Bitcoin’s scalability debate is heating up once more as the digital currency appears to be at a culmination point.
The catalyst was a tweet by Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd, who revealed a security vulnerability just as it was being fixed. Within minutes, Bitcoin Unlimited nodes went down crashing, while, near the same time, other digital currencies, especially eth, skyrocketed.
Bitcoin Core supporters are now accusing Bitcoin Unlimited of shillery, without any evidence. In this article, we present actual evidence which strongly suggests Blockstream engages in a deceptive practice of hiring trolls and shills.
Gregory Sanders, a tech engineer at Blockstream – a company that employs many bitcoin and altcoin developers – used to be a familiar feature in scalability debates on Reddit. He strongly argued for Bitcoin Core, with one of his comment, to illustrate the point, saying “I am not a fan of Gavin’s plan, and his apocalyptic visions of hitting the max cap.”
When it appeared Bitcoin Core and the settlement vision had lost, on August 15th 2015, he stated: “I’ll live either way. I’ve got other work lined up ahead of time.”
It’s a comment that clearly suggests his livelihood depended on the outcome of the debate. What follows makes it as good as certain that his job did depend on it.
When it appeared likely that miners were favorable towards the settlement system and unlikely to increase on-chain capacity, Sanders announced he was hired by Blockstream.
After that, he barely commented further on the blocksize matter. Transitioning from a prominent nick on the scalability debate, to as good as a non-existent personality.
If this was one example, we might excuse it, but the second one is worse. Alex Bergeron revealed himself on the 18th of January 2016. A quick search leads to his Linkedin page where he describes what is now his former employment as being a “head of business development for the social media division [and] creation of social media strategies for small businesses,” among other things.
In December 2016, he announced employment with Blockstream. We don’t need to describe just how strongly Bergeron advocated for the settlement system in a very actual and real trolling manner. Philip Daian, a software engineer and PHD researcher at Cornell, stated:
The third example is more speculative. Many of you have probably heard of a nickname going by Eragmus. Some speculate it is Paul Capestany, the person who publicly expressed this threat:
His Linkedin says he is a developer at Foursquare and he has denied he is eragmus, which might be true, although less likely than otherwise, but who is eragmus? This handle constantly promotes Blockstream’s agenda, has engaged in high vitriol against prominent bitcoin developers, and his behavior in all ways suggests he is under Blockstream’s payroll.
There is, of course, nothing wrong with marketing. We live in a capitalist system. No one has come up with something better. A company, like Blockstream, is expected to promote itself, but there is a difference between promotion and deception.
Had Sanders or Bergeron operated in the open prior to their announcement, there would be no story. Now, some may say perhaps they were not hired until they were hired, but we can’t operate on certainty.
The evidence here clearly shows it is highly probable Blockstream had strong monetary influence over these two individuals before they came out publicly. That indicates high probability Blockstream has such influence over others too. The prime suspect being eragmus who still has not come out clean despite all evidence suggesting he is employed by Blockstream or expects such employment.
We need not delve further into speculations on what this apparent deceptive behavior suggests. We could ask if they run troll armies, which flood twitter at times.
Why, for example, does a person by the nickname of “whalepanda” spend so much time on the blocksize debate when all indications suggest day traders appear to not care one bit.
We further won’t speculate on what influence Blockstream may have on Michael Marquardt, r/bitcoin’s top moderator, a secretive figure who no one really knows much about, but has decided to use dictatorial censorship and metaphorical purging, to the apparent benefit of Blockstream.
We won’t speculate because once apparent deception is shown as indicated by what seems to be the proven example of Sanders and Bergeron, how do we know where to draw the line?
It is, instead, sufficient to say the example of these two appears to provide clear evidence Blockstream is engaged in covertly using shill armies and vicious, real, actual, trolls.