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Evangelist Roger Ver Wants a Bitcoin ‘Lovefest’

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:53 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:53 PM

Roger Ver wants to see more of a ‘Lovefest’ in Bitcoin online forums, like in the early days of the cryptocurrency created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

He believes one way the Bitcoin Community could usher in more ‘lovefest’ is by criticizing censorship, in particularly in Bitcoin forums at Reddit’s r/Bitcoin and the independent BitcoinTalk.

“One of the things that I would like to see from the Core side and the Core supporters…I think people should speak out against theymos and speak out in favor of people posting whatever they want on r/bitcoin,” Mr. Ver elaborates. “One of the things that concerns me the most is that I want bitcoin to be a free and open transaction platform where you don’t need permission or money to authorize transactions. If people working on bitcoin aren’t willing to step up and say r/bitcoin should operate a certain way, then it makes me hesitant to trust them to maintain bitcoin the way I want them to, without having to get authorization from someone.”

How does Mr. Ver suggest healing the animosity absorbing the Bitcoin community?

“I think the very very very first step for that would be for people to speak out against theymos on r/bitcoin and until that happens I’m going to continue to see animosity and the vitriol online,” Mr. Ver says. “In the early days of bitcoin, it was just one giant lovefest and everyone knew we were going to change the entire world for the better. There’s not as much of that lovefest online, and I would like to see that again. I would like to see more people speaking out against theymos on r/bitcoin moderation. I am agnostic on the segwit question. I don’t have enough hashpower to block it. I won’t be the lone hold-out if I have 6% at the end.” With all this in mind, Mr. Ver has yet to endorse the Bitcoin Core solution.

“I am a bit agnostic on the Segwit issue,” says the world’s first Bitcoin investor about the Bitcoin Core development team’s solution to Bitcoin’s scaling problem. “I think it’s interesting that for the vast majority of time that Segwit was being promoted, it was being promoted as fixing transaction malleability and only much more recently have people been saying it’s an on-chain scaling solution.”

Mr. Ver fears this is a change in the dialogue, and could mislead people. “I am not as concerned about a software hard-fork is because we’re undergoing an economic code hard-folk fork right now, and that’s enough to make people fork away from the bitcoin ecosystem,” Mr. Ver describes. “I think we’re heading towards a hard-fork regardless, either a software hard-fork or an economic hard-fork and I think they both pose similar danger. The upside of software hard-fork is really really good, and the downside is that there’s some danger there no doubt but I think if we hard-fork the economic code of bitcoin, that’s the end of the future for bitcoin. I see a hard-fork to the economic code as even more dangerous than a software hard-fork.”

For Mr. Ver, much of its comes back to censorship on popular Bitcoin forums. “One of my biggest complaints or things that I’m upset about is the censorship that goes on in r/bitcoin,” he clarifies. “I’m glad that Whalepool here is giving an opportunity for both sides to be heard. A lot of people in the general bitcoin dabblers or people who are just mildly interested in bitcoin go to reddit and get their news, I think the fact that people getting only one side of the opinion there, I think that’s done a big disservice to both sides of my scaling debate. I think a lot of Segwit supporters thought that it would have 95% support overnight, and it turned out to not be the case.”

Proponents argue Segwit would dramatically benefit the Bitcoin ecosystem first and foremost by increasing the Bitcoin block size. They argue Segwit is well tested. Mr. Ver is willing to consider endorsing Segwit.

“I’m not going to endorse Segwit today is mainly because I feel like the current Core team didn’t listen at all to the actual business community using Bitcoin,” Mr. Ver says. “…You’re making a strong case. I’ll give it some more consideration. I would also like to hear your thoughts– one concern I have heard is that yes Segwit is a soft-fork, but it’s a soft-fork that cannot be undone. If the hashrate switches, then suddenly all these segwit transactions become spendable by everyone.”

Why, then, does he still refuse to endorse, as members of the Bitcoin Core team have implored him to do.

“At this point because I feel that the current Core team hasn’t listened enough,” Mr Ver imparts. “I feel like they didn’t listen to the Coinbase, Blockchain.info and the businesses that are bringing bitcoin to the masses. It takes both sides of the equation here, the business side and the technical side to make the protocol robust. I think they pushed out Gavin Andresen who has been treated horribly. I think that’s a shame. This is the guy that Satoshi allegedly handed control of the project to. At this point I wouldn’t feel bad if additional competing development teams started to rival Core’s position.”

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