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Bitcoin Unlimited Loses Another Member in Anti-Bitcoin SV Protest

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:11 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:11 PM

Occasional developer Tomislav Dugandzic has decided to leave Bitcoin Unlimited, following the exit of Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Sechet and Antony Zegers. Dugandzic does so “in protest” of Bitcoin Unlimited’s friendliness with Bitcoin SV elements within its forces:

No Big Deal?

To date, Dugandzic is the third member to leave in the last two weeks. With each resignation, Bitcoin SV proponents get closer to dominating the group.

However, a revealing Reddit post made by another Bitcoin Unlimited member points out that the group doesn’t miss any of the three who’ve left so far. The unidentified developer says:

Nobody who’s actually doing active development on BU has left. In fact we just added another full time dev. An None of the people that left BU actually contributed to the BU codebase in any meaningful way. Although to be fair Amaury did submit one PR a couple of years ago, if I recall correctly, which was a cherry pick from Core (I think it was the C++11 upgrade), and he had some input on clang formatting, but they were certainly not substantial contributions. And neither Antony Zegers nor this other fellow ever contributed anything to the codebase that I know of. I’m sorry to see them go but it’s not great loss to BU development.

This reporter was unable to determine the exact identity of u/BitsenBytes. He is a verified developer as per this post  from last year, just not sure which one. Using that post and process of elimination, he is most probably Peter Tschipper . However, we could not verify this beyond a hunch:

We wanted to be sure we were quoting the right person, but we were unable to get a response by press time.

Is Bitcoin Unlimited Being Unfairly Attacked?

In a separate post , the developer points out that BCH proponents are trying to tie Craig Wright and Bitcoin Unlimited together.

My own view is that there is a lot of “circling of the wagons” going on because of the lawsuit. Also there’s a subtle (or not so subtle) desire to marginalize/smear BU in regards to the whole fiasco with CSW and try to tie BU to CSW in some way as the reason behind ABC’s disastrous fork last November. When you look a little more closely though I don’t think their arguments hold water.

Bitcoin Unlimited, throughout its existence, has taken a neutral position on issues like block size. They try to encompass as many protocol changes as possible, to allow miners and users to determine what they would like to see. While they’ve yet to find overwhelming success as a client choice, their approach to Bitcoin politics is perhaps admirable for its refusal to pick winners.

Nevertheless, the question remains. What becomes of Bitcoin Unlimited if most major Bitcoin Cash proponents exit? What if those who support Craig Wright and Bitcoin SV are all that remains?

Not All The Anti-BSV Elements Are Gone Yet

The Bitcoin Unlimited membership page  still lists Amaury Sechet, Antony Zegers, and Tomislav Dugandzic. The initiative seemingly remains committed to its mission of creating the most democratic possible scaling solution by allowing users to decide for themselves what is acceptable.

Chief Scientist Peter Rizun is an outspoken critic of Blockstream and Lightning Network. Here is a recent video of Rizun speaking against the Bitcoin SV split away from the Bitcoin Cash fork.

Amaury Sechet has asserted that Zegers is a crucial figure in the Bitcoin Unlimited group whose voice will no longer be he heard there.

But certainly Rizun, a public persona with much more influence, is a lasting ally of the original Bitcoin Cash implementation. Bitcoin Unlimited currently accounts for over 30% of all Bitcoin Cash nodes.

Bitcoin Unlimited currently accounts for over 30% of all Bitcoin Cash nodes, trailing only Bitcoin ABC. Source: Cashnodes.io

By itself, it has more nodes than all of Bitcoin SV. Therefore, the existential risk that Sechet, Dugandzic, and Zegers have expressed concern about could be quite real. If Bitcoin SV supporters staged a hostile takeover of Bitcoin Unlimited, what would the many nodes used to using it do?