I see many people celebrating, calling BU dead in the water, saying that "the BU clown car has exploded" and so on. Please don't delude yourself. BU, or at least the idea behind it (emergent consensus), is far from dead and this whole debacle is far from over.
I have been in this world for over four decades, a large portion of which I've spent doing business and interacting with people from all strata of life: from socially awkward savant engineers to powerful executives. One invariant I have noticed about many powerful and wealthy people is that they have a hard time conceding defeat and admitting having been wrong. Even if the world completely invalidates their idea, many of them tend to double down on their egos and lash out even more violently as a result. I have seen people utterly destroy solid businesses, friendships, their own families and even their lives, simply because they were unable to take a step back, zoom out, take a deep breath, and realize that what they were doing wasn't working and wasn't wanted by anyone.
When a powerful entity loses a battle, there tends to be a temporary lull that instills a false sense of safety, but make no mistake: they are merely regrouping and tweaking their strategy. They tend to come back when you least expect it and hit you harder than you previously anticipated.
Now, I have heard firsthand reports of BU leaders aggressively working Bitcoin meetups, meeting Bitcoin business owners and other influential people, and trying to garner as much meatspace support for BU as they can. Many of their victims don't understand the principles behind Bitcoin, why it's important, why it's crucial that it remains fully decentralized, immutable and untouchable. Many of these people are good-hearted and well-intentioned, but they don't comprehend the far-reaching implications of cryptographic money. As a result they may be swayed by populistic appeals to emotion ("We need larger blocks to help poor farmers in India. Why do you hate poor people?"), carefully engineered but logically incoherent sound bites, the halo effect of a likable and socially adept speaker, and so forth.
Bitcoin is one of the most important technologies in the history of mankind because it solves the problem of money. In terms of thermodynamics, it solves the problem of:
- securely and immutably storing the fruits of previously expended energy over long time horizons
- being able to send that compressed energy to the other side of the globe in the fraction of a second
These characteristics are far more important than anything else, and sacrificing them for lower fees (which is a temporary problem) is a big mistake. Anyone who is able to see things more holistically can see that this war is not about fees and confirmation times, it's about the keys to the kingdom and the ability to control the network in a centralized manner. If we don't make our stand today and communicate to the rest of mankind that Bitcoin can not and will be not controlled and arbitrarily managed by a single party out of a single data center, then we have utterly failed.
The biggest disservice you can do to yourself right now is to lull yourself into complacency. A wise man once said that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Many social movements, republics, and even civilizations have failed because they allowed their founding principles, the ones that made them strong in the first place, to mutate over time. They got complacent and allowed the greedy, the power-hungry, the tyrants to dictate their value systems and how to live their lives. Let's not make the same mistake here.