An open letter to Erik Voorhees

Dear Erik

I am writing to you because I think you value user financial sovereignty and therefore I do have some hope, I think you can be persuaded to change your mind and support user sovereignty. I kindly ask that you leave the NYA, and support an alternative hardfork proposal that, respects the rights of users to choose.

Bitcoin is fundamentally a user currency, individual users are sovereign and free to decide to opt-in to Bitcoin. Governments, businesses, miners or developers cannot impose changes on Bitcoin users. Ultimately users are the final decision makers when it comes to hardforks. Individual users are able to verify all the rules and reject coins that do not comply. This is what provides the financial sovereignty. If users do not do or cannot do this, financial sovereignty is lost and Bitcoin then has no unique or interesting characteristics compared to the US Dollar. It is naive to think that if individual users do not verify and enforce the rules, that one day a government won’t influence major ecosystem players and impose changes on users from above. This has happened time and time again in history and the ability of individual users to enforce the rules is the only hope Bitcoin has of being resilient against the eventual government threat.

The current NYA client does not share the above philosophy. The plan of most NYA proponents is to get most miners and businesses to upgrade to 2x. Once this is done, the new coin will launch and the plan is to prevent the old chain moving forward, since the miners would have all upgraded to 2x. We know this is the plan, since 2x transactions are valid on the original chain and vice versa, therefore if the original chain survives, it will lead to a total mess with users losing funds as their transactions are replayed. This plan is unrealistic, and history has shown that if there is an active community of supporters, the minority hashrate chain will survive (for example with ETC and Bitcoin Cash). Leaving aside how unrealistic and delusional this plan is, the point is that it doesn’t respect user rights to choose and instead attempts to force users to upgrade to the new 2x chain.

You mention that there are only a few thousand people on /r/Bitcoin who oppose 2x and that the majority support it. These few thousand people on /r/bitcoin are the Bitcoin community, as are the few thousand people on /r/btc who support Bitcoin Cash. This is the community and these people deserve to be given the freedom to use the coin of their choice. The silent hundreds of thousands people who use or invest in Bitcoin, do not care about 2x, Core, 1MB blocks or 8MB blocks. They do not run verifying nodes, nor do they have the passion, technical expertise, tenacity or philosophy necessary to ensure Bitcoin succeeds. I kindly ask you to respect the few thousand people on /r/bitcoin and /r/btc and let them have their coins. This is the Bitcoin community that matters, not the hundreds of thousands who are silent on this issue, which you assume support you. Disrespecting these groups as insignificant, just because they are small in number relative to the hundreds of thousands of new users, is not a productive or effective way forward.

I hope now you appreciate more what this whole debate is about. It cannot be solved by a compromise on the blocksize, to focus so much on the blocksize is missing the point. Above all it’s about respecting user rights to choose. I think you value the financial sovereignty of the individual user and I think you understand why this is the only thing that really makes Bitcoin special.

Therefore once again, I kindly ask you to abandon the NYA and join us in supporting a hardfork that respects the rights of individual users to choose. This means the new hardfork chain should have a new better transaction format which is invalid on the original chain and vice versa. If we are patient and give wallet developers and users time, they will upgrade. The few thousand people opposing 2x now on /r/bitcoin may also upgrade. We would then have hardforked to larger blocks and individual users would be given the freedom to decide to make this new token the one true Bitcoin. At the very least, I ask that you do me one small favor, please explain to me what is wrong with this respectful approach?

Kind Regards

A Bitcoin user

submitted by /u/aBitcoinUser
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Erik Voorhees blocked me on Twitter, for correctly pointing out he has not honored his commitment (in writing), to ensure all hardforks are safe by adding replay protection

Erik Voorhees signed the following statement:

Some exchanges intend to list BTU and all of us will try to take steps to preserve and enable access to customers' BTU. However, none of the undersigned can list BTU unless we can run both chains independently without incident. Consequently, we insist that the Bitcoin Unlimited community (or any other consensus breaking implementation) build in strong two-way replay protection. Failure to do so will impede our ability to preserve BTU for customers and will either delay or outright preclude the listing of BTU.


After committing to this key safety feature, of strong to way replay protection, he has now backed out of the agreement. Erik now supports 2x, which does not include strong replay two-way replay protection. Erik then tried to twist the meaning of words saying 2x was not "consensus breaking", since it has consensus. This is clearly not what the commitment means, it uses the words consensus to mean consensus rules, not "community consensus". Besides, there is not community consensus for 2x anyway, saying so is arrogant.

Erik cannot face up to the truth, so decided to block me on Twitter instead.

Does Voorhee's word mean nothing?

submitted by /u/hoaxchain
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