CoinGeek’s Chief Bitcoin Historian Kurt Wuckert Jr. recently talked to YouTuber and full-time day trader Martyn Lucas about Bitcoin. Lucas had lots of interesting questions that are particularly helpful for beginners seeking to understand Bitcoin’s history, what it really is, and whether or not there’s any real value in it.
Who is Martyn Lucas?
Lucas describes himself as a musician and pianist who nowadays trades financial assets live on YouTube. He’s primarily interested in stocks and shares with a particular focus on companies aiming to change the world. He keeps it honest by trading via livestream and tells Wuckert that as far as Bitcoin goes, he’s a novice.
Martyn Lucas tells a scary truth
Lucas opens the conversation by telling Wuckert a scary truth: a poll he conducted recently revealed that the majority of his audience listened to Michael Saylor’s talks about Bitcoin and “had no idea what he was talking about, but bought it anyway.”
This is the frightening reality of the digital currency industry today. Ordinary people with no understanding of Bitcoin watch sophisticated-sounding propaganda put out by financial heavyweights like Saylor and buy into it on nothing more than the weight of his reputation as a billionaire businessman.
We’re working hard to correct this at CoinGeek, and it’s one of the reasons Wuckert and others do these interviews. It’s essential to set the record straight about what Bitcoin is and is not. It’s certainly not an investment or a trading instrument. It’s a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, and Wuckert tells Lucas and his viewers exactly that.
Wuckert sets the record straight on Bitcoin
Wuckert acknowledges that many traders and investors have bought Bitcoin thinking they can make money off it. However, he explains that when talking about Bitcoin, BSV best resembles what Satoshi Nakamoto originally designed. He explains that he’s been involved with Bitcoin for over ten years, and BSV represents what he always loved about it from the start.
Asking about the history of Bitcoin, Lucas explains that a caller told him BTC was the original and BSV was a fork, of which there are over 80.
Wuckert clarifies that a fork is a copy and a change and that there’s nothing wrong with them as long as it’s made clear what changes have been made. He gives the example of Litecoin—it’s a Bitcoin fork, but it doesn’t call itself Bitcoin. He then explains the scaling wars of 2015-2016 and how big blockers and small blockers went their different ways, with small blockers ultimately claiming the BTC trading ticker. However, he tells Lucas that the ticker is not the protocol and that Satoshi released Bitcoin without a block size limit. Today, unbounded blocks exist only on BSV.
“It’s a complete free market economics experiment,” Wuckert continues. He explains to Lucas that the 80+ forks he mentioned are dead. They have no capital investment or active developers working on them. By contrast, BSV has both in abundance.
Lucas asks for clarification on which fork is the original. Wuckert explains that they both use the same code and utilize the Bitcoin database, but BSV follows the original ruleset, which predates the ticker BSV by a long way. He explains that knowing which one Nakamoto released isn’t clean cut and that it takes serious investigation and detective work to figure it out. For him, BSV is the closest to the original design.
Lucas counters that Michael Saylor says BTC is the original, and his audience would love to know who’s right. Wuckert reminds him that Saylor may be the worst investor in history, coming out of the Dot Com bubble worse off than anyone else, so his words should be taken with a pinch of salt. He says that the idea that BTC is unchanging is a “pure fallacy” and points to several such changes like Taproot, SegWit, and others. He also points to ongoing debates about further potential changes, laying to rest the idea that BTC is the original Bitcoin as Satoshi designed it.
On Tether and other problems in the digital currency industry
Lucas says he was told by a viewer that Tether is the biggest problem in the digital currency industry and that all hell will break loose when it implodes. He asks Wuckert whether this is true.
Wuckert answers that it’s undoubtedly a big problem, but he doesn’t see it as the biggest one. For him, the fractional reserve system that centralized exchanges are operating is a much bigger issue. He points to platforms like Celsius going under and exchanges like FTX having to bail them out. For Wuckert, Tether is one symptom of a fundamentally dishonest system and industry.
On getting rich by buying BSV
Lucas directly asks Wuckert if buying BSV could lead to getting rich. He likens it to buying a lottery ticket and reveals he has 11 coins.
Wuckert replies that the fundamental difference between BSV and many other digital currencies is that it has utility. People are focused on developing applications to make them useful. He points out that Apple wouldn’t be a great stock if it didn’t build great products, to which Lucas agrees.
Addressing the argument that BTC is rare and therefore valuable, Wuckert points out that this same argument can be applied to BSV. The difference is that, in order to gain value, BSV has to unlock “untold utility.”
Speaking about his own position, Wuckert reveals that he has invested in BSV startups, has his own mining company (GorillaPool), and puts his money where his mouth is. He’s a true believer in Bitcoin SV.
Why do people think BSV is a scam?
Lucas asks Wuckert why BSV has such a bad reputation in the industry and why people think it’s a scam. He answers that there’s a lot of negative rhetoric around it, which is amplified by vested interests, and points out that it’s difficult to convince people who have made a lot of money on BTC that they are wrong.
Another reason is its association with Dr. Craig Wright, who has been maligned in industry media for a long time. Wuckert points to his refusal to publicly sign with Nakamoto’s private keys despite claiming to be him as one reason many believe he’s lying. He highlights that Dr. Wright isn’t the Satoshi most wanted, but he’s one of the few people in the industry who doesn’t encourage speculation or buying digital currencies to sell later. Wuckert rightly challenges viewers to compare that to Saylor’s rhetoric and think about who’s more likely to be trustworthy.
Does Wuckert believe Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Wuckert answers in the affirmative. He qualifies this by saying that he believes others were involved as part of a team that helped Dr. Wright with different elements of the project but that he was very much the inventor and leader of the project. He believes that between three and six others may have been involved.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, The Future World with Blockchain
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.