The current attack on bitcoin consists of telling straight-faced lies to non-technical users of the system who cannot evaluate who is lying. Here’s what non-technical users can do when they can’t tell truth from fraud.

It's been a frustrating year in bitcoin's progress while at the same time being an explosive year of growth in users and value.

Many new users have joined by buying in and driving up the bitcoin price. And suddenly they find themselves in the middle of a heated debate about SegWit and big blocks. They hear about ASICBoost. They are told that certain individuals are essential contributors and at the same time that those people are trying to corrupt bitcoin.

Confusion abounds.

At the root of this is a problem that will not ever go away. The problem is that discovering the truth requires a level of technical and political savvy that the overwhelming majority of people do not have and never will have.

I could try to provide a list of some of the lies we have been subject to this week from the "The Future of Bitcoin" conference and the subsequent interviews that came out of it. But for the technical neophyte the ability to independently verify whether those statements are lies are hard for each individual lie and impractically impossible as a whole.

So what can I say to a non-technical newcomer to bitcoin who wants to know what is best among the proposed changes? It's this: If you can't contribute and don't know what to choose, choose nothing. Choose the status quo. Keep doing what you're doing.

Now, everyone here who has followed me knows I strongly advocate in favour of decentralization first, and therefore in favour of UASF, in favour of SegWit, and against bigger blocks. But if you don't understand why, and it's too difficult to figure it out, you don't have to do anything. You can continue to run the wallet you've always run because it represents the bitcoin you bought into.

While the technically unsophisticated user of bitcoin cannot verify if Craig Wright or Jihan Wu are lying through their teeth or if some altcoin claiming magical powers is going to deliver, there is still something that every technically unsophisticated user can verify. That is, they can verify the cryptographic authenticity of every bitcoin transaction and block in history. All you need to do is run a full bitcoin core node. This does take up space on your computer if you do it. But it is a verification of the truths that you need to ensure are true to make bitcoin valuable, and if you hold bitcoins, you want to make sure they're valuable.

Let the debates rage on while you do nothing but continue to enforce the existing validation rules. You can simply continue to take the status quo over a fork if you can't tell whether that fork is good or bad, and I myself will stick with the status quo over rolling the dice on getting software that will poison bitcoin with something bad. If those people trying to change bitcoin cannot do it, it's good to know that bitcoin is great without changes and that the fact that nobody can change it means that your bitcoins and the promises made about bitcoin when you bought in are all secure.

And know this too, if there are chain splits in the future, you get to keep your money on both chains.

submitted by /u/logical
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COMPLETE, HIGH QUALITY Translation of Jihan’s Shared Weibo Message To The Community. This is very telling. MUST READ.

I am a native English speaker but I have worked as a professional Chinese linguist for the past five years. I believe I have caught most of the idioms and intonations and I believe this conveys the meaning of his message well. It was a little rushed, and the English doesn't flow perfectly, but the meaning is there. I also welcome suggestions from native Chinese speakers.

My only favor to ask is to please show your support in both /r/bitcoin AND /r/btc. The entire community needs to read this.


CLARIFICATION: Jihan Wu has stated that he only shared this post on his Weibo account. He states he did not author it.

Recently the BU and hard fork topic has been heavily obfuscated. Both sides are sticking to their guns and the arguing has become unbearable. Everyone claims that their own ideas are line with Satoshi’s vision, and everyone believes that the other side’s plan will lead to the perils of centralization. On the surface, it appears that all arguments are founded in idealism. But are they really? In actuality, the conflicts at hand are ultimately the result of profit seeking. The tail is wagging the dog. This fellow (referring to himself) is now going to make a couple of observations about the community’s diverging interests and analyze what the significance of those differences is.

In regards to the fork issue, the heart of the conflict lies with the distribution of the fees for a given transaction and whether they should be handled by the miners exclusively or if they should be spread out (to a second layer). Up until now every transaction on the Bitcoin network has been handled by the miners, and all fees have been given to miners. From the standpoint of rational self-interest, it is only natural and obvious that the mining community is satisfied with this arrangement. However, this situation is likely to be disrupted by Bitcoin developers building lightning network and side chain layer two protocols. If a second layer comes to fruition, many Bitcoin transactions will be facilitated through it, thus bypassing miners, and ultimately resulting in them receiving less fees. It is obvious that the mining community wouldn’t be happy with this type of change.

If this is to be the general state of affairs, with the developers producing functions that only serve the users, then users will exercise these functionalities, and the miners will have no way of stopping it. However, the current circumstances in bitcoin are subtle. God (or perhaps Satoshi) has given the miners a blocking instrument. This ‘blocking instrument’ is the malleability loophole. This bug has inadvertently become developers’ largest obstacle in producing new functionality. By not removing this bug, developers’ second layer protocols will be hard to implement. The fix to this bug is segwit, but implementing this type of plan requires the mining community’s support.

In other words, transaction malleability has become the mining community’s first line of defense, a passage ((of a mountain range)) that can be guarded. Holding this point alone will strangle the development of layer 2 protocols, preventing transaction fee revenue being spread to outside of the mining community.

Rational self interest is human nature. Moreover, in order to win customer support, many layer two protocols such as the lightning network are exaggerating the functionality and benefits, and saying nothing of the limitations and shortcomings. This further exacerbates the miners’ fears. Therefore, the miners coming together to boycott segwit implementation to guard transaction malleability is the first line of defense.

Blocking the fixing of a bug, on an emotional level as well as a logical one, is not appropriate. These miners know this in their hearts. That is why they do not bring the issue to attention and are not willing to clearly articulate their position. From their perspective, a relatively compromising strategy is to delay segwit and promote on-chain scaling.

Why would they promote on-chain scaling you ask? Because if the on-chain fees are kept to within a reasonable scope, the user’s attraction to second layer protocols wouldn’t be as great.

This issue is similar to global oil supply. In the past, OPEC enjoyed monopolization of global oil supply. After the price exceeded $ 100 per barrel, innovators developed new technologies such as shale extraction, and damaged OPEC countries. If beforehand OPEC kept the price point relatively low, such as $ 50/barrel, shale wouldn’t have been nearly as attractive, and it is very likely that it wouldn’t have been developed to such a large scale. Now shale has become the norm, and traditional oil-producing countries, even when they let the price fall to $ 30/barrel, cannot destroy shale. This has created an unfavorable situation to oil-producing countries. Miners are afraid of exactly this type of phenomenon.

In summary, while the fork issue is seemingly due to ideological differences, the fact of that matter is that it comes down to money. If we want to solve the problem, we must stop yelling at each other over ideological differences and about who is right and wrong. Using the spectre of centralization and inciting anger among users is not the way to solve this problem.

If we want to solve the problem, let’s talk about the real issue, money, and how the profits (of fees) should be divided. The miners do not want to strangle developers' approaches to producing new functionality, and the developers’, in designing those new functionalities, must promote defending the profits earned by miners. It is only then will Bitcoin be able to reach the moon!

submitted by /u/mattius459
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ProLifeTip – It’s Christmas time, so you’re going to be drunk around family and friends. Resist the urge of telling them about the recent Bitcoin rise and wait patiently for the usual mockery. It’ll be much sweeter giving them an update that way.

submitted by /u/LeeWallis
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