We often write about the Bitcoin Civil War. It was long, drawn out and the victims include some of the legends of Bitcoin. The loss of Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen, for example, or the split from the network effect of the BTC or even the BCH ticker has consequences. We carry those scars into battle, and we still fight our own little hash wars that occur every day on the path to true consensus.
But there is also cause to celebrate! November 15th, much like other days where the brave met on battlefields, can be told from a few different perspectives. The casualties of war are remembered, but the victory has been so utterly sweet! After about five years of bickering about Bitcoin’s limitations, and debates about whether or not the blockchain data structure was even capable of producing any of the things that the early bitcoiners believed, we finally had the opportunity to let Bitcoin get out and stretch its legs!
Immediately after the split, we were blessed with an outpouring of support from some of the great minds of Bitcoin. The enigmatic Unwriter wrote an incredible homage to Mike Hearn’s obituary to BTC in “The Resolution of The Bitcoin Cash Experiment,” which is so deeply full of gems that it deserves at least an annual re-reading to be sure we haven’t lost our way again!
Unwriter boldly states:
“There is only one king. And that is Bitcoin.”
And he explains that all of his projects will be created under the assumption of three crucial things.
1: There will only be ONE Ledger
2: Proof of Work Works
3: Bitcoin Scales Infinitely
This was a battle cry that we needed at the time, and gratitude to Unwriter for his work on Bitcoin can hardly be overstated.
The new coalition
In hindsight, it seemed obvious who would come along to the BSV economy, but there was a short period where it was unclear where a number of people stood on a great many issues. Ryan X. Charles of Money Button was doing very regular YouTube videos explaining some of his thinking on the issues, and discussing the opportunities created by “Unified Coin” which is what he called replayed BSV/BCH transactions of unsplit coins. He provided valuable thought leadership in that era, and it was exciting when he declared support for BSV exclusively. There were similar celebrations as each project declared support. HandCash and Centbee were excited to declare support, even as projects like the now defunct CoinText of the ghost town of Memo.cash decided to mostly stick with BCH.
The newly liberated big block bitcoiners coalesced into a group that shared in the great ideas of scaling Bitcoin on chain, and then big things started to pick up.
Steve Shadders made some calls to miners and ushered in “the unf*ckening” by opening up the size of Op_Return, which created some interesting data use cases that didn’t exist anywhere else. Images, apps and communications tools started popping up quickly! Not long after, the Quasar upgrade raised the block size limit to 2GB, and it was becoming commonplace to see stress tests create blocks over 100mb filled with transactions and data. While BTC and BCH were positive that blocks could not scale, the BSV economy was making them happen on the main net, it was refreshing to see bitcoin’s most passionate advocates begin to succeed in all the ways we fought for amid the Bitcoin Civil War. BSV was proving that the Bitcoin protocol could always scale!
By the first annual Bitcoin Independence Day celebration, there were tens of millions of transactions from WeatherSV, many blocks over 120MB, Metanet root nodes on the mainnet, images being shared through OP_Return, the emergence of Twetch, Streamanity, TonicPow, BitPing and imminent dates set for the launch of the Genesis protocol: the first unbounded implementation of bitcoin since its inception.
As we come up to the 2nd Bitcoin Independence Day, we recognize that we have a fixed and open protocol mining blocks over 350 megabytes today, and huge advancements across the board in technical and business development. We have competing venture capitalists and self-funded startups working around the clock on BSV. We have attracted former rivals back to mine blocks from amid our previous struggles (looking at you, Binance), and we have brought in projects and talented developers from Ethereum, EOS and other competitive protocols.
On the 15th, let us remember our battles, celebrate our victories, and don’t ever forget that there will be another block to mine in about ten minutes!
Happy Bitcoin Independence Day!
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.