On September 14, BTC evangelist and self-professed “professional cypherpunk” Jameson Lopp felt the need to offer his opinion on the Oslo trial where Magnus “Hodlonaut” Granath is attempting to justify his defamatory internet posts against Dr. Craig Wright, the real-world individual behind the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym credited with authoring the 2008 Bitcoin white paper.
The trial’s opening phases haven’t exactly gone according to the Granath team’s expectations, in part due to their client’s infantile tendency to treat the proceedings as something of a joke, along with his apparent belief that whatever he and his online buddies believe on any given subject at any given moment represents literal and unassailable truth.
This week, Lopp’s frustration with his space-cat champion’s antics evidently got the better of him, leading him to tweet that “The only way to stop Craig from cosplaying as Satoshi is to put him in a box.” The tweet was immediately called out by numerous Twitter users who accused Lopp of dog-whistling a death wish on Wright.
The only way to stop Craig from cosplaying as Satoshi is to put him in a box.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) September 14, 2022
Lopp’s defenders made half-hearted efforts to polish his turd, some claiming that the “box” in which Wright was to be stuffed was a reference to a prison cell. Others suggested that Lopp was referring to a witness box, like the Norwegian one Wright found himself in at the time. This claim was undermined by the fact that Wright’s lengthy appearances in just such a box during last year’s Kleiman v Wright trial did nothing—in fact, quite the opposite—to refute the legitimacy of Wright’s Satoshi claims.
Lopp may be many things, but he’s not a complete moron. He could have easily expunged any lingering ambiguity by adding the word “witness” to his tweet. Lopp’s failure to add that clarifying adjective strongly suggests that creating both ambiguity and an air of plausible deniability was his ultimate goal.
Special Weapons and Tactics
There is precedent for prominent individuals expressing their desire for someone to commit acts the speaker might prefer not to do personally. The most infamous of these is Henry II’s “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” remark that convinced four of his knights to murder Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, who had thwarted Henry’s ambitions on numerous occasions.
While Henry later protested that he’d never intended his words to lead to violence, Becket’s permanent removal from the stage was undeniably something Henry desired. Henry’s apparent unwillingness to actually say “someone kill this prick already” has since been adopted by everyone from mob bosses to Presidents of the United States as a means of communicating one’s wishes while insulating oneself from personal culpability should those desires spur others’ repugnant actions.
And this would hardly be the first time a BTC maxi/Wright antagonist has expressed the idea that extrajudicial killing is no big whoop, so long as it’s a Maxi choosing who needs to die. Four years ago, the pseudonymous entity Cøbra publicly advocated for “assassination markets” as the cornerstone of an “ideal anarchistic society” to “remove undesirables.” Cøbra was ultimately exposed as just another Internet Tough Guy/Girl who wilted under Wright’s legal pressure while warning Wright’s lawyers that they would “face consequences for your behavior.”
Five years ago, Lopp was the victim of a “swatting” incident in which some unidentified individual called the police claiming to be inside Lopp’s house with hostages, weapons, and explosives. Lopp, who subsequently announced he would live “off the grid” to minimize the likelihood of future incidents of this kind, wrote that his swatter “didn’t have the guts to put his own life in danger by physically attacking me.”
Putting the present irony of that quote aside, one might assume that someone who’d been on the receiving end of a potentially life-threatening situation might be a little more sensitive to the possibility that one’s actions might put another individual’s life in jeopardy. But apparently, Lopp prioritizes his personal economic interests above others’ well-being.
Follow Lopp’s Money
Earlier this year, Lopp published an article, “On BSV Scalability,” which attempted to poke holes in Bitcoin SV’s winning narrative of unbounded scaling and ultra-low transaction fees. While some of Lopp’s critics calmly refuted the numerous (purposeful?) errors in his piece, others questioned why, if BSV is truly such a non-entity compared to the big bad inevitable BTC, did Lopp devote so much time and effort to convincing others there was nothing to see here, and they should move along as quickly as possible, preferably keeping their heads down lest they observe a reality the BTC camp considers heretical and/or impossible.
Lopp has good reason to want individuals to ignore BSV, namely, the fact that he runs Casa, a BTC-based business that charges up to $5,000 per year to protect the contents of your digital wallet. Casa previously offered a custom Node product that allowed BTC users to cosplay as network nodes without all the pesky realities of actually creating blocks. Casa Node ultimately failed because there’s only so much the average BTC user is willing to pay to use their “yeah, baby, I run a full node” pickup lines at the bar.
Casa Node also allowed users the dubious privilege of connecting to the Lightning Network, that kludgy and highly proprietary “layer 2” solution to BTC’s chronic network constraints. Such solutions are unnecessary on BSV, which is already handling millions of transactions every day and theoretically never hits a capacity ceiling. So, questions of Satoshi aside, the root causes of Lopp’s anti-Wright/BSV hostility are fairly obvious.
While we certainly wish Dr. Wright a long, healthy, and productive life, veiled threats of violence of the kind leveled by Lopp and his ilk could never achieve their ultimate aim. Contrary to what Granath and his buddies believe, BSV and Dr. Wright are separate entities that, while undeniably linked, don’t require the other to exist. As the saying goes, you can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea. And all the death wishes in the world won’t stop BSV, an idea whose time has come.
Watch: Satoshi Trial Norway key witnesses put on record on Day 4
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