One of the oldest bitcoin website launched by Satoshi Nakamoto himself, now controlled by Michael Marquardt – also known as Theymos – has announced plans to denounce as good as all prominent bitcoin businesses and miners. The unnamed statement says:
“Bitcoin.org is planning to publish a banner on every page of the site warning users about the risks of using services that will default to the so-called Segwit2x (S2X) contentious hard fork. S2X companies will be called out by name.”
They have compiled a list of 49 companies, including all big exchanges such as Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Bithumb, Coinbase and so on, as well as wallet providers such as Xapo, bitcoin projects such as OpenBazaar and Yours, and of course nearly all miners.
Those in the list will be “denounced” by the website because they “condemn contentious hard fork attempts such as S2X.”
In order to escape condemnation or denouncement, companies are asked to sign up to a whitelist, otherwise presumably they will be blacklisted, with, presumably Theymos, stating:
“To ensure that we only warn users against companies that will actually put user deposits at risk, we urge all companies to publicly clarify their stance before the above date, either by a highly-visible public statement or by commenting on Bitcoin.org issue #1835 (or by doing both).”
The website wants to in particular know that “the company will not under any circumstances list “Segwit2x” as “BTC” and/or “Bitcoin””
This clearly suggests that r/bitcoin, which is also controlled by Theymos, will most likely ban positive discussion of 2x and in the event 2x is listed as bitcoin and BTC everywhere, they may nonetheless censor it in favor of the minority coin, if there is one.
Such minority coin would probably be known as Bitcoin Gold, with r/bitcoin potentially turning into r/bitcoingold. Unless they all give up at the last minute and accept the new reality.
That’s, of course, if events so develop. Businesses have not yet fully clarified their stance at this stage, not least because it is somewhat early to do so.
But the campaign against 2x has already begun, opened by Adam Back, Blockstream’s CEO, who used some highly charged emotional language in calling all bitcoiners that support segwit2x “enemies.”
They fell a bit silent yesterday, presumably preparing this “denunciation,” but have seemingly picked up again today as the countdown to the hardfork begins.
At the foundation of this dispute is just a 1MB difference in transaction data with some wanting to keep the base blocksize at 1MB, while some others want to increase it to 2MB.
Many Bitcoin Core developers signed up to 2MB in 2015, but some of them, such as Adam Back, Luke-Jr and Matt Corallo, have now turned against their own word.
It is unclear why they are so resolutely against 2MB considering that segwit has added almost no capacity now nearly two months since its activation.
One explanation might be that they oppose a hardfork, but in that case that suggests they do not plan to ever increase the 1MB base limit because that requires a hardfork.
While another explanation might be that they are against a contentious hardfork, but the only reason why it is contentious is because they are opposing it, making that point a circular argument.
Why exactly they are opposing it, however, remains a mystery. Unless the explanation is that they do not actually want to increase capacity so as to turn bitcoin’s payment system into a settlement system.
On the other hand, it is easy to discern why many do want 2MB. It instantly increases bitcoin’s transaction capacity, returning transactions to a predictable time-frame, while lowering fees at least below those of PayPal.
But whether businesses and miners will actually go ahead with it remains to be seen. Just as it is not quite clear at this stage how Theymos plans to include 49 companies in a banner of every page of bitcoin.org.
A website he took control of under unclear circumstances. Likewise with bitcointalk, where he collected 6,000 in bitcoin donations, now worth $26 million, to update the site yet never did so. With questions remaining as to where all that money went.