In a move which has so far received apparently almost universal denouncement, Bitcoin community kingpin Michael Marquardt, who exerts significant control over Bitcointalk and the Bitcoin subreddit, has taken initiative to ban all discussion of Bitcoin-XT or “contentious hard forks” of Bitcoin Core.
While Marquardt and others have repeatedly used ninjitsu logic to justify that Bitcoin-XT is in fact not Bitcoin, the truth of the matter is that the only fundamental difference between Mike Hearn‘s Bitcoin-XT is the maximum size of blocks, the maximum amount of transactions per hour.
There was no official announcement of the change in policy, which was apparently implemented yesterday, and today a user demanded further explanation. On further inspection, Marquardt repeated himself several times within the thread. An illuminating highlight is this bit:
No one elected me. This isn’t a democracy. You are neither my constituency nor my customer. You can use /r/Bitcoin and other sites I’m associated with and deal with me and my policies, or not. That’s your choice.
Despite the crass truth of this, perhaps it’s time the Bitcoin community began to question why no one had elected him. Why are there so many unofficial despots with so much influence over something so decentralized?
A Reddit user summed up the common community mood quite succinctly:
Bitcoin XT is a hard fork of bitcoin, which means that it is a candidate for actual bitcoin, and thus equally deserving of discussion. The only reason to censor information about it is to assert your own opinion on the matter.
Bitcoin as a currency and a technological experiment could be entering a very interesting period as the viability of Bitcoin-XT is tested.
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