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

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Mark Karpeles Open Letter to Coinlab Looks to Settle Lawsuit for $5M (news.bitcoin.com)

On May 10 Bitcoin.com reported on how bitcoin’s price rise is slowly bringing the Mt Gox bankruptcy closer to solvency. The former CEO of Mt Gox Mark Karpeles confirmed that the price was helping, but the Coinlab lawsuit was a significant deterrent. Now Karpeles has written an open letter to Coinlab’s founder Peter Vessenes asking him to settle the lawsuit for five…

Bitcoin

[UASF idea] A letter to economic majority. [DRAFT][alpha version] (reddit.com)

I personally think that the only thing that CEOs hear is money. So I think it should look a bit like this: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX To all economic majority, we have an idea how you can make more money. Blocks are full, transactions are slow and expensive, Bitcoin price should be higher. SegWit may not be best, but it solves these problems, is fully tested and ready to be activated. There is a way to activate it in August through a…

Bitcoin

Coinbase responds to industry letter.

Brian Armstrong:

Coinbase didn't sign the industry letter because I think the intention behind it is wrong. On the surface it is a communication about how exchanges would handle the hard fork, and a request to BU for replay attack protection. But my concern was that it was actually a thinly veiled attempt to keep the BTC moniker pegged to core software. I think a number of people who put their name on it didn't realize this.

A couple thoughts:

Certainly it makes sense to list forked assets separately on exchanges, especially during periods of uncertainty. But it doesn't make sense to say BTC can only be modified by one development team. If there is overwhelming support from miners and users around any new version of the software (regardless of who wrote it), then I think that will be called Bitcoin (or BTC).

The replay attacks are a real concern. We spent some time talking with Peter Rizun from BU last week and he/they seem very open to hearing ideas on replay attack protection and coming up with solutions, which was great to see. It is not as trivial for them to add as I originally thought, because it seems adding replay protection would break SPV clients (which includes a number of mobile wallets). We as a community could probably use more brainstorming on how to solve this generally (for any hard fork). I'll make a separate post on that.

I think regardless of what was stated in the letter (and people's personal views), pretty much every exchange would list whatever version got the overwhelming majority of miner and user support as BTC. I also think miners know this.

A number of exchanges (GDAX, Poloniex, Gemini) didn't sign the letter, or later clarified their position on it (ShapeShift, Kraken), so I think there are a variety of opinions out there. I think creating public industry letters that people sign is a bad idea. They haven't been very effective in the past, they are "design by committee", people inevitably say their views were not accurately represented after the fact, and they tend to create more drama. I'd rather see private communication happen to move the industry forward (preferably on the phone, or in person – written communication is too easy to misinterpret people's tone). Or to have each exchange state their own opinion.

My goal is to have Coinbase be neutral in this debate. I think SegWit, BU, or other solutions could all be made to work in bitcoin. We're here to provide whatever our customers want as best we can across all digital currencies, and work with the wider community to make forward progress.

submitted by /u/gobobby12
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