Infighting in Bitcoin Cash continues as Vitalik Buterin seems to have taken leadership in a vacuum of sorts by calling out Craig Wright (CSW) again. Buterin says:
“If I see indisputable evidence that CSW is Satoshi, it would change my opinion of Satoshi more than it would change my opinion of CSW.”
In turn, Craig Wright supporters are doing their best to diminish Buterin’s words by coming up with all sorts of things, including Calvin Ayre, Coingeek’s CEO, who said:
“Craig has nearly 20 university degrees and Vitalik has none…I rest my case on who invented the internet.”
Many universities have denied they have granted Wright a number of degrees he has claimed, with long evidence suggesting many of Wright’s claims are false. He for example appeared to have claimed he owns all of MT Gox’s coins.
Some, however, are unpersuaded by all the evidence and Roger Ver might be one of them. Asked what he thinks of Buterin’s statement on Craig Wright, Ver only says: “Undecided.”
He has further said he has no opinion on a potential chain-split fork of Bitcoin Cash. On censorship, Ver says: “Censorship is bad regardless of who is doing it.” When we asked for his view on Wright asking for someone to be banned, Ver did not reply.
A number of individuals have been banned from a Craig Wright affiliated slack. The latest one is Jonald Fyookball, Electron Cash dev and a long standing BCH supporter.
Why he was banned is unclear, but the atmosphere in that chan is one of demanding rigid loyalty to Craig Wright and all his views. Liking Buterin or BitcoinABC, one of BCH’s client, is a censorable “crime.”
That approach led Peter Rizun of Bitcoin Unlimited to say: “Anyone who doesn’t see that CSW/nChain is using the same censorship tactics as Blockstream to create an echo-chamber full of CSW cult followers simply doesn’t want to see it.”
All of this has apparently developed over some disagreement regarding pre-consensus or canonical ordering whereby blocks are significantly compressed for higher scalability.
It was a proposal made by Gavin Andresen in a method he called Graphene. Bitcoin Unlimited merged some of it, but some say further efficiency gains can be had if the transaction order information needs not be sent by simply replacing them with a transaction ID.
Craig Wright was loudly against it from the beginning, arguing it somehow changes economic incentives and lowers security. Andrew Stone, lead dev at Bitcoin Unlimited, said at the time:
“We don’t even know concretely what Deadalnix (Amaury Séchet) is proposing so how can a person reject it…?”
That then led to some discussion, but that discussion seems to have recently developed more into political campaigning with Stone concluding recently all of this was about ego and power.
It is unclear whether either side can back down now. For ABC or Bitmain to do so would be to give Wright a say in protocol development, something which may lose BCH many supporters.
Craig Wright probably has no reason to back down as in the worst case, he ends up with his own minority coin, something which might be his aim.
That means a split might be on its way in BCH and that could be a very difficult time for Bitcoin Cash. Where it matters, it is unlikely any exchange of name would list BSV, or whatever they might call Craig Wright’s fork. Exchanges might however withdraw BCH if a hashpower fight of sorts develops with nChain affiliated pools currently having 40%.
A chain-split without replay protection could be messy, but ETC did not have replay protection either, so it might not be too big of a problem.
Constant bickering, however, could be a problem. Yet, there is another side to it which could be good for Bitcoin Cash as, once they make it out of the tunnel, they might finally focus on adoption, development, and so on, rather than re-arguing the blocksize now non-debate.
To get through that tunnel, they’ll have to be united. No one can prevent anyone from chain-spliting, so if Craig Wright wishes to do so, then it is his right. Others will have to decide whether to ignore it or ignore it.
That means they have to put aside any tiny differences they might have and unite in addressing the more immediate challenge. Whether they can, time will tell.