Bitcoin Cash may well split this November, and if it does, Bitcoin Unlimited will have to take much of the blame for in our view they gave Craig Wright some legitimacy when he had none.
On September the 1st 2017, Peter Rizun, Secretary of Bitcoin Unlimited, announced a joint initiative with the then little known nChain. The name Craig Wright is not mentioned once, even though the company was sort of created by Wright and he is CTO there.
Apparently nChain paid Bitcoin Unlimited some $40,000 for the Gigablocks initiative, as far as is publicly known. It seems nChain clearly thought that funding gave them some lever over BU because Peter Rizun publicly said this April:
“nChain informed BU – after I tweeted about [Craig Wright’s (CSW’s)] errors with respect to 0-conf security – that they would be winding down their funding of the Gigablock Testnet over the next three months.
Shortly after I tweeted proof of Craig Wright’s plagiarism, nChain informed us that they would be terminating the Gigablock agreement effective immediately. BU agreed to the termination and forgave the small (~$10k) balance owed to BU by nChain.”
What exactly went on from September to April is unclear, but seven months is a very long time. During that time, at least by association, BU gave Craig Wright some credibility.
It is not far fetched to think, as far as logic allows for we do not actually know, that it may be precisely because of this nChain collaboration with BU that Roger Ver may have given Craig Wright the benefit of doubt.
Ver is not a coder, so he has to rely on others as proxy, with BU’s willingness to collaborate with nChain potentially being one such proxy.
In those seven months, Wright managed to establish himself as a leadership figure of sorts aided, at least implicitly, by BU. To the point where r/btc during this spring was covered with Craig Wright’s face as probably PR companies worked over-gear to establish some sort of reputation.
To the point where Vitalik Buterin could not contain his anger and publicly called Craig Wright a fraud this April after Buterin could no longer handle listening to what he thought were technically incorrect statements by Wright.
The rest looked a-ghastly as they wondered how they can counteract this apparent shill army. Would anyone listen if they spoke out?
Buterin, of course, has the fondness of all. So when he called him a fraud there was an opportunity there for others to stand up, but alas it appears at least some others had different plans.
It seems that competition between different Bitcoin Cash clients has led to the point where relations, at least between some clients, have deteriorated to irreparable levels.
How this united community turned against each other is unclear, but it seems that just three months ago things were moving smoothly.
Devs between different clients discussed in workshops all sorts of plans, including a removal of topological ordering. Others wondered if that is removed, then why not add canonical ordering at the same time. There was no objection.
Until, that is, all of this is written and publicly presented. It appears the “marketing” of it was not very “sensitive” because it suggested canonical ordering would increase the security of zero confirmed transactions.
Craig Wright, of course, had to play the Satoshi persona, arguing 0-conf transactions are plenty secure, they need no improvement, this changes bitcoin and so on.
Wright, however, has no credibility because of a long and growing list of evidence that leaves no one with any reasonable doubt. Yet a number of individuals from Bitcoin Unlimited started loudly arguing against canonical ordering after Wright’s statements on it.
They do have credibility, but not that much. They were unable to put forth a bug free BU client when it mattered and it is unclear what BU has achieved in a year or so while ABC seems to be constantly shipping new improvements.
Nor is it clear why exactly they turned against canonical ordering when they raised no objection to it during the devs meetings.
The result has been to strengthen Wright’s position, giving him cover to paint ABC as some sort of a new Blockstream. While the CEO of partially nChain funded Yours now says Craig Wright is Satoshi, a preposterous proposition in light of the significant evidence to show otherwise and in light of his continued failure to sign with a known Nakamoto owned public key.
nChain deserves respect, says Andrew Clifford, the President of Bitcoin Unlimited. They are investing in BCH more than most, he says, with Clifford himself happy to hang out with Wright earlier this August as pictured above.
BU devs apparently spend more time talking to nChain devs than ABC devs, so a vote of BU members on canonical ordering had this final result:
An almost unanimous rejection of a technical proposal to which no one objected when it was put forward.
How they move forward now remains to be seen, but the only prominent proponent of peer to peer currency is now facing a far more difficult situation than could have been foreseen.
The trick here is that nChain is a lot more focused and has a lot more motivation to get its way than other disparate BCH components. ABC, for example, is unlikely to have a public relations social media firm, even though perhaps they should for it is unclear how else you can counteract what may be a paid for shill army.
The other trick is, of course, money. A number of individuals from BU have long been saying something to the effect of yes, but their money could do a lot of good.
Well, we’ll have to wait and see now how much good it has done as BCH now risks having its protocol development subject to Craig Wright who does not appear to know how to express himself eloquently, does not appear to know how to code, yet he still has some think he is the genius, Nakamoto, whose brilliant code and succinct expression spoke by itself of the great, hopefully still living, mind.
The situation, moreover, now appears to have descended into, in effect, a community split if not a chain split. There are clearly many BCHers that want nothing to do with nChain or Craig Wright, while there appears to be some, especially from BU, who are willing to bend.
The end result may well be a uniting of bitcoiners again for nothing can create a bond more than some external other. Plus, cashers may well need the assistance of Core, with the latter probably considering current BCH as deserving of respect, but one with Wright at the helm may well taint bitcoin itself.
And with it, all other cryptos. Hence why Buterin perhaps thought it right to speak out, but speaking out once against what may be a shill army has only a temporary and quickly forgotten effect.
So it remains to be seen now how this all will develop in the next three months, with BCH facing its biggest challenge yet just a year after it forked.