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Bitcoin and Internal Fighting

Wednesday 30 December 2015 - Filed under Default

For much of 2015, the Bitcoin community has been consumed with a debate about how best to scale Bitcoin. Scaling is important. Whether you wish to use Bitcoin for daily purchases or to protect your family’s wealth and safety for generations to come, you want Bitcoin to be as useful to everyone as possible. If users find it impossible to use Bitcoin for either case, there are plenty of alternatives. Gift and credit cards already work for instant payments of nearly any consumer-level size. Gold and silver should provide at least some protection when the shit hits the proverbial fan. Scaling is however, only one part of the Bitcoin puzzle.

If scaling is important, so are wallets with great UX. So is easy exchange between Bitcoin and other currencies. So is earning your living in Bitcoin. So is security. So is decentralization. Scaling is important but there are lots of important aspects of Bitcoin’s manifestation in our non-ideal world.

About half of the posts on the r/Bitcoin front page are about just one aspect of scaling, the block size. There are a lot of knobs to turn in Bitcoin, many of which do not require modifying the system’s consensus rules. Why the focus on a potentially dangerous, non-consensus, hard-forking change when there is so much safe and simple stuff to do?

Ok, so the other day I was thinking about this whole issue and the insane level of infighting that we’re seeing on r/Bitcoin I started to listen to some videos around the topic of community infighting. I listened to videos about infighting in the DragonballZ fandom, the free thought community, Gamergate, even spats over terminology in Transgender communities and get this, Pagans who were being called Wickan. Apparently it’s some kind of slur among non-Christians or at least it turns into one if used a certain way. There was a particularly good video around this topic and the truth about 9/11. I care not about the content here. I was listening to try and learn something about infighting and how a community can rise above it.

Among the videos there were pleas for tolerance, explanations of past events, who said what, and who responded back. Again, the details don’t matter. This is human nature. Get two or more people together for any length of time and disagreement will ignite. Videos and the written word will be used as weapons in the debate and it will get nasty. Back to the 9/11 video. This was actually a speech by someone involved in starting the 9/11 truth movement. The video quality isn’t great but listen to it.

How easily are we distracted?

Your puzzle piece may be bigger but my small piece is just as important to assembling the whole. We need to stay focused on what’s best for Bitcoin. Look at the finger that labels, that gets personal, that sensationalizes in order to derail and divide this community. Shun them and work to unite us. We are after all, a very small concern on the global stage united by new technology and the promise of a better, more self-determined future. We have greater enemies than those who are subscribing to this small slice of a social news sharing website.

I ask that each of us consider just how small we are in the big worlds of finance and technology.

Stop the infighting and get back to work building and hodling.

2015-12-30  »  David Sterry