Bitcoin Cash has seen its reputation greatly damaged by a “fake” fork orchestrated by an alleged professional fraudster.
Had we been able to rewind time with the benefit of hindsight, and let us suppose it is just Trustnodes that has this magic power, it isn’t easy to say whether things could have gone any differently regardless of what we would have said.
If we all had this magic power, then of course the solution would have been easy. We all would have collectively ignored Craig Steven Wright (CSW) and would have shunned him. Alas, while you can’t fool all the people all the time, a gifted alleged conman did fool some of the people some of the time.
The first and the biggest mistake was to give Craig Wright a podium. Arguably that wasn’t out of choice. The BBC was fooled in 2017, something which should make them ashamed and we are sure they indeed are, but all can make mistakes.
That gave him the first and the biggest podium. That should have ended there, but some Bitcoin Core supporters and some Bitcoin Core “aligned” media kept attacking him which continued giving him a podium.
A bigger mistake than that was Bitcoin Unlimited not only giving him a podium, but giving him legitimacy by collaborating with Craig Wright founded nChain in a useless gigablock testnet when BCH was barely handling 20kb blocks.
Not only did they give him legitimacy, but they implicitly and sometime explicitly defended him as yes, he might be a fraudster, but maybe his money can do some good.
The good it did was an alleged sockpuppet army that kept flooding BCH fora with CSW’s face. How do you fight a sockpuppets army, was the question for those not fooled?
We ignored it all, perhaps until it was a bit too late and then perhaps wrongly gave him a podium to warn BCH and BU, which maybe we shouldn’t have done, but did we have a choice?
When we started paying attention, the BCH community was completely divided. Can’t quite ignore that. Matters had deteriorated way too much with BCH devs metaphorically at each other’s throats.
Vitalik Buterin, to his credit, took the microphone to say what many wanted to say, but didn’t have a microphone to do so.
That was in April of this year when people started wondering just what was goin on in BCH as the front-page of r/btc for example was all about CSW said this or did that.
We warned at the time that CSW was trying to divide BCH. Buterin loudly called him a fraud, but that lasted for a day or two with the alleged sockpuppets then going back to their business of CSW is great.
So to answer that question of how do you defeat a sockpuppets army isn’t easy. You can ignore it, but does that weaken or strengthen them? Weakens because it doesn’t give them a podium, but strengthens because they go unchallenged in whatever podium they have.
Now, seeing how events unfolded and how they ended, this space has a clear lesson and a clear example for history.
If another social attack is attempted, there wouldn’t be mere warnings but evidence of how it wouldn’t be any good at all.
All so having seen how it went, it wouldn’t be just Buterin shouting loud but everyone because perhaps the only way you can defeat a sockpuppets army is not by ignoring them but by having a bigger “army.”
Had Roger Ver, for example, “joined” Buterin in April then maybe BSV wouldn’t have gained as big a stage as it did. Ver instead stayed on the sidelines up to effectively the last minute.
He apologized and said maybe he was fooled and clearly there were many who were, starting with the BBC and the ATO before them.
Yet even now Calvin Ayre backs CSW despite this crash being solely if not mainly due to CSW. Ayre, however, sounds like a reasonable businessman, although we know not one bit of him. It may be the case that he was actually legitimately fooled into believing CSW is Nakamoto.
Books can be written to show that it isn’t so, but the strongest argument is perhaps the simple fact that CSW can’t code. Now they say he was in the room, but if he can’t code or put a sentence together, which part of Nakamoto was he?
Nakamoto coded the many thousand lines of bitcoin. Whether a team, one person, or an alien, there can be no doubt that whoever we describe as Nakamoto knows how to code and knows so to quite a great depth, with varied knowledge of cryptography, probably economics, and many other fields.
So although there are now two coins, it might perhaps not be too late for Ayre to ditch Wright because he has burned a lot of value in a very short time, while Nakamoto created value.
Regardless of what Ayre does and as difficult as it may be, it might perhaps be time for the entire crypto space to ignore BSV and Wright.
Because the only way to defeat a sockpuppet army is to effectively act as one united community. BCH needs to be united again and they need to get back to making peer to peer cash a reality.
That’s a lot easier said than done, but if they don’t unite, then they might dwindle down the rankings together with BSV.
This is now over. What’s gone has gone and there were plenty of mistakes all around with hard lessons learned, but the social attack card has now been played and can’t be used as effectively again.
Just like the bitcoin of old, BCH is full of drama. Yet each time a challenge is addressed, cryptos become stronger, with collective lessons learned, and anti-fragility playing its role.
Thus there is a silver lining for bitcoin is dead, long live bitcoin.