Editorial 25 October 2017

Cecille de Jesus

SegWit supporters, you’ve been played: Jeff Garzik is abandoning ship

Less than a month before the second phase of NYA kicks in, its lead developer announces his own coin: an exit strategy from the potential disaster that is SegWit.

Before the 2x phase of SegWit even happens, its lead developer is well on his way out the escape hatch. Way to inspire confidence, right?

Jeff Garzik, SegWit2x’s lead developer, announced at the Las Vegas Money 20/20 conference that Bloq—the blockchain firm for which he is chief executive—is launching a rival cryptocurrency to BTC called Metronome, which would supposedly survive even if the blockchain it runs on collapses. Much like Garzik, Metronome can supposedly switch from one blockchain to another (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum) in case one is crashing. In the context of current events, if the upcoming hard fork he supported, advocated, and worked on for the legacy chain of BTC next month ends in disaster, he and his Metronome friends are all safe.

“If.”

It makes you wonder whether the “if” was even a question at all, or if it was just a matter of when. Was it designed to fail from the start so their Metronome can come in to save the day once the BTC chain falls in ashes—after the arson they seem to have committed themselves? Was this a case of “press-the-self-destruct-button-from-the-inside-and-run?”

This reeks of deceit from all angles: the pilot—who drives the plane all the way promising you a rich, beautiful island—ejects himself out of the plane before you reach the supposed “beautiful island” he chose for you. Need a visual?

SegWit supporters, you've been played: Jeff Garzik is abandoning ship

To add insult to injury, in an interview with Fortune, Garzik talks about “[BTC] threats from forks and drama” as if he had no hand in it: “Today, [BTC] faces existential threats from forks, developer drama and so on. Knowing what we know and having a clean sheet of paper, we asked what would we build and the answer is this,” Garzik said.

Unsurprisingly, Reddit users did not hold back on the discussion.

The New York Agreement (NYA) acquired majority support in August—primarily from mining pools and the businesses relying on them despite the fact that it does not solve BTC’s scaling problem for the long term. In addition, the protocol change opens user deposits to several angles of attack and has not been properly vetted—by default, such a major change in the BTC protocol should undergo a substantial vetting time before implementation. SegWit was hastily discussed between a few large companies behind closed doors.

But in the past few months, some major players have withdrawn their support of the solution. Here’s why.

The real Bitcoin was switched in the night.

It’s like the Body Snatchers. What you now hold as BTC is no longer the Bitcoin you were holding on to over two months ago. It’s definitely not the Bitcoin people originally signed up for. It has been switched to a business-backed decoy overnight. So where did the “real Bitcoin” go?

The real Bitcoin survived this power grab in the form of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a group of users that forked away from the legacy chain in an attempt to solve the scaling problem whilst preserving the core principles of Bitcoin—the same cryptocurrency a large population of the community are unwittingly calling all sorts of names, not noticing the power grab-switch-scam that happened right before their very eyes.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that SegWit is the traditional banking system taking over Bitcoin and essentially killing it. Bitcoin Cash is the original Bitcoin escaping that carnage.

What does this mean for users of BTC’s legacy chain, SegWit Core?

The central bankers have caught up with you. You will be paying their fees again.

Remember that time when someone got so tired of paying high fees and waiting long hours due to so many unnecessary third party services leeching off of the simplest financial transactions, and a system was built to eradicate all of them? Right, that was Bitcoin.

But with SegWit, you can throw that pledge out the window. These intermediaries have made it back in disguised as “sidechains.” Don’t be confused by the term “sidechains” here. These are intermediaries, or perhaps, back offices disguised in a new, unfamiliar term. And you’ll all be paying them—the unnecessary intermediaries that seem to exist solely so they can cash in on transactions.

SegWit proponents cleverly named it SegWit—focusing on the signature data segregation. What they conveniently downplayed was the “sidechain” aspect of SegWit. They may as well have named it BizOn, because business is definitely on.

Financial giant AXA Strategic Ventures is working on a blockchain solution that would supposedly “extend bitcoins with sidechains,” with the same Core developers who relentlessly and successfully pushed SegWit into the scaling debate, Blockstream.

They were able to sneak that past the majority despite the fact that it goes exactly against the Bitcoin promise of cutting down costs by eliminating third party/intermediaries. Yep, they intentionally snuck those bastards back in. Now watch transaction fees rise as businesses like the Lightning Network—which itself is a controversial solution—leech in from what used to be your peer-to-peer network. If this were a concert, your platinum seat ticket has been demoted to general admission. Here is the new business model from AXA:

SegWit supporters, you've been played: Jeff Garzik is abandoning ship

Notice that there is now a “sidechain” between you (micropayments) and the blockchain. It doesn’t end there. “Sidechains can have other sidechains for things like micropayments,” it says. So this gap between miners, users, and the blockchain can be filled with even more companies—just like it was with traditional banking.

What does this prove? One: ironically, despite the fact that the underlying technology behind Bitcoin vowed to be incorruptible, human frailty remains inestimable. And two: propaganda is the most time-enduring, technology-proof device in human history.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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