Bitcoin is perhaps the greatest tool for economic freedom in a generation—maybe more. Unfortunately, Bitcoin has been furiously stifled by a brutal civil war for about five years now; waged by professional social engineers from some of the most powerful companies in the social media space. Their talent in the art and science of manipulation has kept Bitcoiners largely fighting among themselves rather than pursuing inroads into data-driven business models that could revolutionize the global economy.
In the wake of the Bitcoin civil war, three competing versions of Bitcoin have emerged (BTC, BCH and Bitcoin SV), but so too have about 3,000 other “cryptocurrency” projects and tokens masquerading as legitimate businesses—until the almost guaranteed exit scam. The main benefactor of the Bitcoin civil war has been Ethereum: a global state machine that allows easy deployment of tokens and smart contracts, but the Ethereum protocol cannot scale, and of the thousands of projects launched, only a handful could even conceivably be touted as having the ingredients necessary to ever become legitimate businesses. The rest are Ponzi schemes or illegal securities offerings—enriching developers and scamming amateur investors.
It is against this backdrop that BTC and BCH advocates, Ethereum spokesmouths and altcoiners of all stripes align to attack the Bitcoin protocol preserved only by the BSV network without ceasing. An industry made up almost entirely of criminals, frauds and scammers have united against BSV citing (of all things) purported fraud and the alleged scam that is BSV’s very existence.
We must ask ourselves why this is?
What is the key differentiator of BSV?
Why have all the thugs and thieves united?
It is my firm belief that among the engaged, the motivation is fear of BSV’s singular ability to absorb the global economy and all of the other “crypto” projects that come with that. For the unengaged, or those who don’t understand the power of Bitcoin, they are swept up in a culture war that they do not understand. It is crucial to understand the powers at play and their implications to Bitcoin and the global economy.
A brief history
Bitcoin was launched with a white paper on the Cryptography Mailing List in 2008. The pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” declared a solution to the double spending problem. The double spending problem of all previous electronic cash systems was the singular limiting factor to adoption of a functional electronic cash. It was impossible to prove exactly who owned what units of money on their distributed ledgers, so systems couldn’t be trusted, and they would wither and die. Bitcoin solved this problem with a concept called “proof of work” which burned computational power to solve arbitrary puzzles in order to account for the state of the ledger in such a way that costs money, so that there is an economic incentive to keep an honest account for everyone’s holdings. This process is often called “mining” because the honest nodes who maintain the honest state of the ledger are rewarded for their work with Bitcoins every ten minutes—similar to how a gold miner is rewarded with gold in exchange for their work.
Since Bitcoin had no value when it launched, it was extremely easy to mine, and also free to send tons of transactions. In theory, this was a Denial of Service (DoS) Attack vector. A DoS or DDoS attack is when nodes get flooded with more data than they can handle and they crash. On a young Bitcoin network, a crash like this would have been deemed a failure of the network, so a cap of 1mb of data for every ten minutes of transaction time was hard coded into the software—planting the first seed of the Bitcoin civil war. From 2009 until 2017, that 1MB limit on total transactions was the single most contentious technical aspect of bitcoin.
Why does it matter?
A single, simple Bitcoin transaction is relatively small from a data standpoint, so 1MB every ten minutes (or 6MB per hour) shakes out to about seven transactions per second before the network becomes overly congested. Satoshi Nakamoto advocated for Visa level transactions, and his direct successor as lead developer on the project, Gavin Andresen, did too! Some of the earliest influential Bitcoiners like Mike Hearn and Jeff Garzik also advocated for more data per block to allow Bitcoin to scale up to remain a simple electronic cash system. They were “big blockers” in contrast to the “small blockers” who advocated for a permanence to Bitcoin’s 1MB limitation.
Small blockers believe that Bitcoin is not a payment network, but rather that it is more akin to a decentralized Swiss bank designed to store Bitcoins that never move: a sort of digital gold vault. They wanted the 1MB block size limit to remain permanent under the auspices of every person running a governing “full node” without having to pay for too much hard drive space. This would mean that at times of congestion, transaction fees would become absurdly high, but that would not matter because bitcoin should not be transacted except in large denominations or in big batches anyways. The other problem is that if it is cheap to join Bitcoin’s governance, then the network is easy to sybil attack, and I would argue that BTC is governed by sybils to this day.
Big blockers believe that everyone on earth should be able to transact and conduct business with bitcoin.
Small blockers believe that everyone should be able to account for the ledger at home, but only certain people should be able to transact.
After years of bickering, in 2017, Bitcoin split into two separate chains, and in 2018, it split again.
What’s the difference?
BTC is currently the highest price, with the smallest block size and the most hashing power. Unfortunately, it is governed by software developers and sybils who control consensus with a clever use of malware called a “forward compatible soft fork” that allows them to undermine the rules of Bitcoin. They use this power to change the rules of transactions while lying to nodes and telling them to validate them anyways. I encourage you to read Mike Hearn’s warnings about the dangers of “soft forks” here. The entire BTC culture is about buying BTC in order to save it until some point in the future where it will be sold. Payments with BTC or transactions of any kind are looked down upon.
BCH is a Bitcoin-based network who believes blocks should be slightly larger, but they also have developers in charge of the rules just like BTC, and they believe that Bitcoin should be pigeon-holed into only being used for retail business, but nothing more. The network changes rules every six months. Any non-retail transactions are looked down upon.
BSV is the restored version of the original bitcoin protocol with all parameters open so that honest nodes can engage in consensus in accordance with the Bitcoin white paper—by proof of work! The protocol is set in stone so that software developers cannot tinker with the rules. This allows business to make decades-long plans to utilize the network, and invest with confidence. As the only completely permissionless bitcoin network, commerce of any kind is encouraged on BSV. Everything from social networks to weather data science experiments or network uptime intelligence testing is encouraged. Retail payments, tokenization, or any kind of smart contract is simple to deploy without limitations. From brick & mortar business to global enterprise, Bitcoin SV has no limits except the human mind and the entrepreneurial spirit.
And that is the root of the hatred for BSV.
Small blockers have invested their reputations and livelihoods on the notion that bitcoin is incapable of scaling. For years, alleged experts convinced many people that 2MB, 8MB or 22MB block size limits would literally break Bitcoin. They have furiously stated their reputations on these false notions. Well, BSV has had many blocks over 100MB. In fact, there have even been a few over 300MB, proving the small blockers wrong about the limitations of the network. But this realization is a threat to hegemony over the narrative of Bitcoin. Since 2015, when Dr. Craig Wright appeared on the scene to explain that bitcoin had ZERO limitations, he created massive uproar among the small block intelligentsia. The thought-leaders of the day were being paid to speak at conferences and host bootcamps where they explained falsely that Bitcoin was nothing but a provably scarce store of value with no other utility. Dr. Wright was talking about the boundless scale of the network, its Turing completeness and other inconceivable (at the time) notions about Bitcoin. His passion and knowledge was met with smears and jeers. They focused on attacking his character instead of discussing Bitcoin!
This has become one of the primary attack methods of the small blockers. When big blockers talk about Bitcoin’s abilities, they are ridiculed as scammers, and the topic is always triangulated away from technical discussion. They dig through personal records and look for ways to silence Bitcoin’s big blockers similarly to how social justice warriors engage in cancel culture against their political enemies. Naturally, I make a point of pointing it out.
Because fools talk about people while a valuable discussion of bitcoin’s ideas and social/economic implications is slaughtered on the altar of gossipy social media.
— Kurt u/292 ✪ (@kurtwuckertjr) September 21, 2020
Who is Craig Wright, and what does he do?
If you don’t know, Craig Wright is the chief scientist at a Bitcoin research company in the U.K. called nChain: a company of 150-200 computer scientists. Craig leads the team that studies the outer limits of Bitcoin and its applications to the world. He is one of the world’s most credentialed digital forensics experts with both SANS and GIAC certifications as well as GSE CISSP, CISA, CISM, CCE, GCFA, GLEG, GREM, and GSPA titles. Furthermore, he is a multidisciplinary postgraduate polymath: a Doctor of Computer Science, Economics and Theology as well as holding master’s degrees in Statistics, and International Commercial Law.
In 2015, he was also exposed by a joint publication of WIRED and Gizmodo as Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the Bitcoin white paper. Within days of this revelation, his supporters from within the bitcoin project had their Github access keys revoked, and many others were instantly lambasted. Craig was put under investigation by the Australian Tax Office for what they deemed was a likely mis-accounting of his bitcoins. The fallout was aggressive and swift, with a gigantic army of small blockers, organized on Reddit and BitcoinTalk, and newly funded by VC money from the small blocker startup called “Blockstream”. Their message was clear: Bitcoin belongs to the small blockers. Bitcoin is only that which cannot scale, and anyone with proximity to Craig Wright will be harassed into compliance by an army of faceless anonymous twitter accounts. There was a massive purge of big blockers from all channels of development and communication.
Over the next few years, Ira Kleiman, brother of the deceased Dave Kleiman sued Craig Wright for his slice of the alleged “Satoshi Nakamoto Partnership” claiming that Dave was more involved than he actual was, and the case is ongoing and no resolution is expected until sometime in 2021. Ira Kleiman believes Craig is Satoshi and has invested an untold fortune as well as secured the money of outside investors to continue the suit in seeming perpetuity. Clearly Ira’s financial backers believe Craig is Satoshi as well.
Wright’s very public doxxing and public lawsuit are often pointed to by critics as huge tarnishes on Wright’s reputation, but it should be noted that both things happen to Wright, and he clearly didn’t desire to be caught up in either situation.
Instead, Craig is a passionate advocate for the big block Bitcoin vision, calling for global professionalization, legalization and utilization of Bitcoin for use in all levels of commerce. The response to Craig’s passion and his claims has been to attack his reputation and plaster the internet with the “Faketoshi” moniker. When simple bullying failed against Dr. Wright, attacks were ratcheted up to call his various degrees into question, petition universities to investigate him for plagiarism in various works included doctoral theses and more. Wright has even claimed threats against his family members’ lives and there is more than a little bit of evidence that, according to cryptography legend, Ian Grigg, “people died for Bitcoin, folks, people died.”
The ongoing attacks
This cannot be stressed enough: the small blocker community is built around professional social engineering figures and tactics. Gregory Maxwell, co-founder of small blocker “Mecca” Blockstream, was trained in the practice of social engineering, and used it so subversively as a tool of propaganda during his tenure as a high level, paid moderator for Wikipedia’s non-profit branch: Wikimedia Foundation that he was eventually removed from his role at Wikipedia with the admin logs citing a litany of infractions including:
- “Gmaxwell did engage in sockpuppetry…” – Alhutch 00:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
- “threats, rude insults, impersonations of an admin,” -Husnock 03:18, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
- “His behaviour is outrageous. Frankly, he is out of control at this stage. This bullying behavour of his has to stop.” – FearÉIREANN (caint) 19:36, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
- “His contribs list is beyond the pale. It’s vandalism. It’s behaviour I’d expect from an editor on a rampage, which, frankly, Gmaxwell is.” – Splashtalk 20:00, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
- “pretends to be an admin, threatening to block people who disagree with him, regularly makes personal attacks” – SlimVirgin (talk) 12:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
He spends a great deal of time on Reddit and other forums spreading fear about the dangers of big blocks, and he has been caught pretending to be multiple accounts at once having very long, technical discussions on Reddit intended to overwhelm newcomers with what looks like intellectual criticisms of bitcoin, but are actually just Maxwell himself creating huge backlogs that can be referenced later as evidence of danger or fraud in regards to the BSV narrative.
Who else is attacked?
The other common target of the anti-BSV war machine is Calvin Ayre: the billionaire head of the Ayre Group empire. Calvin is a Canadian/Antiguan entrepreneur who started internet incubator in Vancouver in the early days of the internet boom. The son of a pig farmer-turned mogul, Ayre is most well known outside of the Bitcoin economy for the creation and professionalization of the internet gambling industry. Most notably, under the Bodog brand, Ayre helped modernize complicated and outdated U.S. financial laws by pushing the envelope into the gray markets that exist where U.S. dollars are used across borders to engage in legally complicated commerce like gambling. His work in this area garnered him a small fortune and a trip onto a U.S. “Most Wanted” list for money laundering. This is a point that small blockers love to focus on, but they take it completely out of context. Calvin ultimately pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge, but spearheaded the modernization of U.S. laws and regulations that exist in completely open and functional white markets today. He is respected for his work in the gambling industry, media and philanthropy. Calvin is certainly welcome in the United States despite the oft-cited and outdated criticism that he is some sort of brazen outlaw.
In the Bitcoin economy, Ayre is a figurehead in running honest Bitcoin nodes for several years under the CoinGeek and TAAL brands, and he is an investor in nChain as well as multiple startups in the BSV space. While he is likely the largest single investor, he is not the monolith that the small blockers would lead critics to believe. It is important to understand that whole segments of the BSV ecosystem exist completely outside of his influence.
Twetch, for example is an independently-owned and operated business in the BSV ecosystem famous for its jabs against centralized social media. They have even been known to poke fun at businesses that accept money from Ayre, joking that Calvin owns everything but Twetch. Of course, that isn’t true. Another prime example is the independent investor/entrepreneur Jack Liu: former executive from Circle and OKEX. Liu owns the CambrianSV brand of hackathons as well as valuable properties in the BSV space such as RelayX, Streamanity, Output Capital, FloatSV and Dimely.
Other key players are MatterPool Mining and their Mattercloud ecosystem: a joint venture between independent players in the BSV ecosystem including the Emperor Daniel Krawisz, Josh Petty and Attila Aros with direct connections to the BoostPOW and 21e8 protocols and loose relationships with independent BSV developers “Libs” and “Synfonaut”.
Of course, there are indeed valuable Ayre-funded brands as well. These include partial ownership and investment into HandCash, Centi, TonicPow and Unwriter’s Planaria Corp.
Another important metric to consider is the distribution of hashpower. While at one point in history, Ayre-owned businesses represent a significant amount of hash on bitcoin, BSV is mined in large part by competing miners from Binance, F2Pool, OKEX and ViaBTC—none of which are “friends” to BSV or Ayre by any means. These miners do, however, point to the open and permissionless nature of BSV to allow anyone to participate.
Ayre is a significant player, but by no means a controller of the direction of the chain or the independent businesses in the BSV economy.
But why is Craig suing everyone?
First of all, and this is crucial, Craig’s largest and most significant lawsuit is the Kleiman case, in which he is a defendant against his will. The other cases exist only because of the public libeling of Dr. Wright. The #CraigWrightIsAFraud hashtag circulates widely, pushed largely by a mix of anonymous characters on Twitter. Most notably Magnus Granath AKA “Hodlonaut” was warned that a public accusation of fraud would land him in hot water. Dr. Wright’s career is in computer science and digital forensics, so to publicly declare him a fraud causes Dr. Wright financial harm in his area of business expertise. Since he “Hodlnaut” refused to cease, he was served paperwork to be seen in court. This caused famous small block podcaster Peter McCormack to beg to be sued too—ratcheting up the libelous rhetoric against Dr. Wright. Upon McCormack’s request, he too was served to be seen in court.
This era of service begat the #DelistBSV campaign led largely by “CZ” the charismatic CEO of Binance exchange. Various other exchanges like Shapeshift and Kraken posted public polls asking whether they should follow suit, and well-organized small blockers voted en masse to delist BSV from their exchanges—citing the toxicity of Dr. Wright for bring libel suits against Hodlonaut and McCormack. Ultimately, BSV was delisted from Binance, ShapeShift and Kraken. It was also noted publicly by Coinbase and Gemini that they would not be supporting the fork at all in the wake of the public drama.
As things progressed, Bitcoin.com founder Roger Ver also made a public video declaring Wright a fraud. This was after underhandedly working with Bitcoin ABC developers to code up rolling checkpoints into the ABC Bitcoin Cash software, permanently splitting the Bitcoin network for the second and final time—an act for which Roger is also being sued by other disenfranchised parties in Florida. Ver was warned that similar legal trouble would come to his doorstep for libeling Dr. Wright, but the public criticisms persisted until Roger was also served to be heard in court and provide proof of Wright’s fraud or else face penalties for public libel. His case is pending in Antigua & Barbuda where he recently became a citizen.
So what next?
We have established the history of Bitcoin, the civil war, the public attacks against Wright, Ayre and BSV. At the time of writing, we can look back at the attacks against Thomas Lee, Tim Draper and Jimmy Wales for having any proximity to BSV. Despite the social pressure, Lee’s Fundstrat report handed down a glowing review of the fixed protocol and infinite scalability of BSV. Lee and Wales were happy to speak at past CoinGeek events even after the public outcry.
For the 2020 CoinGeek Conference in NYC, McCormack, Hodlonaut, “Arthur Van Pelt” and other players such as BTC pumper Dan Held from Kraken and a cacophony of anonymous trolls on Twitter leveraged their experience in Bolshevik-style cancel culture to pressure speakers Gary Vaynerchuk, and speakers from Prime Trust and Fireblocks to drop out of speaking at the Conference with “known frauds.” This social attack against BSV, Dr. Wright, Ayre and the other businesses that utilize the BSV network could be a gigantic case of consumer fraud. They are actively deceiving people into believing that the fixed protocol and infinite scalability of Bitcoin SV is somehow unsafe, when in fact the protocol and network are impervious to all attacks except their brand of social engineering.
Bitcoin SV is professionally developed with a world-class patent portfolio. It is used by independent businesses to pursue profits and it is mined on the open market by a decentralized group of honest nodes who compete with each other. The network is fixed, secure and growing with investment from small business and global venture capitalists. The lies to the contrary are based on a massive smear campaign perpetrated by the BTC and BCH communities who fear the global adoption of BSV as a tool for commerce and what it will mean for their mouse traps. History will not be kind to these rabble-rousers and their networks which are propped up by the likely frauds of the off-shore cryptocurrency exchanges, the (most-likely) fraudulent Tether stablecoin, the pump & dump economy that undergirds the 95% fake volume of trading of the entire BTC economy.
This is a civil war. There will continue to be casualties, but while BTC and BCH focus on gossip and illicit business, BSV wants the entire world to be more free, more sovereign and more able to cooperate on the global ledger of truth so that the world’s entrepreneurs can engage in big business or simple nano-services made possible only by Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an intelligence test, over time smart people will be able to see through reality distortion fog being created to confuse people and recognize this for what it is, a coordinated commercial attack to suppress superior technology.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.