When Nakamoto.com launched on the 3rd of last month, itwas marketed as a blog aimed at promoting Bitcoin and discussionaround Bitcoin-related topics. It was really a way to market Bitcoinaffinity scams under the cloak of the label “pro-Bitcoin”.
The blog featuredmany altcoinfounders, who are only Pro-Bitcoin when it suits their agenda topromote their own competing blockchains.
Naturally the whiteblood cells of anti-scammer Bitcoin Maximalism called them out, andmocked them relentlessly on social media. The Nakamoto-backedTelegram group called “Pro-Bitcoin” was trolled heavily to thepoint that it was actively being censored by Vitalik Buterin,co-founder of Ethereum, until it abruptly shutdown, a few days afterits launch. It was all pretty lolzy.
One of the facets ofthe trolling of Nakamoto.com, was John Carvalho’s rival telegramchat group, entitled “Pro-BTC”. Carvalho is the CTO of Bitcoingift card and cel minutes service Bitrefill.
Carvalho’sTelegram group saw immediate membership from much of Twitter’sBitcoin population. Contrary to the censorship and fake support ofBitcoin in the Nakamoto.com Pro-Bitcoin Telegram group, the Pro-BTCchat actually had censorship-free conversation about Bitcoin.
So, a month later,how is Carvalho’s group holding up?
Surprisingly, it’snot just meme’s and shitposts, (although there is quite a bit ofthat, too.) it is actually a good place to have great conversationsabout Bitcoin, with some of the most well-known Bitcoiners onTwitter.
For example, lastnight, Dr. Adam Back, cypherpunk, inventor of Hashcash a precursor toBitcoin which Satoshi referenced in the Bitcoin Whitepaper, BitcoinCore developer and President of Blockstream,was debating the merits of shitcoins with the rest of us.
The followingsnippet took place when Rouse, a member of the group asked Dr. Backto chime in about rival blockchain projects competing with Bitcoin:
Are you 100% sure
that 100% of allnon-BTC cryptocurrencies now and in the future are inferior?
Dr. Adam Back:
All current areworse yes. And if the trend continues all future too. But sayhypothetically a shitcoin made some usable innovation. Then it’ssimple: Bitcoin adopts the innovation
Dr. Back highlightshere, one of the strongest but least mentioned aspects of Bitcoin,the fact that it is an open source software project. Bitcoin’s BIPprocess is one of it’s least understood strengths.
To a newcomer,Bitcoin, as the first cryptocurrency, with it’s scalinglimitations, seems like it could be vulnerable to a newer projectwith newer technology and more innovative features.
Newcomers like rivalblockchain projects because they view Bitcoin as a dinosaur, as theMyspace to be overtaken by a newer, better, Facebook.
This would belogical, except for the open source nature of Bitcoin, which cansimply adopt the new useful feature developed by the shitcoin andovercome the competitive edge the shitcoin might have had, due toBitcoin’s powerful network effects.
Protocols are verydifferent than traditional businesses or products. They tend togravitate to a single standard, which everyone agrees to use. As morepeople use a protocol, its network effects become stronger and moreinsurmountable.
What if Myspacecould have simply taken Facebook’s improved features, and stoppedFacebook’s rise to prominence before it started? Bitcoin’s BIPprocess gives it this strength to simply adopt a competitor’s bestand most useful features and discard the rest.
Trace Mayer haswritten and spoken about Bitcoin’s network effects, so I won’tcover them here. You can check out his work if you’d like to knowmore:
Mike in Space:
My point was:even if there is some innovation it just might not be somethingthat’s compatible with bitcoin. So the claim that Bitcoin will“incorporate any alt innovation” doesn’t ring true
Dr. Adam Back:
I think basicallyany technology improvement can be incorporated. If nothing else bymaking bitcoin 2.0 with all new formats, tech etc and importing theutxo into it.
In this exchange,Mike in Space, host of Bitcoincartalk, asked about altcoin innovations that are not easily portable intoBitcoin’s existing code base.
Dr. Back made theexcellent observation that if some innovation like ring signatures,Mimble Wimble, or confidential transactions were decided by consensusto be added to Bitcoin, and everyone unanimously agreed, even if itrequired a completely new code base, it could be done, by importingthe existing UTXO set into the newly written code.
Bitcoin’s UTXO setis the record of who owns which coins. When a hard fork happens, likeBitcoin Cash splitting from the original Bitcoin chain, the new chainstill keeps the existing UTXO set all the way back to the genesisblock, up until the block at which they split into two differentblockchains.
After the split, theUTXO set changes with the transactions on the new chain, and they arenow two distinctly separate blockchains.
For example, BSVshares the original UTXOs with Bitcoin, until the BCH split, thenagain shares the UTXOs of BCH until the divergence of the BSV split.This is why Faketoshi Craig Wright and Calvin Ayers are trying tothreaten to sue miners for using the UTXO set without Faketoshi’sconsent, even if it is laughable.
You can copycode, but you cannot copy a fully functioning network.
As Anthony notes here, a blockchain’s importance is more than just the UTXO set. Bitcoin has been forked many times, yet all forks so far have been abysmal failures, because they can’t manage to reproduce Bitcoin’s network effects.
As Dr. Back notes, this ability of Bitcoin to adapt and adopt any kind of useful improvement is its greatest strength. Contrary to shitcoin marketing teams, and their rhetoric, they don’t stand a chance.
The reason Bitcoin hasn’t adopted much if any of the innovations of altcoins and competitive projects, is because nothing they offer is seen as a “useful innovation”. You can bet if there was a real groundbreaking improvement, we’d see Bitcoin developers seriopusly discuss how to implement it into Bitcoin.