Andreas Antonopoulos, the author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” urges the bitcoin community to ignore all the drama caused by scalability and the block size and focus on its continued strength and growing innovation. The renowned bitcoin advocate voiced his views on Trace Mayer’s Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast.
Bitcoin’s technology is its most important feature, the author said, and the technology has fostered significant innovation. He pointed to TumbleBit, Lightning Networks, Segregated Witness, MimbleWimble and RSK as among the more important examples of the type of innovation bitcoin has fostered.
Scalability Creates Drama
Scalability and the block size debate have created a lot of drama of late, he acknowledged. This is reflected in two subreddits holding different views on how bitcoin should scale over the long term.
Some bitcoiners prefer the /r/BTC subreddit while others prefer /r/Bitcoin, which holds more moderate policy views. These disagreements have grown ugly, and Antonopoulos said it is best to get back to focusing on the technology’s roots.
For almost two years, there appears to be little discussion in bitcoin’s two main public forums other than scalability, an ancient topic, in bitcoin terms, that has consumed the community at the expense of all else, CCN recently reported.
“I think the most important thing is to try to objectively look at what’s really important in the bitcoin space, which is the technology,” Antonopoulos said. “Try to not be discouraged by a lot of the extraneous drama that’s going on. In my mind, a lot of the drama is distracting from the real progress that’s being made.”
Bitcoin: Stronger Than Ever
Bitcoin is stronger than ever, based on many metrics, he said. It has never been more distributed or diverse as it is now.
Bitcoin recently achieved an all-time high for the number of confirmed transactions in a single day on January 5. The cryptocurrency’s price, meanwhile, has nearly doubled since early 2016, despite a recent drop.
Some of the drama is due to nefarious actors, he said. He said a certain amount of the drama is intended to be divisive and distracting.
Disruption Should Be Expected
Every disruptive organization and grassroots movement in history has experienced provocateurs and infiltrators paid to cause problems. Antonopoulos said it would be naïve to think bitcoin would be the first such movement that didn’t experience these problems.
Despite the infighting taking place in the bitcoin community, Antonopoulos said it is not clear that most bitcoin users are even aware of it. End users are likely more concerned about whether or not the technology works.
“There are billions of people that are still unbanked, and they don’t care about the petty squabbles of who insulted who and called the other person the wrong name,” he said.
Antonopoulos encouraged the bitcoin community to keep innovating.
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