Bitcoin has a problem when one its most ardent supporters you know says things like this:
Quote from: Renegade on November 11, 2017, 01:21 AM
I don't send my friends BTC. I send fiat.
That was taken horribly out of context.
That was not my intent. Yet I disagree. I felt that I included as much context as was necessary. But maybe I didn't make my point clearly enough.
You used to be able to send your friends BTC and then immediately buy more BTC (with fiat) to replace what you sent, for sub-cent fees (plus a small percentage cut taken by the exchange). Now, ardent supporters of Bitcoin are telling people to use fiat, PayPal, or other cryptocurrencies if they don't like the BTC fees. No other context was necessary to illustrate how broken BTC has become.
You can pretend that the reason you don't want to spend it is because it's going to go up in value, but that's just silly. The reason you don't want to spend it is because it costs too much to do so (and by extension, it costs too much to replenish what you've spent).
It doesn't matter how much BTC might increase in value. If it was usable, like it used to be, you'd still send it to your friends and just keep buying more. You were going to spend that fiat anyway, right? Why send someone $5 USD when you could buy $5 worth of BTC first (or after) and send it to them? If BTC increases in value, then you'd enrich yourself and others. And that friend who you sent $5 worth of BTC who now has $15 worth of BTC is now a true believer who will encourage use and adoption even further. But no, we've got BTC hodlers hodling like they've never hedl before, meanwhile driving others away from BTC and discouraging its use. It's bonkers.
It wasn't a misinterpreted, misleading, or out-of-context twisting of a position. It's a realistic representation of their actual words and behavior:
And, if I really need faster or cheaper payments, I can always use Monero or Dash or whatever.
If you're not sending your friends BTC, but instead encouraging the use of fiat or other cryptocurrencies as a payment solution for virtually any reason, then you're actively discouraging the use and adoption of Bitcoin. People who think they are Bitcoin supporters whose actions are actually discouraging Bitcoin adoption should be met with skepticism.
On a related note: You should skeptical of anyone who refers to Bitcoin Cash as "bcash" because there are pretty much only two kinds of people who do that: 1) Troublemakers who are not acting in good faith, and 2) ignorant folks who don't know any better but whose opinions have been shaped by the aforementioned troublemakers.
The only reason to call it "bcash" is to try to intentionally remove "Bitcoin" from the name and confuse people into thinking it is an altcoin instead of a legitimate continuation of the original Bitcoin blockchain. Even Gavin Andresen, the man who Satoshi Nakamoto himself handed the reins over to when he left Bitcoin development and disappeared, says Bitcoin Cash is more aligned with the original Bitcoin he began working on years ago than the current Bitcoin Core is
Why are so many people insistent on calling it "bcash"? Why are so many people petitioning (harassing) exchanges and other popular websites to call it "bcash"
? Where's the outcry for other forks, like Bitcoin Gold, to be called "bgold"?
Instead of arguing about the merits of the technology, we instead see namecalling, mudslinging, misinformation campaigns, censorship, character assassinations, etc. I'm really surprised to see Renegade supporting and perpetuating that kind of behavior.
I don't know what happened to Renegade. He used to actually be a renegade who questioned authority and advocated for freedom, but the information in some of his recent posts is "toeing the party line" of would-be dictators, censors, authoritarians, and usurpers. There are outright falsehoods in some of his statements (e.g., "Ethereum is constantly having to have hard forks due to serious bugs."), and while he is entitled to his disdainful opinions about Bitcoin Cash--indeed he has never been one to hide his mockery of things he dislikes--it isn't like him, at least not in my experience, to outright lie about things.
So far his rebuttals to prominent Bitcoin Cash supporters is to attack their character while presenting a strawman misrepresentation of their positions:
Regarding Rick Falkvinge, he's being a dishonest shill. [...] If he wants free transactions, there are plenty of coins out there.
Rick, Roger, Jihan, and the rest of them are behaving like petulant children. Their temper tantrums over scaling aren't helping anyone.
Both Rick Falkvinge
and Roger Ver
are people who Renegade has linked to videos of in this very thread, exclaiming (in essence) how their ideas about Bitcoin were right on the money and implicitly endorsing them/their ideas.
What changed? To the best of my knowledge, Roger's ideas about and passion for Bitcoin haven't changed. Rick's ideas about Bitcoin haven't changed. How come in the past they were considered noble and worthwhile, but now they're considered dishonest shills and petulant children? What changed?
Why does Renegade keep saying that Bitcoin is stable? Real-world data suggests otherwise. In the past month, Bitcoin's price has almost tripled (~$5,500 to ~$14,500), which is cool and all, but not what I would call stable. Fees have been all over the place (~180 sat/byte to ~900 sat/byte or more), confirmation times have been all over the place. And for a real world example of this instability causing a regression in Bitcoin adoption, Steam just stopped accepting Bitcoin (emphasis added on relevant parts):
As of today, Steam will no longer support Bitcoin as a payment method on our platform due to high fees and volatility in the value of Bitcoin.
In the past few months we've seen an increase in the volatility in the value of Bitcoin and a significant increase in the fees to process transactions on the Bitcoin network. For example, transaction fees that are charged to the customer by the Bitcoin network have skyrocketed this year, topping out at close to $20 a transaction last week (compared to roughly $0.20 when we initially enabled Bitcoin). Unfortunately, Valve has no control over the amount of the fee. These fees result in unreasonably high costs for purchasing games when paying with Bitcoin. The high transaction fees cause even greater problems when the value of Bitcoin itself drops dramatically.
Historically, the value of Bitcoin has been volatile, but the degree of volatility has become extreme in the last few months, losing as much as 25% in value over a period of days. This creates a problem for customers trying to purchase games with Bitcoin. When checking out on Steam, a customer will transfer x amount of Bitcoin for the cost of the game, plus y amount of Bitcoin to cover the transaction fee charged by the Bitcoin network. The value of Bitcoin is only guaranteed for a certain period of time so if the transaction doesn’t complete within that window of time, then the amount of Bitcoin needed to cover the transaction can change. The amount it can change has been increasing recently to a point where it can be significantly different.
The normal resolution for this is to either refund the original payment to the user, or ask the user to transfer additional funds to cover the remaining balance. In both these cases, the user is hit with the Bitcoin network transaction fee again. This year, we’ve seen increasing number of customers get into this state. With the transaction fee being so high right now, it is not feasible to refund or ask the customer to transfer the missing balance (which itself runs the risk of underpayment again, depending on how much the value of Bitcoin changes while the Bitcoin network processes the additional transfer).
At this point, it has become untenable to support Bitcoin as a payment option. We may re-evaluate whether Bitcoin makes sense for us and for the Steam community at a later date.
We will continue working to resolve any pending issues for customers who are impacted by existing underpayments or transaction fees.
He claims show-stopping, "catastrophic" bugs killed Segwit2X and severely hampered Bitcoin Cash. What are those bugs? I haven't heard of them. I was under the impression that Segwit2X was canceled
(not because of bugs, but to prevent disunity in the community) and (virtually) nobody actually tried activating it. I haven't heard of any major bugs in Bitcoin Cash.
He keeps claiming that he's able to send funds with a "low" fee (which is still much too high, IMO) but real-world data
suggests fees are currently about $5.70 on average, at current prices, if you want your transaction to go through in a timely manner. It's not that I doubt he's able to send transactions for the lower fees like he claims. It's that it doesn't represent the experience for the average Bitcoin user. And isn't he the one who keeps trying to tell us not to think of BTC in terms of fiat? Yet here he is finally admitting that his $4 CAD fee is kinda high but at least it's better (in some ways) than the fiat system.
I just sent a transaction through at the maximum priority level for $4 CAD. Yes, that's a fair amount to spend, but it will arrive sooner than a wire transfer, for less, and a normal transfer of any amount in Canada cost $1.50 anyways.
So how about we compare the BTC of today to the BTC of just two years ago? You used to be able to send BTC transactions for about a penny or less, and have your payment confirmed in the next block or two. Now it's not unusual for the fee to be in the $5-$20 USD range, and who knows if it will be included in the next block or in a block 16 hours from now. Yes, it's possible to get lucky (or just wait a very long time, or both) and pay less. It's also possible to pay much more. You could make the argument that the price of Bitcoin has gone up so much in that time (from about $350 when I first got into it 2 years ago to about $14,500 today), so it's natural for the value of fees in terms of USD to go up as well. But if that were the case, we'd still be paying only around 5 satoshis per byte, and fees would still only be about $0.15 even at current prices. The only reason for the high fees we're seeing today is because the blocks are full and the developers who have any say in Bitcoin Core refuse to allow a simple change of a 1 to a 2 (or 8, or 32, or whatever) in the code, and (implicitly if not explicitly) engage in censorship and character assassination of anyone who promotes such an idea. That is, they refuse to allow the blocksize limit to be increased from 1MB to anything larger. Larger blocks may not be the solution for all eternity, but they'd definitely reduce fees immediately and allow adoption to resume/increase while the 2nd layer solutions (lightning/side-chains) finish research and development and gain wider adoption. And if Lightning is to gain widespread adoption in the next 18 months, then allowing larger blocks shouldn't result in a catastrophic increase in the blockchain's storage, but would allow fees to come down and confirmation times to stabilize, making it realistic for companies like Valve to continue to accept Bitcoin.
Basically I just don't see how you go from, "Bitcoin is awesome! You can send it anywhere, to anyone, at any time, almost instantly, for virtually free!
" to "Bitcoin is awesome! But I'm gonna use fiat to pay you. And you should use Dash or Monero if you want to use a cryptocurrency that's actually functional
. Or use PayPal if you want to accept payments
And just to be clear: I'm kind of sick of all forms of Bitcoin at this point. I see Bitcoin Cash as being the closest thing to the original vision and roadmap for Bitcoin as outlined in Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper. And I'm disgusted by the tactics used by Bitcoin Core / Blockstream and their supporters to shape the narrative and censor opposing viewpoints. And I'm frustrated by Bitcoin's slow and/or expensive transactions.
I'm not really here to push for Bitcoin Cash. I just get the feeling that people here look to Renegade as a knowledgeable and authoritative source of factual information about Bitcoin, and felt I had to point out that if you weren't already, you should be skeptical of what he says because some of it is not true. You should be skeptical of what I say, too, and do your own research. I'm certainly no expert. That said, when I first got into Bitcoin and cryptocurrency two years ago, I dove pretty deeply into the rabbit hole, even going so far as recreating my own proof of work algorithm
, and have been following BTC and (some) other cryptocurrencies fairly closely ever since. So I happen to know a thing or two, and can say for a fact that Renegade has told some falsehoods in his recent posts. But again, my intention isn't to say that you should take my word for it.
And also, to be clear, I'm not trying to say that Renegade is a liar who can't be trusted at all about anything. In fact, the information he gave on how to access your Bitcoin Cash funds was spot on
. I still deeply respect him and his opinion on most things. But I've learned recently that, at least on the topic of Bitcoin (and cryptos), I need to be skeptical about his matter-of-fact statements. Maybe he's just so passionate about it that he is stating his opinion as if it were fact. I don't know. I'm confused by his repeated statements that seem to contradict both my personal experience and my knowledge of certain objective, verifiable facts. Mostly, I'm puzzled by what seems to be so out of character for him.
I'm very strongly considering getting entirely out of Bitcoin and its variants, mostly because it doesn't make sense anymore. It still has the majority of the network (for now) but it no longer excites or even interests me as a technology or as a currency. I can't say one way or another whether or not that's good a good financial decision. Past results would indicate that it's probably not. But I personally see no value in Bitcoin Core as a technology; there are other cryptocurrencies that can do everything Bitcoin (any of its variants) does and more, and they do it better, faster, and cheaper. And without any merit as a technology (at least none that isn't done better by others), I can't understand why it seems to be valued so highly.