Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:16pm ESTComments Off on Back From The Killing Fields
I write to you from beautiful Thailand, specifically, Koh Lanta island. I am working from kohub.org for the month of November and December. I may be permanently ruined for living in the US as this is next level lifestyle. I haven’t worn proper shoes or socks for a month. Last night’s sunset:
I could fill the Library of Congress about how my life is better than yours so let’s talk about why you’re here. You want to see me either:
Ascend to legend status assuming the ethereal form of fuck you money
Get my crypto ass raped
Well, this week has been a bit of both. I won’t bore you with details so here’s the summary.
Bitcoin Cash was scheduled to have an upgrade. Due to two development teams who did not reach agreement by the November 15 deadline Bitcoin Cash split into two coins: Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV.
During a fork holders get equal amounts of each coin. Think of it as a stock split except now your shares are on two different tickers.
What to do with my now equal stacks of Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV? I went full degen and sold every Bitcoin ABC to buy Bitcoin SV at 4:1. Some would say this is a gamble. But so is life.
As Bitcoin SV goes so will I. Fuck you money or McDonalds. There is no in between.
On November 15 Bitcoin Cash hard forked when two developer groups disagreed on the future of Bitcoin Cash. I covered the background in this post. Read that for a primer on how we got here.
When there are multiple groups competing to be the default ruleset and client used to run the Bitcoin Cash network the issue is resolved using Nakamoto Consensus. At a high level Nakamoto Consensus says that in the event of a conflict Bitcoin miners will choose what software to run thus declaring a winner (via majority) and, very importantly, a loser (more on that later). From the Bitcoin Whitepaper:
They (miners) vote with their CPU power, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism.
Nakamoto Consensus is baked into the design of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the work of a group of geniuses providing many breakthroughs such as: Byzantine General’s problem, Triple Entry Accounting, Game Theory, Turing Completeness in Bitcoin script, AI etc. Anyone who does not recognize the staggering achievement of Bitcoin as a system is ill informed or disingenuous about their motivations for being in the Cryptocurrency space and not to be trusted.
Furthermore, I am quite clear who is the surviving member of the Satoshi team. I believe this person will be stepping forward with proof soon. And if they do not, that is OK. Bitcoin was designed for Satoshi to be anonymous. Satoshi would only step forward to save Bitcoin, and that may be where we are headed.
Most geniuses are rarely appreciated in their own lifetime. The magnitude of their genius only recognized once the full impact is realized, which often takes decades. Another fact that is lesser known, many geniuses are assholes. You need look no further than Sir Isaac Newton for an example. In the Forbes article ,Why was Sir Isaac Newton Such A Jerk?‘, Steven Ross Pomeroy writes:
He was not given to lightness of manner, nor did he show any capacity for self-irony. When angered, he became unbalanced and, it must be said, vindictive and petty.
Though his personality didn’t endear him to almost anyone, it served his career remarkably well. Ruthlessness is a surprising bedfellow to scientific success. When two other scientists, Robert Hooke and Gottfried Leibniz, offered criticism or competed with Newton for claim over the revolutionary ideas of gravity and calculus, Newton pursued personal vendettas against them. These grudges persisted even after Hooke and Leibniz were in their graves, with Newton trashing the reputations and discoveries of both Leibniz and Hooke while elevating his own.
Dr Craig Wright, the Chief Scientist of nChain, fits the asshole genius description well. Dr Wright, when crossed, is a world class jerk and this character flaw may have been very costly during the past week’s events. Much like Isaac Newton, Dr Wright, “when angered, he became unbalanced and, it must be said, vindictive and petty.”
It’s unfortunate. Here’s why:
In the BCH hash war there are two sides. Bitcoin ABC, led by Amaury Sechet and Bitmain vs Bitcoin SV, led by Craig Wright and nChain.
In the weeks leading up to November 15 Craig Wright bluntly told a lot of people to “fuck off”. Here’s an email he wrote to Roger Ver, the CEO of Bitcoin.com
That was just one example. Other notable statements were made about bankrupting exchanges that chose to run Bitcoin ABC software. Basically, anyone who disagreed with Craig was mocked, blocked and/or publicly flayed. Not a good look when heading into a battle for the future of Bitcoin. Dr Wright’s many attacks on persons and organizations in Crypto opened the door to ABC offering a safe haven alternative to a powerful nChain fighting for Satoshi’s Bitcoin.
Why was Craig so cocky? Craig had reason to believe that with his investment in hash power he could beat ABC. To prepare for threats during the year leading up to the past week nChain and sister company Coingeek invested HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to build a Bitcoin mining operation in support of defending Bitcoin Cash as outlined in the Bitcoin Whitepaper.
When Bitcoin ABC proposed changes that differ from that path the November 15 upgrade became the deadline for a hash war.
On November 15 there were multiple livestreams broadcasting the fork with ongoing commentary from Crypto experts. Something was odd from the start. Watching the pro ABC teams there was something fishy. They looked incredibly confident, cocky even. Something in their mannerism was not consistent with a team at war in a high stakes battle. Then, this was said by Andreas Brekken on a livestream:
What is Andreas saying? Bitcoin ABC changed the rules of the fight. They broke from Satoshi’s design of Bitcoin to avoid a negative outcome from Nakamoto Consensus. They used a software checkpoint to prevent any group of miners from rewriting their chain.
Further, they distributed this software change to exchanges in secret. They created a cartel. Bitcoin was designed to be decentralized. ABC is now centralized by the group of players who are holding the checkpoints.
Putting it bluntly, ABC cheated. But all is fair in love and war, right? OK in that case, I’ll retract the “cheated” statement. Even so, the facts are ABC subverted the design of Bitcoin and Nakamoto Consensus to ensure their chain survived. This has caused a split. Now BCH is two coins: BAB (Bitcoin ABC) and BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision).
That means double the coins ~17M to 34M. Two chains. Inflation. Confusion. Rather than a decisive battle won by hash we have a protracted war with two blockchains sharing the same resiliency features. Bitcoin was not designed to split. It is designed so that the strongest version survives. That is what makes Bitcoin Bitcoin. It’s resilient. Evolving. Always getting stronger. Bitcoin ABC put that aside in their own self interest.
With a single line of code Bitcoin ABC dealt a massive blow to the hundreds of millions in real capital nChain invested in securing the BCH chain.
BRUTAL is an understatement.
ABC ignored what makes Bitcoin Bitcoin and instead chose to create a new genesis block at the checkpoint. Unfortunately, many are following this coin as if it were Bitcoin. ABC is DEFINITELY not Bitcoin. ABC is an experiment with altered economics.
Bitcoin is a system. It draws on multiple disciplines. One of the primary features of Bitcoin is the economic model of mining and security. ABC threw economics out the window. Forcing a split vs a winner take all has a hugely negative impact on all of Crypto.
So now what? ABC is claiming victory. SV is vowing to fight on.
The Hash War continues. And we know there are no winners in war. This graphic from Cointelegraph shows the current 24 hour burn rates. Actual cost are likely much higher as the war has escalated. nChain has stated they are prepared for a very long war. At some point the losses will be too large to sustain and ABC or SV will have to concede.
Here’s my personal take:
Bitcoin ABC does not understand Bitcoin. They are a group of developers. As developers everything they see is through the eyes of a developer. Their answer to everything is MORE code. Their major backer is the mining giant Bitmain who is behind a new coin called Wormhole which is generated by burning BCH. Bitcoin ABC is a threat to the promise of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is about the economics, stupid. Code is a tool to express the economic model, not the other way around.
Craig Wright is a dick. Craig’s tirades and personal attacks opened the door for ABC to collude with exchanges so they accept a checkpoint as compromise and protection from nChain. There has been a lot of damage. Jimmy Nguyen, Calvin Ayre, where were you? We needed calmer heads to prevail. We now have a huge mess with two coins and an extended battle ahead.
With that said. I firmly support Bitcoin SV and I denounce Bitcoin ABC.
Bitcoin is hard money. It’s world changing, but it’s not invincible. There are real world economic and adoption problems to solve before the next halvening. Plain and simple, the only Crypto I see that has a chance at fulfilling on the potential of world money is Bitcoin SV.
I encourage everyone to consider what you support and then make it known. This is a Call to Arms.
Actual Bitcoin Cash holder staring down the war machines.
(originally posted this November 6, 2018 on another site, reposting here for IBC members)
Who is at war?
Bitcoin ABC, the Bitcoin client led by developer Amaury Sechet and supported by mining giant Bitmain is proposing changes to BCH. Amaury took the initiative to split away from BTC before Segwit was introduced, thus preserving Bitcoin as BCH.
nChain, led by Chief Scientist Craig Wright with support from CoinGeek, is rebuking the ABC proposal and any new OP_CODES. nChain wants BCH to be stable and focus on scaling with minimal software changes.
Why is there a war happening?
Simply put, there is a difference of opinion on what the future of Bitcoin Cash should look like.
Bitcoin ABC believes the best path to scaling BCH includes CTOR and Pre Consensus. Amaury Sechet wrote this blog post on Pre Consensus where he stated:
While pre-consensus is on the roadmap since day 1, it has made close to zero progress. I cannot tell why other have not worked on it, but I know why I did not. This years has been full of crisis to manage, of people wanting attention to get alternatives ideas move forward, the flavor of the day being tokens. While all these project have value, it is clear that I need to ruthlessly prioritize pre-consensus. The actions I have to take along the way will surely irritate many, but this is too important to not be tackled now.
nChain, which until recently did not have a Bitcoin client, has fought for minimal changes to Bitcoin Cash. nChain’s approach is to use existing script to extend functionality and leave the base protocol untouched. Their vision of scaling is to have the miners compete to build the most robust network possible.
What if ABC wins?
BCH will continue with changes to the economics to support DSV and a new way to order transactions for future scaling projects like Pre Consensus. It remains to be seen how big changes to the base protocol may affect BCH going forward and how many changes we could expect in the future should miners continue to support ABC. There hasn’t been much testing of these changes and there have been hints from nChain that they are dangerous.
What if nChain wins?
BCH will continue with old OP_CODES reenabled and a new higher block size limit. The focus remains on scaling on chain with Bitcoin as near to it’s original release as possible. Functions that would be enabled in DSV via OP_CODE would remain only accessible in a complicated and expensive script and miners would bear the brunt of costs to keep their networks able to handle ever larger blocks.
November 15th is the date to set in your calendar. However, there have been skirmishes online for months. The war could last hours to days. If it goes on for weeks we’ll have a major setback for all of Crypto.
How will this play out?
That is the million dollar question. Will we see Nakamoto Consensus in action as designed? If so, the client who has the most hash support will win. This is the ideal solution as it proves the robustness of Bitcoin’s original design and assures the market that there is an impartial path to resolving disputes.
There is a chance we’ll see a community backlash and exchanges may create two separate tickers. Some companies, like Trezor and Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com, have already come out to support ABC. This is pure politics. It shows they have a commitment their own agenda above the commitment to their users, Bitcoin or the community.
Additionally, no matter the outcome in the early days, Craig Wright has stated he will never give up. Rather, he is prepared to fight a hash war for 2 years if needed. This would be incredibly expensive for nChain and impact BCH for as long as the fight continues. In this scenario, BCH would be unusable until the issue is resolved. We will see if nChain has the resolve to take this option if needed.
Bitcoin Cash is headed towards a critical moment. Summarizing from the highest levels there is a disagreement about future features to be implemented in November.
On one side you have nChain, gaming billionaire Calvin Ayre and Dr Craig Wright. The BCH argument is Bitcoin Cash is money. Don’t mess with the base protocol, which is cash, to add developer desired tweaks. One reason: any changes in that protocol must be supported forever. BCH is not designed to be a dev playground and there is one cardinal rule in the universe: you don’t fuck with another man’s money (OK, I added that last part, but it applies). BCH’s role is as cash for 5 billion + people and you don’t tweak a system like that to satisfy a dev team.
On the other side we have an odd group of bedfellows. We have Amaury Sechet, a French developer who leads a dev team called Bitcoin ABC (Another Bitcoin Client) and a few Chinese miners which looks like it includes industry heavyweight Jihan Wu. Their argument is now is the time to add a few features that will enable capabilities / scaling.
There was a meeting two days in Bangkok to hammer out differences prior to November. Craig Wright allegedly left the meeting after 10 minutes. Diplomacy has failed. Jihan Wu is the founder of Bitmain, the world’s largest distributor of the special ASICs used to mine BTC and BCH. Bitmain holds over 1 million BCH and is now forced with a Sophie’s Choice. Do they push for their desired protocol changes and risk a war with nChain or do they put aside their agenda and go with nChain’s vision? One thing is certain, Bitmain has a huge bag of BCH to deal with.
Then…we allegedly have Craig himself saying Satoshi Nakamoto was him, the deceased Dave Kleiman and the also deceased David Rees. That’s right. 2 of the 3 folks who were part of the start of Bitcoin have passed away. This is some Tom Clancy level shit.
If you don’t know, Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym for the creator(s) of Bitcoin.
While announcing Craig is Satoshi isn’t shocking news what makes this unique is it’s a statement that comes at a time when people are choosing whether to follow Satoshi Nakamoto’s original design or not on a new level. This is an existential moment. Someone is going to lose, big time. Will it be Jihan Wu and Bitmain or will Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre get wiped out?
On a related note, on September 1, 2018 there will be a stress test on Bitcoin Cash. https://stresstestbitcoin.cash/
Some people have begun testing early.
BCH stress test is tomorrow but we have some people starting early!
Quick glance at stats:
BCH transactions 4x that of BTC BCH blocksize 2x that of BTC BCH fees 1/20 that of BTC
This test could be great for BCH. It will show true capacity, expose any miners who need to upgrade prior to November and display BCH’s capabilities vs BTC. Of course, there is a chance for major problems but you know, YOLO.
So leading in to November what do I think? I’m still oddly bullish on BCH. There is some drama in BCH’s future for sure but finally a Cryptocurrency is going to test Nakamoto consensus. This split won’t be decided on Reddit or Twitter or via hats and hashtags. This is real world. The first hash war is set to happen and someone will LOSE.
Craig Wright has stated his side has enough hash and resources to bankrupt anyone who challenges them. It remains to be seen what happens.
I am still irresponsibly allocated in BCH. You have front row seats to my complete demise or my ascension to the 1% of the 1%.
In late 2017 I talked to Fly about doing an IBC Crypto Boot Camp. I created some content but didn’t follow through with Fly on organizing the Boot Camp.
So, I’ll release the material I created for free. High level summary is that Crypto is in an S Curve of adoption. The bubbles along the way are expected and opportunities to buy low / sell high. I CALLED THIS IN 2017.
There is nothing but bad news about Crypto now. That’s the perfect buy signal. Start accumulating now and be prepared for a wild ride. The bear market is not dead yet so buy wisely, but do buy and stick to quality coins only. Timeframe: 6+ months.
Crypto is a crime scene. Chalk outlines and blood splatters of liquidated longs are all that remain.
This means one thing. Time to buy the blood.
There’s no doubt Crypto got the hammer in 2018. Good. December 2017 was gluttony. I am a crypto bull and I was annoyed by the prancing lambo moon soyboys in spacecat t shirts and their 20,000% returns. Dumb money was rushing in at the rate of 40,000 new Crypto exchange accounts being created PER DAY. Think about that. That is an epic statistic and the peak signal of a bubble.
People were buying Ripple for fuck’s sake. That is the definition of insanity.
So why would I say it’s time to get long? Because the genie is out of the bottle. Programmable digital money is not going away. Crypto is the future. This retracement was needed but it’s nearing it’s end (give or take 6 months).
The market has left mania phase and is settling into price discovery. Crypto prices falling are part of that. Price discovery is a bitch.
But let me repeat, programmable money will survive. Which coin(s) survive is a hot topic of debate. In the dot com boom many companies were thought to be essential to the ecosystem. Yahoo paid ~6B for Broadcast.com as an example. A lot of really smart people approved the BCST deal at the time. In hindsight YHOO buying BCST was a catastrophic move. Who can say what will be smart or dumb in Crypto in a few months or years? All I can say with certainty is that Crypto will survive and thrive. This is an opportunity to BTFD.
Another reason to get long Crypto is the cyclical nature of the market. Stocks and Real Estate have had epic runs and are showing signs of reversing direction. Diversify those profits now. In addition, Warren Buffett is steering the SS Berkshire into cash and away from markets because he can’t find anything with a reasonable valuation. Berkshire is a huge ship to turn with a powerful wake and a telltale sign of the shifting of market sentiment.
Then there’s the global macro trade and currency war that is brewing. Crypto is volatile but when your national currency enters hyperinflation, drops 15% because of a Trump tweet or your banks freeze withdrawals Crypto is a safe haven by comparison. Crypto is the ultimate hedge.
So yes, Crypto is a mess. It’s still in freefall price discovery. This is when you should get your affairs in order and your fiat staged to enter the market. Catching a bottom is difficult but money is made when you buy, not when you sell.
DOUCHE bank is going to collapse, Italy is going to stuff all of EU’s debt into it’s boot then flush it into the Mediterranean and GDPR is the canary in the coal mine that Big Data social media companies are grossly overvalued.
The Fed has put a bid under the market for 10 years. Maybe they will do it another 10 years. But today….today Crypto strikes back with gains while markets plummet. Fiat, government backed currencies are getting closer to a showdown with decentralized HARD money backed by math. So far it’s been an landslide win for Crypto.
Markets are cyclical. Every 40+ years a new asset class is birthed. Like any birth it’s messy and loud and you want to throw up. In the juvenile stage there are times when you want to shake the baby.
But for those assets that survive there is a chance at reshaping markets and even our day to day lives.
The past week Crypto suffered a dramatic correction. The correction may not be over. I am looking at charts daily to consider selling a rally. But this post is not about short term movements. This is big picture stuff….
When Fly posted about his losses in Crypto and how he’s abandoned the space I thought “perfect”. This is what is needed. We need the latecomers who got fleeced to completely abandon Crypto. That’s when smart money steps in and the new ramp begins. Tweets like this are a good sign.
There are Manias (tulips), Bubbles (beanie babies) and S-Curves (Internet). Crypto is an example of all three. At times Crypto is Manic. Remember our $1,000 daily candles? That’s insane. A rocket ship form $1k to $20k Bitcoin in 2017 definitely qualifies as a Bubble. But……if you ZOOM OUT, you start to see an S Curve. That S Curve is what you buy and the price you pay is riding out the volatility.
I detest the HODL mentality. I want to punch people in the face when I hear that word. But in the grand scheme playing Warren Buffett and holding hard money for 6+ months hasn’t failed yet.
The moment you stock trading knuckle draggers have been waiting for is here. Crypto is experiencing another ass kicking and you get to mean mug the Crypto world while sitting on your FANG + TSLA genius level of creativity portfolio.
You feel validated in your skepticism. Vainglorious in your decision to pass on Crypto. A smirk a mile wide crosses your stupid face every time CNBC updates the Bitcoin price.
Personally, I took small profits the past two weeks. Still, I am looking at what could have been another life changing trade slip through my hands in a matter of days. Crypto is volatile. Doomed if you do and doomed if you don’t. I am DOOMED this week. I have been entertaining additional sells the past 7 days but held my ground. Result: profits rekt and I’m in an elevator to hell where the cords are cut and there is no safety brake.
Why is this happening? Several reasons:
My twitter stream is BCH vs BTC flame war interrupted every other tweet by a whalepool long liquidation.
The infighting in Crypto is atrocious. Crypto has the opportunity to overthrow the traditional banking/fiat/government confiscation of money providing a new level of freedom for humanity. Instead, Crypto leaders routinely engage in juvenile taunts on Twitter for likes and retweets. As smart as Crypto devs/traders are they do some really retarded shit. Imagine if that energy was put towards fighting the banks instead of some irrelevant project that you don’t like.
A few years ago Charlie Lee copy and pasted the open source Bitcoin code and made a few small edits. He named it Litecoin. Litecoin gradually gained momentum and made Charlie very rich. He’s called Ctrl+C Lee for a reason. This encouraged a slew of others to do the same and now we have over 1,000 Cryptocurrencies. Many are copy/paste clones of existing coins with slight tweaks. Many aren’t functioning coins at all. They are just a token on Ethereum. This created an epic gold rush in 2017 as these coins were rocketing upwards on nothing more than a website and a whitepaper. This is how bubbles operate. People rush in and most latecomers get destroyed.
While this has been happening Wall St got serious about Crypto. The biggest complaint from Consensus 2018 was there were a lot of financial “suits” there. Yep, these guys are sharks. They can smell blood in the water from 3 miles away. They saw the money in Crypto and showed up en masse to feed off the uninitiated. Bitcoin futures on CME was the beginning of that trend. Now there are big firms setting up HFT shops specific to Crypto. Wall St are the Borg and Crypto will be assimilated.
Some are calling for a serious bounce around here or possibly BTC $6,000. I’m bearish till the charts turn. BCH has some support around $900.
This game will play out over a long time. I think once the malinvestment in the terrible Crypto projects is cleared out the coins with utility will survive and thrive.
I sold more EOS for BCH this past week and added to my fiat. I didn’t like the uncertainty in the charts. Crypto was dancing on the edge of a razor blade.
BCH was on critical support at ~$1200. It held for days (unusual in Crypto). I was waiting for confirmation if this was accumulation or distribution.
BTC is breaking up this morning and most of the market is following.
It may be time to be buying again.
Caveat: I am sticking to my thesis that the amount of malinvestment in Crypto is a systemic risk. There are too many coins that are complete garbage. The Consensus event in NYC produced ZERO interesting announcements, partnerships or momentum.
There is also the SEC to consider. They may rule at any time that Crypto is a security. Some believe this would be a big problem for Crypto but I am not so sure. There’s no way for the SEC to regulate Crypto. They can pass laws to limit Crypto but Crypto is global and there’s no single entity to shutdown. The genie is out of the bottle. However, the SEC did create a honeypot website with a fake coin that has many concerned they are lining up to take action to “protect consumers”.
Those risks are not new in Crypto though. The details change but there’s always been a threat that a government would “shut down Bitcoin”. It’s impossible without shutting down the Internet.
With that said I want to highlight the difference in Crypto between BCH and everything else. Case in point:
In the top picture you have four leaders in top coins: ETH, BTC, LTC and XMR. They created a youtube channel called Magical Crypto Friends. Imagine My Little Pony mixed with Crypto culture. Cryptos is full of trolls but …how can you take that shit seriously?
The bottom picture is Calvin Ayre who hosted the BCH CoingGeek conference in Hong Kong on Friday. Contrary to Consensus the CoinGeek conference was focused on several big announcements related to BCH: a BCH SDK, BCH adoption by purse.io, atomic swaps coming to BCH, capacity increase to match Paypal transaction volume, and oblivious transfers for privacy. Yes, that’s a lot of tech and it will get normalized/transparent for the average user over time. This is how tech moves. The roadmap has been laid and now the appreciation will grow as adoption grows. It’s still early.
In terms of tech and new partnerships BCH reminds me of ETH during it’s epic run in 2017 before the severe limitations of ETH as a platform were exposed.
The challenge and the opportunity: the market hasn’t figured out what coins have value and what is complete garbage. The challenge is that good coins my get dragged down with market volatility as zero value coins approach their true value of ZERO. Price discovery is a bitch. The opportunity is that if you can muster foresight and some fortitude you can buy coins today that will have outrageous gains as they cannibalize the rest of the market over the next 2 years.
EOS has it’s mainnet launch June 1st. For the past year EOS has been nothing more than a token. In other words, startup phase with no actual product. Extreme volatility ahead for EOS as it goes live.