With prices rising again there will be interest from newcomers. This is a quick guide for the newcomers of how to recognize the social attacks against Bitcoin.
There is a lot of misinformation being spread to confuse people new to Bitcoin and take their money. The chatter about Bitcoin over the past few days has a positive feel and people are getting excited that prices might jump up again. People that take advantage of the less informed are also ramping up the misinformation to try to confuse people. The current attacks come from Bitcoin Cash, which is an unpopular fork from Bitcoin. Be aware that a few people that control Bitcoin Cash have delusions that they can take over the Bitcoin name. Various websites, twitter accounts and such claim to be Bitcoin when they are really promoting Bitcoin Cash. If you want to buy Bitcoin, make sure you are buying Bitcoin (ticker BTC) and not Bitcoin Cash (ticker BCH). If you see someone say Bitcoin Core or BCore, they are certainly trying to confuse you. Bitcoin Core is software that runs Bitcoin while Bitcoin is Bitcoin. You might hear things like Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin, or scaling is not really a problem, or core developers are being controlled by a corporation, or whatever. Bitcoin by its very definition is the blockchain with the most proof of work (computing power spent) to secure the chain of transactions that starting in 2009. Anyone who tells you something different is trying to take your money and/or damage Bitcoin. Since the Bitcoin Cash fork in August 2017, Bitcoin has added 8-10 times the amount of proof of work compared to Bitcoin Cash. This means that Bitcoin is Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is a long way from being able to catch up. Please understand that there was a large battle over how Bitcoin would scale to handle millions of users. Bitcoin chose to not scale for a while to force development of second layer transactions that are ultimately summarized and recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain. This was done with the knowledge that Bitcoin would suffer for a short while. Once second layer transactions are fully working and easy to use by millions, Bitcoin will offer the most distributed, most secure, nearly instant, and also inexpensive form of cryptocurrency payment. It is critical to note that even after second layer scaling is fully matured on Bitcoin, you can still choose to make the old fashioned Bitcoin transactions if you want. Second layer scaling is completely optional so I’m not sure why Bitcoin Cash supporters get angered about people choosing to scale this way. Bitcoin Cash chose to increase the internet bandwidth and storage requirements that are needed to support millions of users on the blockchain. There is no way around the fact that millions of users on the blockchain will cause centralization. Governments will be able to control the limited number of people/corporations that can record all transactions from all around the globe. If this centralization occurred, it breaks the fundamental decentralized part of Bitcoin and Bitcoin will be replaced by another cryptocurrency. In the event that second layer transactions fail on Bitcoin and Bitcoin is not able to scale, Bitcoin Cash will also fail as it has no way to scale that the crypto world will accept. Another fundamental of Bitcoin is that miners will behave in a way that is best for them. Bitmain controls an unhealthy amount of computing power and could attack the Bitcoin blockchain. This would destroy the trustless part of Bitcoin and users would flee to other cryptocurrencies. Bitmain knows that this would also kill Bitcoin Cash since it uses the same computing hardware. Basically, Bitmain would hold millions (billions?) of dollars worth of hardware that would then be useless since users will not put value in cryptocurrencies Bitmain can use its hardware for. So Bitmain cannot attack Bitcoin without killing themselves also. I’m a bit disappointed by the latest pump of BCH prices. They forgot to spam the mempool and slow down transactions. Maybe they figured out that only makes Bitcoin stronger because the fees go up which then pays miners to mine more Bitcoin. The pump certainly has the supporters chanting that they are taking over Bitcoin even when the Bitcoin Cash value is one seventh that of Bitcoin. Time is running out for Bitcoin Cash as second layer scaling is beginning to work on Bitcoin and that will be the final nail in Bitcoin Cash’s coffin. Maybe the Bitcoin Cash whales are pumping the price, planning to hold it for a while until new people think that’s the real value of it, and then slowly pull their money out over time before they let it collapse.
This graph shows Bitcoin price and volume (ie, blocksize of transactions on the blockchain) rising hand-in-hand in 2011-2014. In 2015, Core/Blockstream tried to artificially freeze the blocksize - and artificially froze the price. Bitcoin Classic will allow volume - and price - to freely rise again.
http://nakamotoinstitute.org/mempool/how-we-know-bitcoin-is-not-a-bubble/#selection-59.4-68.0 (Scroll down to see the graph - also note there is a typo in the legend: "Bitcoin market map" should say "Bitcoin market cap[italization]".) Without artificial limits, Bitcoin volume and price are naturally and tightly correlated. This tight, lockstep correlation between those two lines during 2011-2014 has been absolutely amazing - one of the tightest correlations you'll ever observe in any dynamic system anywhere, in economics, sociology, or nature. Price and volume rose (and fell) hand-in-hand for 4 years straight - one of the most majestic examples of emergent phenomena in the whole history of economics. Left to run its natural course, this graph would probably have continued in lockstep, and thus would have eventually gone into the history books of future generations, marking the inexorable emergence and dominance of the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin - the inevitable triumph of humanity's first decentralized and permissionless store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account - steadily rising through the years in price and volume - and in usefulness. Then in late 2014, a new company called Blockstream tried to block this natural progression. The oligarchs behind the ancien régime of debt-backed, violence-enforced infinite fiat thought they had figured out a clever way to attempt to make their last pièce de résistance while making some money too. They brought out their their usual grab-bag of assorted dirty tricks which they typically use to take down any new social or economic or political movement that promises to liberate people from the stranglehold of private central bankers:
They bought off the Core developers, bringing them into the Blockstream corporation, with a measly initial $ 21 million in funding, and now adding another measly $ 55 million (mere chump change compared with the tsunami of trillions of dollars in wealth which Bitcoin's market cap could eventually represent).
They figured out how to "play" the Core devs like fiddles, turning them into "useful idiots": taking advantage of their cypherpunk sensibilities and economic innocence in order to trick them into thinking that the only metric of decentralization was "The blocksize must remain small enough for Luke-Jr to run a node over a slow-ass internet connection in the backwaters of Florida" - while making them ignore all other metrics, in particular: decentralization of mining, and price & adoption.
So far, Blockstream thinks they're winning in their battle to control Bitcoin.
They succeeded (during 2015) in splitting the community, maybe even creating even a few more useful idiots in the process.
They succeeded (during 2015) in suppressing the price: as you can see by observing how the lockstep correlation between price and volume diverged in 2015, with the price now lagging and sagging below the volume for the first time ever.
https://imgur.com/jLnrOuK But can they keep spreading around their fiat and FUD to continue fooling all the people all the time? Probably not. Because... Now you can choose to run a repo without Blockstream's artificial scarcity on blocksize and transactions on the blockchain. Now, instead of running the Bitcoin Core repo from Blockstream, you can run any one of these another tested and deployed repos, which do notartificially limit the blocksize to 1 MB:
Bitcoin is a natural, market-based and community-based, emergent phenomenon. At its heart, in the words of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is a P2P Electronic Cash System where Alice "A" can send to Bob "B" some amount of Coins "C", secured via a cryptographic signature. It may come as a shock to certain people's egos, but even if most of the devs were to suddenly stop working now - the current system would probably work fine for the next few years - with investors and businesspeople continuing to gradually increase the price and volume in accordance with the desires of the worldwide market, and miners and full-nodes continuing to gradually increase the "max blocksize" in accordance with the capacity of the worldwide infrastructure - and everyone continuing to innovate and participate in the growth of the system in accordance with the desires of the worldwide community. Bitcoin doesn't really need a whole lot of interference from devs trying to centrally plan what the "max blocksize" should be - or mods trying to centrally control what the "consensus of opinions" should be. These kinds of things are better left to just naturally emerge on their own. Central planning and control are not needed. As we have already seen, when the market is allowed to determine Bitcoin price and volume on its own, they both naturally go up, hand-in-hand - while the value of centrally-planned fiat goes down and and down. And when the community is allowed to determine upvotes and downvotes on its own, the quality of debate naturally goes up - while the quality of centrally-controlled debate on censored forums goes down and down. We all know that Bitcoin is supposed to be trustless and permissionless. Bitcoin development should also be egoless. As a dev or a mod, it's hard to "step aside" and let the market or the community decide. It's much more tempting to interfere: enforce a limit here, delete a comment there. But the market and the community are emergent phenomena. They work best when devs and mods learn to put aside their egos and "step back" and let the market and the community do what they will. This is the raison d'être of Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited, and Bitcoin XT: learning to let the market and the community decide again - learning to step back again, and let the price and volume go up again, with no unnecessary interference from devs or mods. https://imgur.com/jLnrOuK
Will bitcoin ever rise again in price? Or is it doomed to fall lower and lower as it has been over the last year?
Genuinely curious as to how the majority feels it will go. Obviously nobody is certain for sure, but what do you all think? If someone were to buy bitcoins today at the current price, would that be a smart move or would it only be a loss? Id be absolutely fine with breaking even in a few years, I honestly just prefer the currency to governed currencies but don't want to be screwed over either.
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