Later this year, we’ll mark the 15th anniversary of the release of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper. There will be celebrations marking the occasion, but critics will likely focus on how little progress Bitcoin has made in terms of real inroads into public life. At least, when compared to other ground-breaking technologies at similar points of their history.
For instance, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone in January 2007 and the first products were released that July. It was an instant hit and is more or less ubiquitous nowadays.
But imagine when Steve first showed the iPhone to Apple’s board of directors, and let’s imagine that many of these directors also served on the board of the old AT&T phone monopoly. Now imagine these directors told Steve the iPhone was too small and too light. It should be the size of a brick and weigh 20 pounds. Steve would have said that was insane because no one’s going to carry something that bulky around with them all day. To which the directors would have replied: ‘exactly.’
Sound silly? Well, Bitcoin – after being bastardized into the BTC protocol – has become that unwieldy brick. Find anyone with BTC experience and ask them how closely it resembles the white paper’s “peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” When’s the last time anyone used the digital pet rocks in their BTC wallets to actually pay for goods and services?
It didn’t have to be this way.
The road to ruin
Just a few years following Bitcoin’s debut, Satoshi’s vision was betrayed by the developers known as Bitcoin Core, with the able assistance of companies such as Blockstream and Digital Currency Group (DCG). They had varying motivations but shared the common goal of manipulating Bitcoin for their own selfish ends.
DCG was birthed in part by funding from Mastercard, who clearly didn’t fancy Satoshi’s vision of a network that could handle a ‘Visa-level’ volume of transactions at a fraction of the fees charged by the credit card giants. Among DCG’s many ‘crypto’ investments was Blockstream, which wanted Bitcoin crippled to force users onto ‘sidechains’ under its control.
Bitcoin Core’s leaders – some of whom co-founded Blockstream – imposed radical alterations on the Bitcoin source code to achieve this goal. Developers who attempted to resist these changes were ousted. This included Gavin Andresen, whose capital crime was stating publicly that he believed Dr. Craig Wright – who also opposed the Bitcoin Core camp’s radical revisions – was Satoshi Nakamoto.
The result of Bitcoin Core’s tinkering was BTC. With BTC came a 180-degree shift from ‘peer-to-peer electronic cash’ to ‘digital gold.’ But, as demonstrated by the endless cycles of boom and bust that alternately enrich and impoverish countless individuals, BTC is anything but a reliable store of value. BTC’s artificial block-size limits also make it useless as an immutable data storehouse, as the recent uproar over the Ordinals project has shown.
Through the Core camp’s relentless promotion, the ‘digital gold’ meme took root, leading to an endless parade of copycat tokens. These tokens were all supposed to go to the moon, but most struggled to achieve ignition, let alone liftoff.
The sector soon became a grifter’s paradise. Promoters got paid to stoke public interest, exchanges got rich off trading commissions, venture capital funds backing crypto projects got rich by dumping the tokens they’d pumped, etc.
As someone who long ago ran an online gambling company – a highly successful company with a well-deserved reputation for treating customers how I’d want to be treated – I know an online casino when I see one. Exchanges use tokens instead of chips, but at least in a casino you stand a chance of winning. Once an exchange has sold you its chips, you’ve already lost, unless you can find another sucker willing to take these digital Beanie Babies off your hands.
Even those BTC holders who aren’t the gambling kind find little to do with their tokens. Out of desperation – or boredom – they end up ‘staking’ them on platforms that offer impossibly high and unsustainable rates of return. With predictable results.
All this predatory speculation has been catastrophic for millions of retail customers who’d been led to believe that financial freedom was at hand. Sadly, many of the grifters who orchestrated these scams have yet to be brought to justice.
It didn’t have to be this way.
Viel feind, viel ehr
In addition to harming countless financial victims, the grifters’ antics tarnished the Bitcoin brand itself. That’s why supporters of Bitcoin Satoshi Vision use the term ‘BSV Blockchain’ when discussing the protocol with enterprises, government and media. BSV is the polar opposite of this grifter mindset but we have to work harder than ever to prove that.
Dr. Wright’s many critics like to call him a fraud, but he had no hand in creating the fraudulent casino mentality that led so many to ruin over the past few years. Craig didn’t lead the crypto lambs to fiscal slaughter, unlike those in the Bitcoin Core/Blockstream/DCG camps.
Craig’s support for the rule of law, as opposed to the gibberish of ‘code is law,’ made him a target of those who would prefer to go on grifting. His support for the return of the original Bitcoin protocol – in the form of BSV – has produced a vast army of antagonists determined to see BSV fail.
BSV’s opponents have always played fast and loose with the truth. We got a prime example of that recently when Bitcoin Core developer Peter Todd accidentally confirmed that Gavin Andresen was “ejected from Bitcoin” for his public support of Wright = Satoshi. By admitting this, Todd directly contradicted the Core camp’s long-held mantra that Andresen’s access to the Bitcoin source code on GitHub was revoked because he’d been hacked.
Of course, they lied. They lied when they said Bitcoin was digital gold, not electronic cash. They lied when they said Bitcoin couldn’t securely scale on its base layer, expanding to meet whatever volume of transactions users could throw at it. They lied when they said Bitcoin couldn’t serve as a universal source of truth through immutable data storage.
But the truth will always win out. Which is why I remain convinced that BSV will ultimately break through the noise, the deceptions and the roadblocks thrown up by those with self-serving agendas.
I invite all companies – at whatever stage of their development – interested in exploring the possibilities BSV has to offer to contact Ayre Ventures and let us know what you’re up to. As an entrepreneur with a proven track record across a variety of sectors, I have a well-documented affinity for those with the savvy, the determination and the desire to shake up the status quo.
It didn’t have to be this way. And it doesn’t have to stay this way. The revolution that started 15 years ago is not over. It’s just beginning. So get on board and let’s make disruptive history together.