Bitcoin Unlimited Chief: Ignore Craig Wright and He’ll Fade into Obscurity

April 19, 2019 6:25 PM UTC

By Bitcoin Unlimited’s Chief Scientist Peter Rizun finally made it onto the What Bitcoin Did podcast, after initially having his interview canceled amid pressure from Bitcoin Maximalists who don’t want to hear his opinions on Lightning Network.

Bitcoin Unlimited Dev: Ignore Craig Wright and He’ll Go Away

Rizun discussed a range of issues, primarily Lightning. He also spoke to the problem of Craig Wright, who is currently suing podcast host Peter McCormack. Rizun says the best way to deal with Craig Wright is to ignore him and he’ll go away. Continuing to discuss Wright’s exploits by publishing articles such as this one, he said, only feeds into the self-declared Satoshi Nakamoto’s egotistical agenda.

“I think what we’re seeing right now is the death thralls from a person who is about to fade into obscurity. I think he wants people to pay attention and that’s why he’s doing these lawsuits. But I think the best strategy is just to ignore him and he’ll eventually go away.”

Rizun further spoke of the fundamental differences between Bitcoin Cash and what he calls Bitcoin Core. He explained his view of the fork, and pointed out that it doesn’t matter how the fork happens – a hard fork is a hard fork, and when it happens, it’s a new reality. That both chains have sustained enough hashpower to keep operating, with Bitcoin Core retaining the majority of the hash that was originally on the network, is evidence enough that both chains should exist.

McCormack said during the interview that he believes Bitcoin Cash should have gone with a different name, but that he views its existence as “useful.”

Problems With Lightning Network from Rizun’s Point of View

Rizun believes that Lightning Network will lead to a more centralized, painful user experience for users. He points out that several technical limitations with Lightning mean that people who want to use Bitcoin will ultimately have to trust others to do so. McCormack says that if his father were to use Bitcoin, he would prefer that he use something like Coinbase. Rizun responds:

“I think there will always be a use-case for custodial wallets. But I would like to do is make using non-custodial as painless and safe as possible, so that people opt for them as opposed to custodial wallets whenever possible, and Lightning makes that hard where SPV wallets make that easier.”

Rizun admitted there are some legitimate criticisms as regards SPV wallets. An SPV (simplified payment verification) wallet is also called a “light wallet.”

“Lightning makes it more difficult to just be a user, to run a non-custodial Lightning node. It’s much harder to manage your own keys as a Lightning user than a traditional Bitcoin user with an SPV wallet. For me, it’s more important to have users all across the world being able to easily run non-custodial wallets and use Bitcoin directly, than to have a smaller subset of people being able to cheaply run full validating nodes.”

Rizun’s comments, in general, do not address the growing chorus of former Bitcoin Unlimited developers who believe that Bitcoin Unlimited is in the process of being co-opted by Bitcoin SV supporters. At least three developers have left the project, including Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Sechet. That Rizun views Wright and SV as essentially teetering on the edge of obscurity should be heartening to those who held those concerns.

Listen to the episode in full below.

Last modified: May 20, 2020 6:12 AM UTC

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P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.