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Bitcoin Has a Political Problem as Soft Fork Becomes Popularity Contest

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:52 PM

Like the recent US election, tensions within the Bitcoin Community have run high for the better parts of 2015 and 2016 as a rather-minor code change (known as the ‘block size debate’) has become a political race for competing factions, some of which have non-developers as spokespeople pushing an alternative to Bitcoin’s core client, Bitcoin Core.

In the past for the Bitcoin Core team, soft forks have not prevented much of an obstacle, but not the block size. It bewilders some among the Core team, how devs with such little experience have commanded such a share of dialogue despite questionable experience. What’s more, reputable businessmen have banded together to support and pump these groups.

Below, in January 2016, Brian Armstrong states “the number of people supporting BitcoinClassic keeps on growing.” Well, this may have been true during the initial marketing push, of which Bitcoiners like Brian Armstrong and Roger K. Ver partook, but once the honeymoon was over people sobered up and here we are nearly one year later and BitcoinClassic inspired suspicion and doubt in a great percentage of Bitcoin participants.

A good anecdote about BitcoinClassic is when one member of the  team came on the Slack channel for the project to talk about his ongoing acid trip .

That dude even thought to go on his computer while tripping is terrifying enough. If you’re trying to lead Bitcoin as a member of your dreamt up vision of the future core development team, tripping on the job (unless you’re some whizz microdoser) is amateur hour status straight up.

Patience is a virtue. Bitcoin’s historical status quo has led to enormous gains for a largely a speculative technology. If Bitcoin doesn’t function as a transactional currency, that’s basically because it wasn’t designed as such in the first place (at a certain scale) and rushing to change it epitome of ego. If increasing the block size is the technologically sound thing to do, which makes sense, then that time will come. If it’s forced in a political shouting match, some dangerous eventualities become more possible, such as a coup. But, that will only be a problem for those that didn’t diversify their crypto-holdings.

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