A week ago, I had the genuine pleasure and honour to meet up with Roger Ver. An entrepreneur, and an evangelist for Bitcoin whom I greatly look up to and respect. After all, he has done more for Bitcoin than anyone in Core has for the last 3 years. This isn’t a criticism of individuals in Core, (there’s plenty of talent there!) – But rather a criticism of the leadership, which has stifled Bitcoin BTC to unfathomable extents.
It’s been a turbulent week, that’s for sure. I had every intention of doing this write-up over the weekend, but with the events unfolding, by the time I put pen to paper, everything had changed. Such is the nature of the crypto market!
Roger and I discussed the status quo – bear in mind, this was last week, and so much has happened since! Including the cancellation of Segwit2x, and the incredible rise of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which momentarily saw it gain second spot in market cap. At the time of writing, BCH, holds a strong $20 billion dollar market cap, and its strong activity has no doubt raised eyebrows, as speculators begin to dig below the surface, to know what this is really about.
Our meet-up was literally the day after Bitcoin Unlimited presented the results of the gigablock testnet. Being a proponent of on-chain scalability, Roger commented “… I had twenty years of selling computer equipment, the first modules I sold were 8mb modules, and they were $800 8mb modules, ofcourse the future is 1GB blocks, 8GB blocks, and some day if there’s enough AI on the planet making transactions, we’ll have 1TB blocks someday, it won’t be an issue with Moore’s Law”
Moore’s Law ofcourse is the observation that the number of transistors in an circuit, more than doubles every two years. Ofcourse, there are many related disciplines here, including storage, and communication speeds. Take for example the following chart below:
Roger’s analysis is spot on. Satoshi knew this. Developers are often blinded because they cannot see the forest for the trees. Anyone that understands economic fundamentals has a head-start already.
The online community is toxic. With countless words of misinformation, newcomers are often lost in a maze of psychobabble that is an intentional strategy to deflect from the real issues. This is not to mention attempts at discrediting individuals.
Roger is often accused of “pumping” his coin (BCH), or “creating” his coin. – Here’s fact – Roger has specifically stated he was not aware of the Bitcoin Cash hardfork until it was practically happening.
Roger: “Yeah right after it happened (BCH fork), I was like this version of Bitcoin really holds true…”
Eli: “at what point did it occur to you that, hang on, this really is the Bitcoin I have been fighting for this whole time?”
Roger: “There was never a one eureka moment… It’s been a gradual process, and my feelings towards Bitcoin Cash continues to warm… especially after considering the in-fighting going on to increase to two 2MB… It is the year 2017, 2MB every 10 minutes is not even remotely an issue and these people are holding back the adoption of one of the most important inventions in the history of human kind because they don’t understand Moore’s Law, and have no common sense for the economic reasons that made Bitcoin so successful. And they basically killed the goose that laid the golden egg. That’s why you’ve seen Bitcoin’s market share plummet from 100% market share to almost 50% which is what it is today.”
Eli: “obviously a big part of this has been an information war. I noticed someone on twitter state ‘I’m beginning to rethink my position on BCH… BTC has to wait for Lightning Network but BCH has low fees right now’. Where do you see the momentum on the flow of information lying??
Roger: “The other side seems to like to play dirty, they engage in censorship, they engage in lies, they’ve been caught red handed with astro-turfing accounts… They accuse me of doing that sort of thing, I have never, ever, ever done anything like that”
Eli: “I know you’ve been accused of paying me… and that’s not true at all”
Roger: “It’s not true at all”.
Eli: “…and neither does Craig Wright for the record.”
I may as well take this opportunity to put it out there: I am unpaid for anything I write for CoinGeek. Below is a tweet from the editor confirming this.
But moving on;
Roger continued: “The information is important, but just from a moral standpoint, one side is engaging in censorship… even if their technical position were better, I’m still inclined not to support them, their hearts not in the right place… why are they engaging in censorship…”
Eli: “Do you think Bitcoin Cash is a threat to the Blockstream business model?”
Roger: “[pauses]…YES! – *laughs loudly* it’s a huge huge threat, I think mostly because they don’t seem to have many Bitcoins either… otherwise they’d be more concerned with making Bitcoin more widespread – supply is limited, as more people use it, price will go up. Adam Back had an invitation directly from Satoshi when Bitcoin hadn’t even launched yet and he had such a poor understanding of the economics of Bitcoin that he didn’t bother to get involved until it was a thousand dollars each… that should make anybody stop and ask ‘why did I trust this guy to guide the Bitcoin scaling roadmap”.
Eli: “and Greg Maxwell didn’t even believe it could work”
Roger: “…yeah and Greg Maxwell thought he already proved it impossible, so why would these guys be held as experts in the field? If anything they should be held as people who completely failed to understand it”
Eli: “Do you think Blockstream could’ve received a better return on investment, if they simply invested the money into Bitcoin?”
Roger: “Undoubtedly, there is no doubt whatsoever. When they raised the money bitcoin was comparatively super cheap, we can go back and do the math and figure it out. They had two rounds of investment”.
So I’ve done the math (rounded figures):
November 17, 2014: $21 million. BTC price = $372 = 56,451 coins.
March 17, 2015: $50 million BTC price = $284 = 176,056 coins.
February 3, 2016: $55 million. BTC price = $368 = 149,456 coins.
That’s a total of 381,963 Bitcoins which by today’s price = $2,571,563,987.68
Now that’s a truck load of money.
Roger had suggested I do the math! Thanks for the tip.
Eli: “I remember you in the early days showing people how easy Bitcoin was to use, and transfer money, mobile to mobile (that means cell phone in Australia)… People were wow’d by it. Transfers were quick, it was 0-conf back then, and zero congestion… things just worked. Does it ever feel like sometimes you’re alone in the fight, or do you ever look around you and wonder where the cavalry is?”
Roger: “well the cavalry went to all the altcoins… Ethereum, DASH, Monero… Bitcoin market cap is just over 50% it was less than that not long ago… horrible compared to where we were”.
Eli: “it seem like a no-brainer to people like you and I that user experience should come first… so what happened?”
Roger: “A bunch of people who don’t use Bitcoin started trying to guide the user experience on Bitcoin. I had a big debate with Tone Vays last year in Mexico and I asked him how often do you use Bitcoin, and he said ‘I don’t consider myself a Bitcoin user’… that’s a direct quote, it’s on Youtube, you can pull it out… Then I had another debate with Matt Dilley who’s Chief Strategy Officer for Blockstream at the time, and I asked him the same thing, he said he ‘hardly uses Bitcoin, doesn’t have a Bitcoin wallet on his phone’ why would we trust people who don’t use Bitcoin to guide the user experience on Bitcoin? I use Bitcoin more times than I can count every day, and Segwit1x is broken. Bitcoin Cash has the wonderful user experience that makes Bitcoin what it is today.
Eli: “and what do you think of Core’s scaling roadmap?”
Roger: “They don’t have a scaling roadmap. Their scaling Roadmap is to not scale Bitcoin. Anybody can make layer two technologies on-top of Bitcoin Cash, real scaling is on-chain scaling…”
Since this interview, a lot has happened. I recall on the way to the airport, Roger mentioned he was far less confident on the Segwit2x fork going ahead, than he had been prior. That loss of confidence was not misplaced. Segwit2x was cancelled… Bitcoin Cash then blasted into the sky and sits at well over $1000 at the time of writing.
For all the apples this man has tossed at him, he is indeed a man of credibility. Just ask yourself, how many people out there, especially in the Bitcoin community have gone back on their own word? Think of the Hong Kong agreement, think of the Scaling Conference, think of Adam Back stating we need 2,4,8MB blocks, think of Segwit2x – the list is endless.
Roger was resolute in his position. Bitcoin.com stated “In the unlikely event that the 2MB block size increase portion of Segwit2x fails to activate, Bitcoin.com will immediately shift all company resources to supporting Bitcoin Cash exclusively.”
He held his word. Unlike every other liar in the space. He held.
Today Bitcoin.com mines Bitcoin Cash, and actively campaigns for Bitcoin Cash as the true Bitcoin as realised by Satoshi Nakamoto.
What has ensued, has brought many early adopters and developers stating the same thing, including Gavin Andresen’s recent tweet: “Bitcoin Cash is what I started working on in 2010: a store of value AND means of exchange.”
The revolution will not be centralized. Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin.