This week many bitcoiners attended the voluntaryism-based Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico to discuss liberty and topics such as Bitcoin. During the weekend The Crypto Show broadcasted a debate between Bitcoin proponent Tone Vays and Bitcoin.com’s CEO Roger Ver concerning the future of Bitcoin scaling. These prominent members of the Bitcoin community had entirely different views on subjects such as fees, hard or soft forks, and scaling solutions in general.
The live debate broadcast from Anarchapulco started off with Vays and Ver describing their backgrounds within the Bitcoin economy. During the end of the introduction, Ver explains why he got involved with the cryptocurrency community and why he believes the original direction of Bitcoin, being accessible to everyone, is being undermined.
Two Very Different Visions for Bitcoin
“The whole subject of this debate is that the goal of Bitcoin and the roadmap is being altered by a bunch of people that came to Bitcoin much more recently than myself and I’m very upset with that,” explains Bitcoin investor Roger Ver. “Because I want to see Bitcoin become a currency that can be used by everyone all over the world to transact with anyone without any permission. The ability for Bitcoin to do that is being undermined at the moment, and that’s very, very concerning to me.”
Following this statement, The Crypto Show host asks, “Tone, don’t you want Bitcoin to be for everybody?”
“Of course I do,” Vays details. “But I feel that we need to do it in the safest possible way, and the safest possible way is with the smartest developers in the room, who I believe are the ones that have created Segwit. They’ve gotten us this far, I trust their judgment and we can get into some more details, but I’m a huge supporter of Segwit, and that’s the direction I would love to see Bitcoin go.”
Roger quickly responds to this statement saying, “Other than an ‘appeal to authority’ do you have a reason why you think Segregated Witness is the right way to go?”
“Well they are more technical than me, I don’t have the ability to read the code, there is a huge group of decentralized developers,” Vays responds. “It’s like saying, no I’m sorry, I don’t think people from a town should have a say in how the nuclear reactor in that town should be running, to provide them with electricity. I think it should be nuclear engineers that are responsible for the decisions. — I outsource my technical decisions to a very large decentralized group of developers. And that’s the solution [Segwit] they think is the safest and the best and there are over 100 people involved in that project.”
Ver Believes the Current Course of Longer Confirmation Times, and High Fees is ‘Absolute Madness’
As far as the ‘appeal to authority’, The Crypto Show host mentions that a lot of people feel they want to allow the smartest people to develop this code. Furthermore, the radio show host explains, after discussing the subject with many people; he believes both sides of the argument have technical smarts. Tone disagrees and doesn’t believe both sides have the smarts.
“I think it’s important to review the history of what’s going on with Bitcoin,” Roger explains. “So Bitcoin was clearly created to be peer to peer digital cash. Satoshi Nakamoto was the name of the person that created Bitcoin, and he left the project, and when he did, he turned the project over to Gavin Andresen. Around that time I got involved and a whole bunch of other people got involved, and we got really excited about that — And Bitcoin was doing really well. Everyone’s excited about the current price, but the current price is about what it was four years ago. That’s not all that exciting.
If you look at it, Gavin Andresen did an amazing job leading the project. We knew that scaling was going to be an issue. He tried to solve that. And a bunch of people that came to Bitcoin much more recently treated him absolutely horribly. They kicked him out of the project. That’s the guy the actual original creator of the project turned over the project to so we could continue on the path that we were on. And then a bunch of new people came to Bitcoin and said they think it’s a good thing if Bitcoin transactions are very expensive, they think it’s a good thing if the Bitcoin blocks are full all the time, they think it’s just fine if everyone has to bid against each other to get included in a Bitcoin block. That’s absolute madness, people are going to use something other than Bitcoin.
We need to build Bitcoin into the best, most convenient, easy to use system for everyone in the entire world to use. That means fast confirmations, low risk of double spends, and low transaction fees. It’s terrifying to me that a bunch of people come in and think that if Bitcoin transactions cost $100 each people are still going to use Bitcoin — That’s absolute madness because they’re going to use something else.”
Vays: ‘I’d Rather Bitcoin be High Volume Important $100,000 Transactions’
Tone responds to Roger’s statement saying: “I can comment on that. I say that very often. Look, if the status quo remains and we don’t end up scaling anything, Bitcoin transaction fees could get as high as $100 per transaction. I don’t want it to go there. If we don’t find a scaling solution, a Bitcoin transaction fee will go to $100, and I don’t have a problem with that. I honestly don’t.
I don’t want a debt ceiling increase. I don’t want a half-assed solution to fix something half-assed. I would rather it not be fixed. I’d rather Bitcoin be high volume important $100,000 transactions but at least stay safe, not fork, not have to explain why there are two Bitcoins. That’s my choice. I want Bitcoin to scale, and I think it can scale very safely with Segwit. But if the core developers compromise and do a hard fork, which they have tested and they have determined that a hard fork is not safe, — if they compromise in any way shape or form on a hard fork, which I don’t think they will — but if they do, I will lose my faith in the core developer team. I would no longer consider Bitcoin programmed by people that want the best for Bitcoin. I would rather have the status quo and have that transaction fee go high and be used for $100,000 transactions or thousand dollar transactions, and maybe people will be able to afford that $100 fee.”
The Debate Further Highlights Opinions on Off-Chain and On-Chain Solutions
The two continue the debate talking about who uses bitcoin and discussing whether people feel hard forks, Segregated Witness, and off-chain solutions like Lightning are safe. Tone looks forward to these types of off-chain implementations that may provide “infinite scaling”. Roger explains his opinion on those types of solutions by quoting Satoshi’s own words from 2010: “He said in regards to Bitcoin scaling the ultimate solution would be to allow the blocks to get as big as they can get.”
“And that’s the Bitcoin I signed up for, that’s the Bitcoin that all the early adopters signed up for and understood was going to be the roadmap,” Ver adds.
The rest of the debate can be viewed in its entirety here. Bitcoin.com believes in a healthy productive debate when it comes to issues concerning Bitcoin. Discussions like these are a great way for people to express their opinions in an uncensored fashion.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Crypto Show, and Pixabay.