Who would have thought the August 1st hardfork would be the best thing to have happened to bitcoin since, well, since its invention nearly a decade ago?
Because big blockers are now happy, even excited. They’re looking forward to getting back fairly safe 0-confirmed transactions, re-instating scripts for codeable money, and even fixing transaction malleability so they get a Lightning Network too.
They’re now even big fans of Bitcoin Core developers and Blockstream employees/contractors like Luke-Jr and Gregory Maxwell.
Suddenly, they think reducing bitcoin’s blocksize to 300kb, as suggested by Luke-Jr, is the best idea ever. While transaction fees of $100 would be the most useful thing. Who wouldn’t pay $50 to send funds across the globe, right?
Well, they’re in luck because Rusty Russell, another Blockstream employee, clearly stated today that “Bitcoin fees are only going to rise from now on.”
It’s something that would have been met with rage by many big block supporters who may have gone on a rant about bitcoin holders already paying miners $2.2 billion a year in block rewards of 12.5 btc every 10 minutes.
There is no need for fees when we give miners billions already, they would have argued, or many transactions that pay pennies is better than few that pay hundreds, or… and on and on.
But suddenly, they’re now supportive of this plan to raise fees as high as possible on the Bitcoin Core chain. They’re even looking forward to fees rising there to $100 or even $1,000. The higher the better they now seem to think.
And Blockstream, a for-profit company that hires many Bitcoin Core developers, is now a great company with a stupendous plan for a swift like payment network that only Lightning Network hubs can use.
For everything else there’s Bitcoin Cash, they snicker, in clear reference to their aim for Bitcoin Cash to become a peer-to-peer digital cash payment network.
Interestingly, the sudden affection goes both ways. Gregory Maxwell, a Bitcoin Core developer and Blockstream’s CTO, praised Bitcoin Cash yesterday as superior to segwit2x.
Few thought that’s something they would hear, but the hardfork seems to have created some magic. Even literally because all bitcoin holders prior to August 1st suddenly got a new $5 billion market cap with a price for each Bitcoin Cash coin at near $400 to complement the near $3,400 for each BTC and its market cap of some $56 billion.
Who doesn’t like free money, ay? Including the Bitcoin Core developers themselves. If they had any BTC, they might have plenty of BCC/BCH too, so why attack it instead of, you know, hodling?
That’s the master stroke checkmate of the chain-split hardfork. Long argued as the doom of bitcoin, it might instead be its savior, turning metaphorical enemies into friends.
And what are good friends for if not some name-calling. BCC. No, BCH. OK, both BCC and BCH. Bitcoin Cash. No, bcash. OK, Bitcoin Cash formally when listed on exchanges and we’ll be cash informally or for short in speech, like Ethereum and ether. OK? Fine, good.
And just like that, enemies turn into allies, finding a new common metaphorical online “enemy” of sorts, segwit2x.
Neither side likes it because it wants to create a system that operates both under full blocks and not under full blocks. Which both sides think is nonsensical because bitcoin’s payment system either operates in a peer-to-peer fashion onchain or in a settlement system manner – unless the market freely chooses LN, but Bitcoin Core thinks capacity should be kept as low as possible so that freely isn’t much of an option in their view.
To make things a bit worse, the segwit2x lot have not been very friendly to Bitcoin Cash. Why, is not clear.
Maybe because it took them by surprise with even the proposer of the UAHF method, Bitmain, somewhat perplexed that these pesky big blockers actually went through with it to get the bitcoin they want. Here is Erik Voorhees, for example, who strongly supports segwit2x:
“I will be dumping BCC as fast as I can. SegWit2x has overwhelming support and I stand by my commitment to it.”
And we all know about the Coinbase debacle, with the exchange first saying they won’t give their customers the Bitcoin Cash at all, now saying they will, but next year.
Many they’re not great fans because Bitcoin Cash was launched by just ordinary bitcoiners who really believe in a peer-to-peer payment system, rather than after a closed door meeting of miners/businesses, or maybe they think segwit2x actually makes sense even though it limits on-chain capacity and 2MB is not enough even for current level demand.
Who knows, but Bitcoin Core clearly doesn’t like them and will now lock out their nodes from Bitcoin Core nodes with some big blockers cheering them on.
Funny how life works, eh. But there was a time when the bitcoin community was very happy and very united. When they cheered and memed together, suffered losses together, worked together.
In many ways, as unintuitive as it is, the split may have united them and might even bring back those times because every bitcoiner has bitcoin cash too and vice versa. Which means whether small blocker or big blocker, the vast majority would like both to do well and are rooting for both.
That might be one of the reasons Bitcoin Cash did not see any attacks during the hardfork process. The backlash would have been from both sides because they’re all now $5 billion richer together and that could grow more.
Moreover, now that they all have exactly what they want, and double, why would there be any animosity? Maybe this settlement thing is right. Maybe this digital cash thing is right. Maybe they’re both right in their own way. Who knows, but time itself.
As such, they no longer have any good reason to argue. Big blockers can do what they want in their own project, small blockers too, with price doing its own thing.
So they’re now friends of sorts. Maybe even the best of buddies. It may, therefore, be time to bury the hatchets, leave the past to books, and move forward in a new, very brave world.