Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Why Bitcoin Core Holds Its' Value - Incumbency and the Bitcoin Brand

If we were launching 2 versions of Bitcoin today, one with slow transactions and high fees and the other with fast transactions and low fees, there is no doubt which one will gain adoption and command a higher price. Yet the reality is that Bitcoin Core (BTC), the one with slow transactions and high fees is valued 10 times more that of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Why is that?

Update 12/1/2017 Largest mining farm in the world goes online next week. Means huge increase in hashrate for BCH. Calvin Ayrn is connected with Craig Wright. This is a very big nail in BTC's coffin. ( There is a correlation between price and hash rate. hey say hashrate follows price, but what if hashrate is deliberate ? I presume then price would follow. BCH could double to $5000 next week. )

Update 14/1/2017 BTC dominance is now 32.5% The smart money is leaving and it is moving to Ethereum. The strategy of suppressing BCH price by selling into any bull run is ended because they have run out of BCH. Scenario : If you are holding BTC, you need to exit or watch your asset value drop day by day. You can't move into BCH as that will drive down BTC's price faster. New money is no longer coming in faster than you can divest. Best option is to move into Ethereum. Tide is turning now and when the people finally grasp that BCH can do everything that Ethereum can because it is turing complete and you don't need to spend gas to run your smart contracts, BCH will be number1 and start gaining market dominance accomplishing what BTC could never achieve under Core.

Incumbency and the Bitcoin brand.

BTC has incumbency, and the Bitcoin Brand, which was the intangible idea for which we all worked so hard to promote and develop until it achieve value. Its' value is derived from the accumulated mindshare of all the people who believed in that idea. Unfortunately the brand was taken over by a new group of developers from Gavin Andresen.

Wow. Were we not told that nobody controls Bitcoin? So how can anyone "take over" Bitcoin? Well, Bitcoin is a software like Windows. Even though it is open sourced, someone or a group is in charged of what, how and when changes are made to the software. They do this by controlling the access keys to the Github repository where the software is kept.

From mid 2010, Satoshi handed these keys to Gavin Andresen who nurtured the project and brought it to life. Besides maintaining the software, he also set up Bitcoin faucets and gave away thousands of Bitcoins to anyone and everyone who wanted them. Later he invited other software developers like Wladimir Van De Laan to help him. ( Much of the details in the link are not factually correct eg Satoshi Nakamoto. Note Core supporters penchant for telling lies and half truths ).

To cut a long story short, Gavin was unceremoniously elbowed out and his Github access was revoked in April 2014. This act in itself should speak volumes about the people who have taken over the project. Excuses that he was no longer contributing or that his account access was compromised does not wash. He was a proponent for bigger blocks and they were against it. They also accuse him of being duped by Craig Wright thus casting doubts on his security and judgement.

Incumbency is a very strong factor to overcome and as of today the Bitcoin brand is worth at least $15,000 per coin.

Mass Campaign of untruth and half-truth against Bitcoin Cash

If anything should raise a red flag, it is censorship. Granted that some level of moderation is required to keep discussions amicable but it should be done within reason and a with a light touch. If you need proof on censorship, just post anything about Bitcoin Cash, high fees or slow transactions on r/bitcoin.

Another is the need to resort to slander, ridicule and name calling. Calling Bitcoin Cash - Bcash, Btrash, Shitcoin, is an indication that you are unable to win a proper argument on merit. For the more intelligent supporters condoning this behavior on the basis that "they may be bastards but they are our bastards" is inexcusable.

Up till 1 August the two coins were the same. Then to solve a 3 year scaling debate BCH enabled blocks bigger than 1 MB, while BTC opted to discard Address signatures from the data set (Segwit). You would think then that both system should work but that is not so. BTC is still slow with expensive fees while BCH worked exactly as promised right out of the box. So now we have the BTC spin doctors in full retard spewing falsehood and half truths.

a) Half truth :- BCH does not have many transactions.  In reality BCH can eliminate all the backlog in BTC and then some. BCH has to rebuild a user base. Users and transactions will increase. This will erode the value of BTC's incumbency soon enough.

b) Half truth :- Roger Ver and Jihan Wu controls Bitcoin Cash.  Spouting accusation without fact checking and proof only works if you can control the narrative, misrepresent, and censor speech. If there people choose to put their money behind a project it is their right.

c) Half truth :- Miners controls Bitcoin Cash. Antpool and ViaBtc are also large miners of BTC. Is that also not worth mentioning in the same sentence?

d) Half truth :- With large blocks, the blockchain will bloat and soon few people can store a full copy of the blockchain. Not mentioning the impact of technology is like speaking only through one side of their mouths. Downright deceitful.

e) Half truth :- Bitcoin is open source, anyone can contribute. When there is only one client, there is no competition, and no need to respond to changes that they do not agree with. If you put up proposals and they are always rejected, you tend to get the message and give up.

f) Half truth :- Running full nodes on computers as small as Raspberry PI decentralises the system. Truth is that only mining nodes add blocks and transactions to the blockchain. The rest can only verify and most people have no need nor the desire to personally verify their own transactions. Dictum : Good enough decentralisation is all that is needed. If the need arises the community will rise up to the challenge.

g) Half truth :- Bitcoin is a store of value. If they are talking about the same Bitcoin then it is suppose to be a "Peer-to-peer electronic cash system". That was Satoshi's vision. If you don't have that, then what have you got? Are you in it just for the money? Yes many of us are in it for the money, but we should never lose sight of the vision. To claim that it is now a "store of value" is to defend the indefensible. Examples :-

"If you just hodl you don't need to transact" or is it that you have to hodl because you can't transact.

"Wait for lightning it will make transaction cheap and fast" why bother if it is meant to be a store of value.

"It is useful because it is a digital currency" But they just claimed that it is not a currency. As we all know, if something is not useful, it is not worth anything.

h) Half truth :- Core developers are the smartest developers. That is an opinion not a fact. If they don't hold the keys to the Github repository, I am sure we will all have a different opinion on that.

i) Half truth :- Coinbase is guilty of insider trading BCH tokens. The proper meaning of insider trading, is the trading of one's own company shares, which is illegal. Trading commodities based on prerogative information is not insider trading. The purpose here is to link Coinbase and BCH to an undesirable activity and therefore "Bad". Guilty by association.

j) Half truth :- Segwit and Lightning will reduce fees. Six months of Segwit, and adoption is 10%. "It will reduce fees if everyone uses Segwit". Fact is that not everyone will use Segwit. In fact 90% don't. In this scenario you would think the problem must be with Segwit and not the users! To then propose a campaign of boycott ( Coinbase, Bitpay, Blockchain.info ) is infantile. Nobody did. (boycott) Which should tell them that their followers and their influence is not as large as they think it is. Incumbency is still on their side, but for how much longer.

l) Half truth :- Roger Ver is a scammer supports Mt Gox. Context. He is a Bitcoin evangelist, and we all know about bank's attitude to Bitcoin businesses in those days. Would you not say the same things if you were shown those same evidence? He is not an auditor and did not speak as one. He did not have any equity interest in Mt Gox. He had no knowledge on the operational activities of Mt Gox. On hindsight it was unwise. An innocent mistake by one who wants the best for Bitcoin and wanted to help anyway he could, legally. Bitfinnex had the same problems but they learned and took a different approach. As a result they recovered and are still in business.

The problem is inertia. Few people will change their habits is they don't have to. Giving them an option by soft forking means they don't have to. So why are they surprise? Now they have made the system unuseable and have driven away existing and potential users. Lightning will face the same problem. If Lightning works, and that is still an if, there may not be many users left to use it.

e) Untrue :- Bitcoin Cash development is centralised. If anything Bitcoin Core development is centralised with only one client. Bitcoin Cash has several client implementation including Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Unlimited.

 f) Untrue :- Bitcoin Cash wants to steal the Bitcoin brand. Bitcoin Cash is Satoshi's vision of Bitcoin. It is still the essentially the same Bitcoin from 9 January 2009, except for changes to the Blocksize, which was capped at 1Mb in 2010 and increased to 8MB on 1 August 2017. Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin. Gavin Andresen did not envisage a situation where another group would take control of the software. It was "stolen" from Gavin.

BCH cemented its' claim to being the real Bitcoin by staying on the same hashing algorithm as BTC. No other forked Bitcoin clone ( Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin God, Bitcoin Platinum, etc) can achieve this. In doing so it now threatens BTC's ability to remain on the same hashing algorithm.

g) Untrue :- Bitcoin Cash want to remain a Model T Ford. In actual fact all the big blockers wanted was an immediate alleviation of the transaction and fee situation by a simple blocksize increase. They were not totally oppose to Segwit or the Lightning network. Since then they have hard forked twice proving that hard fork are not dangerous, and have committed to 6 monthly scheduled improvements. Bitcoin Cash will have the more interesting and exciting developments.

When the earliest adopters are speaking out, Listen.

Many of the earliest adopters have given up on Core and the path they have taken Bitcoin. These were the first people to see the potential in Bitcoin and promoted it before it had any value. Question the motives of people who taunt, slander, dismiss and belittle their contributions.

Gavin Andresen : First developer after Satoshi. Still contributing but to Bitcoin Cash.
Roger Ver : Bitcoin Jesus. First promoter and investor in Bitcoin start-ups.
Rick Falkvinge : Thought leader. BTC has failed.
Jeff Berwick : Anarchist. Dollar Vigilante.

The flippening.

I started this series of articles back in August predicting the flippening ( BCH replacing BTC ) and it seems like this is never going to happen. But like climate change, it is real and I based it on one premise. In the long run, BTC cannot survive on the same mining algorithm as BCH if it does not code in the EDA. (Chain Death Spiral). The power of incumbency is very strong but one by one these struts holding up the value of BTc are being removed .

The main strut are the exchanges. Every crypto exchange in the world trade BTC/fiat and BTC/crypto pairs.  Some have now introduced BCH/fiat pairs and CoinEx will use BCH as the base trading unit. Coinbase adding BCH was a big step.

A coin needs to be useful. We should be able to buy something or do something with it. Not just hold it. The reason for holding is so that you can do something with it in the future. You can see now how the "store of value" argument is "arse about face". With high fees BTC is not useful and for most people with small balances unuseable. This has resulted in all major business enterprise moving away from BTC for payment. Steam (online games), Microsoft, Bitpay, More here )

Lastly I would like to draw your attention to future developments. The one killer feature that will enable the move into mass adoption is a wallet that is totally secure that even your grandma can't lose her coins using it. nChain promises to come up with this. I understand this is a patented technology that nChain will provide free for Bitcoin Cash developers to use. Meaning that BTC cannot use this technology. Is it bad? nChain is a for profit company and they argue that it is their property and therefore they have a right to choose how and who uses it.

Bitcoin brought about a boom for developers all over the world to start making and building all sorts of applications on Bitcoin. Unfortunately high fees killed all that and most projects were abandoned, shelved, or migrated to other platforms. These projects now find a second life and there is a resurgence of enthusiasm and activity because of Bitcoin Cash.

The only thing I know of happening on BTC is Lightning. Until that comes nothing can really move forward with BTC on the development front as they have killed every other use case except for being a store of value. Yes maybe Lightning will get here soon, and yes maybe it will be bug free and yes maybe there will still be people around to use it, but that is alot of ifs. I see BTC as moving into the sunset and BCH as the morning sunrise. The Flippening.


Note about fees :- If you are confused about the different fees from $20 to $300 being quoted for sending BTC, it is because they are both right. The fee you pay to move a certain value depends on its' makeup. The balance in your account is the total of all the unspent inputs. If you have to add all these to send one larger value output then you will use more data space and so pay more fees. Sending a smaller output from a large input incurs the lowest fees.

Note : On the subject of Satoshi

Satoshi is a threat to Core if his identity is confirmed, because he would command respect and authority among the community. They will do everything in their power, much like the campaign against BCH, to discredit him if it came to that. Even if he did successfully sign the message it only proves having access to the keys. Not that he is Satoshi. It is up to you to decide based on the evidence.

That aside, if you were not Satoshi,  why would you want to go through the process of proving that you were?

You will need to demonstrate you have the knowledge and ability to invent Bitcoin.
On a personal level you need to know every detail, every event and every personalities that Satoshi should have known.
You would also have to pass the "Gavin's Test", meaning demonstrating an intimate knowledge of a shared event or memory you had with him. Would you put yourself through all that if you cannot guarantee the outcome? All it would take was for Gavin to say "no he is not who I believe was the person who communicated with me as Satoshi." and that would be the end of it.
And for what? A Nobel prize?

But look at the consequences. You have just confirmed to the world that you are in ownership of 1 million Bitcoins. You and the people around you will never be able to live a normal life.

Something not mentioned much was that the first version of the Bitcoin software was written by someone "quite archaic" in software programming meaning that it is not done in the modern disciplined manner in writing software today. It reeks of "old fashion", possibility written by someone who does not write software for a living.

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