The 1000 Enemies of Bitcoin
It’s hard to believe, but Bitcoin is infiltrated by its enemies. At least if you believe what Adam Back, Blockstream CEO, tweeted last week, as the SegWit2x fight reached another pathetic peak. The important website Bitcoin.org promptly followed and threatened all participants of the SegWit2x agreement with a public denouncement.
In Bitcoin, it has become quite easy to get declared as an “enemy of Bitcoin.” Usually, the procedure of such an adversary appointment is rather trivial and might mirror a downgrade of conversations, which are not that rare on the internet.
It starts with that somebody doesn’t like your opinion. But since he is too lazy to react with facts and arguments, he simply declares his own view of the matters as the core of some kind of Bitcoin ethos. This puts him in the comfortable position that he no longer needs to rebut your opinion with arguments, but is able to accuse you of being an enemy of Bitcoin publicly.
You want something which could centralize Bitcoin? Bang! Enemy! You want a hard fork without what I define as consensus? You don’t praise Lightning Network? Want to do something Core doesn’t want to do? Bang! Bang! Bang! Enemy, enemy, enemy!
Enemy Makers want to Subjugate Bitcoin under the Guise of Morals and Politics
In fact, that kind of moralization goes against nearly everything Bitcoin stands for; to overcome the collectivistic, moralistic, and political control of money. All those people, who throw around appeals on some “bitcoin ethos” or declare other to enemies due to violating this ethos, do actually attempt to subjugate the cold, hard mechanic of Bitcoin under morals and politics. But under the aura of righteousness, this is often overseen.
In the past, some of the earliest Bitcoin developers (Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn), the most prominent Bitcoin miner (Jihan Wu) as well as the biggest known Bitcoin investor (Roger Ver) have been accused of being an enemy of Bitcoin. For whatever reason, it is said they long to destroy the real Bitcoin. Mike Hearn seems to have violated the Bitcoin ethos so much, that even today, more than 18 months after his rage-quit, the community is from time to time reminded, how much of a Bitcoin enemy he is or was.
Last week did prove that the circle of hidden Bitcoin enemies is far larger than you might fear. It includes not just some individual developers, miners or investors – but large parts of established Bitcoin companies as well as more than 90 percent of the miners.
The Enemies Are Everywhere!
Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, launched this tweet:
Finally, someone said it. Right? It’s about the big things, about living and dying, about friends and enemies. Who wants to waste time with arguments? You must not negotiate with enemies of Bitcoin. It’s them or us.
In the view of Adam Back, who is thanks to the ‘Cypherpunk aura’ always on the right side of ethics, the following list of companies have become ‘enemies’ of Bitcoin:
1Hash, Abra, ANX, Bitangel, BitClub, Bitcoin.com, Bitex, bitFlyer, Bitfury, Bitmain, BitPay, BitPesa, BitOasis, Bitso, Bixin.com, Blockchain.info, Bloq, btc.com, BTCC, BTC.TOP, BTER.com, Circle, Civic, Coinbase, Coins.ph, CryptoFacilities, Decentral, Digital Currency Group, Filament, Genesis Global Trading, Genesis Mining, GoCoin, Grayscale Investments, Jaxx, Korbit, Luno, MONI, Netki, OB1, Purse, Ripio, Safaello, SFOX, ShapeShift, surBTC, Unocoin, Veem, ViaBTC, Xapo, Yours.
All these companies have signed the New York Agreement. Those who are not enemies of Bitcoin should be Bitwala, F2Pool, Vaultoro, and Wayniloans. These firms did sign the agreement too, but later left it.
You might not have realized it by now, but nearly the whole Bitcoin economy has been undermined by enemies of Bitcoin. People, which aim to reach a solution of the long-standing block size fight which satisfies both sides; individuals, who want to scale on-chain; individuals, who think a hard fork can be done, if only enough people join it. Some of the largest exchanges, the biggest online wallets, the biggest payment providers, more than 90 percent of the hash rate – enemies, enemies, enemies!
The List of Shame
Over the weekend Bitcoin.org – one of the most important Bitcoin websites – piled the fire up. The website announced to denounce SegWit2x publicly. On November 10, the website will post a banner on every page, which warns of the SegWit2x fork, and which will call every company of the list above by name. To avoid the pillory, the names companies need to vow to never list the SegWit2x coin as BTC or Bitcoin, to not use it without strong replay protection and to further support the real Bitcoin.
The announcement explains again, that Bitcoin is not ruled by miners and that the action of miners does not legitimate companies to redefine Bitcoin. To confirm this, the site links to a page of the Bitcoin wiki with the title “Why Bitcoin is not ruled by miners.” Funnily this page was created by Theymos – the co-owner of Bitcoin.org – in early August 2017. Further Bitcoin.org explains that SegWit has nothing to do with SegWit2x.
To escape the public pillory the companies have the chance to explain their position in a thread on GitHub. Here they can announce that they are incorrectly listed as supporters of SegWit2x. The reaction, however, was not what the team of Bitcoin.org had hoped.
Please, Add Me to Your Funny List!
Not a single company canceled support of SegWit2x. Instead, some companies, which have not been on the list of shame, demanded to be added to it. For example, the most signficant exchange of Thailand, bx.in.th, as well as the Bitcoin implementation GoCoin. The developer Piotr made very clear what he thought about the campaign:
“I really believe that at the end of the day it is the miners that control the protocol. It all comes down to security, and I could explain it to you with a few very simple examples, but my understanding is that you don’t want to hear about this. Anyway, since it is quite possible that the miners will choose to upgrade the block size, starting from block #494784, I am going to modify the consensus part of my gocoin project to allow up to 2MB big blocks, starting from that block. The node will choose as active whichever branch will have more proof-of-work, without discriminating any of the two ‘implementations.’ Therefore please feel free to label me the enemy of bitcoin and include my project in your funny list.”
After some further companies – for example, the hosting service forked.net or the ATM provider Coinfucius – as well as some individuals demanded to be added to the list, Theymos temporarily locked the thread. It shall simply not happen that a thread, which was made to let enemies of Bitcoin convert to friends, is abused by the enemies to promote their sinister goals.