The Bitcoin community is at war… again.
Indeed, ‘again’ is the keyword here.
Soon after the crypto OG Satoshi Nakamoto went silent and decided to step away from the Bitcoin project, the community started arguing about the future. Some wanted Bitcoin to spread like wildfire and cleanse the fiat-based financial and monetary system. Others, however, preached patience and a more organic growth.
In both cases, Bitcoin had to scale in order to become usable for the masses. In other words, the original blockchain had to process much more than the initial ‘cap’ of 3 to 4 transactions per second (as a comparison VISA handles around 1,700 transactions per second, on average).
Since Satoshi wasn’t around to guide anymore, the community slowly but surely split into two ‘factions’: one that wanted to fix scalability in the most obvious way and another that imagined networks built on top of the blockchain, capable of scaling to infinity.
Since any given block ‘mined’ on the Bitcoin blockchain had the initial size of maximum 1 MB, some members argued increasing the block size could actually guide BTC to the Promised Land. They thought of changing the initial block size incrementally, after a determined period, to 2 MB, 4 MB, 8 MB, 16 MB, 32 MB, and so on.
This proposal met heavy resistance, many refusing to change the original code. What happens to the actual blockchain size if the block size is increased, they legitimately asked? An exponential increase could lead to terabytes and terabytes of storage needed to sustain the network.
Instead, the big block critics propose a different solution: reorganize the block structure so that developers could build on top of Bitcoin a payment layer that could solve the scalability problem.
The two factions couldn’t find middle ground, after years of debate, so, in the summer of 2017, a split happened and a brand new cryptocurrency was created: Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was a result of a so-called ‘hard fork’ - a permanent change in the code that makes old rules and new rules incompatible.
The supporters of BCH were the big blockers who wanted incremental increases in terms of block size capacity. They immediately set up a plan to attack BTC and called their supported cryptocurrency ‘the real Bitcoin,’ because of the scalability potential and reliability. All transactions will be processed on the blockchain, therefore BCH doesn’t need additional layers or other improvisations to scale.
The collaboration between the three didn’t last long, though. One year after the hard fork, a civil war emerged between Ver and Jihan Wu (Bitmain founder, one of the most popular BTC mining pools and crypto miners manufacturer) on one side, and Ayre and Wright, on the other.
The reason? The same old block size! Ver and Wu wanted a more careful approach, while Ver and Wright just wanted to continue to incrementally increase the BCH capacity.
No reconciliation was possible, therefore, in November 2018, BCH went through the growing pains of a hard fork: Ver and Wu kept BCH maximum block size intact to 32 MB, while Ayre and Wright split to create Bitcoin Satoshi Vision or BSV by increasing the block size to 128 MB.
Wright first revealed he is the one who created Bitcoin in 2016, months after Wired and Gizmodo linked the Australian with the famous Satoshi Nakamoto.
In 2017, Wright took big blockers’ side and supported Bitcoin Cash (BCH) from the get-go, claiming it’s actually ‘the real Bitcoin.’ In 2018, after a feud with Ver, the Australian dismissed BCH and claimed Bitcoin SV is the real deal.
Because of his erratic behavior and arrogance, the community looked at Wright with suspicion, accusing him of falsely claiming he’s Satoshi. Wright dismissed the accusations at first, yet, recently, he decided to approach the matter much more aggressively.
He threatened to sue anybody who calls him a fraud on social media and he even took the first steps towards legal action against a member of the community. To fully de-anonymize a non-believer, the self-proclaimed Satoshi now offers a bounty of 5,000 BSV to anyone who can provide real-world information about the Twitter user ‘Hodlonaut.’
Following the recent events, many asked this legitimate question: Is this what Satoshi Nakamoto - who created an anonymous, community-driven payment system - would actually do?
Also, would the real Satoshi Nakamoto threaten anyone who doesn’t agree with his views? Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto impose his will by taking legal action?
The fact is, no matter what Wright says, the community or the network actually chooses the real Bitcoin, not one individual or entity. The original cryptocurrency was created based on the consensus of the majority and, unfortunately, the Australian seems to have forgotten this ‘small detail.’
The majority has clearly spoken and, thus far, there is only one true Bitcoin - not BCH or BSV - but the one who sits at the top of all other cryptocurrencies. The same one that has dominated the market for ten years now.
That’s the real Bitcoin and until Craig Wright doesn’t understand that, the community will have every right to dismiss him as the real Satoshi Nakamoto.