to the public. None of the protesters entered any offices, Bitmain’s private property, or any other restricted areas. The posters were put up with blu-tac, which is easy to remove and leaves no marks.”
Nadav reached out to Bitsonline and told us the flyers contained no threatening language. “This is not our way,” Nadav said, “the bitcoin activists that participated. . .are peaceful and would never take part in threats, violence or any other illegal activity.”
Nadav also clarified that the protest was not related to the block size debate. Instead, Nadav said, they protested Bitmain’s alleged ability to initiate a DoS attack on the Bitcoin network through the kill-switch backdoor present in the companies mining equipment.
What do you think of Bitmain’s Israel office being defaced? Was is it an appropriate response by the protesters? Let’s hear your thoughts below.
Images Via Gadi Glikman