You’ll want to watch the latest episode of “Theory of Bitcoin” as it’s especially topical—Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig S. Wright and Fabriik’s Ryan X. Charles talk about Dr. Wright’s flurry of copyright claims against BTC-related projects. It’s one of the first times he’s spoken at length about why this is happening, and as always he’s got a lot to say.
It’s a discussion full of warnings: for BTC investors, developers, associated projects and those who offer their support to them.
Reviewing the early writings of Satoshi Nakamoto with Satoshi Nakamoto.
— Theory of Bitcoin (@theoryofbitcoin) January 25, 2021
“I see there being no way around this being a giant disaster in the financial world,” says Charles, adding that he sees many in the digital asset industry as thinking only about short-term gains, without thinking any of the details through.
“My plans are for the next 30 years,” Wright replies.
When asked about Square, he takes aim at Silicon Valley and its ethical standards once again. The so-called “gig economy” aims to outsource all labor—and with it, responsibility, risk and legal liability—to independent third-parties. He suggests the real motive is not to transform work, but something more cynical. Square in particular, Dr. Wright says, has little interest in supporting Bitcoin but is looking for something to use for settlements instead of SWIFT, and is happy to hand off all liability to its independent-contractor team of blockchain developers. These are the people who’ll end up in the most trouble.
Charles has been taking a devil’s advocate role more frequently in recent episodes, allowing Dr. Wright to respond to some of the most fervent criticisms he faces. Wright’s view of Bitcoin may be correct but it’s definitely the “minority one,” he points out. It’ll be a difficult challenge to sway everyone’s opinion.
This is why it’s so important to establish what the “real” Bitcoin is and who gets to determine how it’s used, who owns the transaction database and, ultimately, whose opinion matters most.
Dr. Wright has no love for (Twitter CEO and Square co-founder) Jack Dorsey. He says BTC only has the image/acceptance it has due to large Silicon Valley companies promoting it, and silencing dissent. Their complete control over public discourse, official narratives and access to information is more “anti-news” than news, which is where their power really lies.
There are serious financial implications (to supporting BTC) too, Dr. Wright says. When he issued Bitcoin in 2009, it had a value of zero. The “airdropped” BTC asset—launched in August 2017 when the chain accepting segregated witness transactions split from the original protocol rules—is legally an “airdropped” token. Since Bitcoin in August 2017 had a unit value around US$4,000 and a market cap in the tens of billions, it has several more liabilities. Not many people are considering this potential outcome… but they should.
He also warned people who were now registering their own copyrights to the Bitcoin white paper, suggesting it was a bad idea to publicly commit fraud on a government platform. Perhaps they think it’s a joke, or they’re doing something good, Wright says. There are a lot of well-meaning but ignorant people in the industry.
And they shouldn’t blame him for pointing out the realities they’re facing, he says.
“Really, it comes down to… people see money, and they don’t want to think about it. They’re sitting there going ‘this is how it works, why? Because I’ve been told. Because coin goes up.’ And they’re afraid that might change. I’m making money … don’t rock the boat. But the boat’s going to be rocked. And if I don’t do it, someone else will.”
He doesn’t enjoy taking the action he’s taking, but it’s necessary: “If I have to do this to prove I’m right, then I will.”
It’s a “Theory of Bitcoin” episode full of warnings and clarifications. In fact, of all the discussion in this series it’s probably the one even opponents of BSV should watch… and take note. There’s a lot more to Bitcoin, its creator and its 12-year history than most assume. It’s good to know what lies between all those knowledge gaps.
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