I'm going to live tweet comments on the "Bitcoin, Controversy over Principle" section of Deconomy for fun.
1. It's interesting how much times have changed by 2018; even @Excellion (Blockstream CSO)'s presentation explicitly makes concessions to the non-maximalist multi-blockchain reality ("lightning compatible with Litecoin", "Simplicity will be usable on Bitcoin+ other blockchains")
2. The whole "collectibles, then gold, then fiat, then bitcoin" narrative is only one way of understanding the history of money, and in many significant ways an incorrect way. See: David Graeber's "Debt, The First 5000 Years"
3. "Money always evolves in the following four stages, collectible -> SoV -> MoE -> UoA" - no, no, no! Seriously, read David Graeber's Debt. Amazon link for the lazy: amazon.com/Debt-First-5-0…
4. "Monetary policy determined by user consensus" .... "set emission rate and provably finite supply" - isn't that a contradiction? That said, good to see the emphasis on social agreement rather than "backed by math"; I think that's philosophically the right step forward.
5. "Why Bitcoin is Better than Gold" - I actually agree Bitcoin is better than gold as an SoV both individually and socially; I harp on bitcoin PoW mining wrecking the environment a lot, but gold is worse. brilliantearth.com/gold-mining-en…
6. Why the emphasis on the ability to move $400m quickly? I personally am more interested in the ability to move $40 quickly; economic freedom for the common people and all that.
7. "Bitcoin is divisible and spendable".... umm, I don't think it's possible to spend less than ~10000 satoshis. Sure, you can use lightning channels, but entering a channel itself costs that amount, so you can't collect a payment *for the first time* if it's smaller
8. The discourse on "the four primitives" and layer 2 scaling solutions as the sole domain of innovation is clearly well developed now. Eh, bitcoin forked now and so it's clear that everyone on the core side actually has bought into the vision, and I guess we'll see how it goes.
9. Coming down the pipe: signature aggregation, smart contracts, bulletproofs, covenants, scriptless scripts.......

Basically: (i) marginal (~2-5x) scalability improvements and (ii) more privacy.
10. "Bitcoin is a really big shift on par with the internet and the internal combustion engine"; even if you replace "bitcoin" with "cryptoeconomics in general", I don't think it's fair to go quite that far. The tech is important, but imo better not to oversell it.
11. Roger Ver's presentation begins. The emphasis here is more directly on "economic freedom". Samson's was "transacting value without trusted intermediaries".
12. I appreciate Roger's clear concern for improving economic freedom for the common people; in his presentation he asked, "who here in this room has sent a transaction to someone in another country"
13. That said, it's mandatory to note that the economic freedom narrative does have caveats. Roger showed the growth of Hong Kong from 1950 to 2010 (super impressive) compared to Havana (lol).
14. But Shenzhen is at this point as physically impressive as HK, and mainland China's level of economic freedom is definitely considerably less than HK.
15. Though the general "more economic freedom = good" idea is certainly one that I subscribe to. That said, there is a difference between the kind of economic freedom that is the difference between Cuba and HK, and the kind that bitcoin/crypto enables...
16. And here comes the anti-small-block speech, "What would I do if I wanted to stop bitcoin? Advocate for 1 MB blocks to intentionally create high fees, slow confirmations, unreliable transactions"
17. Roger finishes speech, one person claps. Roger says, "you can clap". ~25% (?) of the room claps.
18. "This will result in fewer users ... less financial privacy ... less censorship resistance". The financial privacy bit may actually be true; I heard from third-party sources that bitcoin tumblers were the first type of transaction to stop taking place as fees started going up
19. Roger provides chart of bitcoin usage going up linearly, then hitting the 1 MB limit, and losing out on projected adoption beyond that. Losses somewhat overstated as txs crowded out by fees were lower value than txs that stay, but still serious.
20. The thing I dislike about the presentation is that it doesn't actually engage any of the arguments in favor of the small block position. I would really want to see some deeper discourse that actually gets into pros and cons of both sides and acknowledges that they exist
21. Craig Wright begins: "We're going to talk about the lies"

"Samson said that money was used first in barter and as a store of value - BULLSHIT!"

Then proceeds to brag about how many university degrees he has..... eh, at least he read Graeber.
22. The next lie according to craig is that "Bitcoin needs to be fixed", and that "technocrats need to make it better".
23. Shows a slide containing 6 diagrams of network topologies, and just claims that Bitcoin is less decentralized because "it has more centrality", and does not elaborate further.
24. "You don't actually do anything as a node, unless it's a full node, which is a miner, which is now ASICs".

"Bitcoin works because of these squiggly lines called math", pointing to more non-sequiturs.

Double facepalm....
25. Re selfish-mining: "you actually have a negative gamma" ... "you actually help the honest miners by attacking the network"

My bulls*** meter appears to be showing a negative value.... oh wait that was an integer overflow.
26. To be clear, γ is "the ratio of honest miners that choose to mine on the pool’s block"; it's by definition non-negative.
27. The Bitcoin network is highly connected, and therefore a transaction gets broadcasted across the network very quickly. Therefore double spending is not worth worrying about. True in some cases (many consumer-merchant payments), false in others; the distinction matters.
28. "When you're talking about miners, Bitcoin is sub-linear. It actually gets better the bigger the network is. That's some of the stuff people don't want you to know" - what does that even mean?
29. "Trust but verify" - what about your ten master's degrees?
30. "We're not going to do 1000 TPS. I don't give a shit about 1000 TPS. We have run (in a highly controlled setup) 1.33M TPS. I don't want that. I want *everything on Earth* to be included"

No comment.
31. It seems to be that his vision involves 100% of miners being honest, so "fast transactions" come from being able to broadcast txs into the network as quickly as possible. That security model.... concerns me.
32. "As a user, do you care about validating your own transaction? No!" - this seems like a clear misunderstanding. By "validating your own transaction", @Excellion and co clearly mean "validating transactions that you receive", which *is* important.
33. "Nodes do not matter" - see vitalik.ca/general/2017/0… . Seriously, small blockers do have real and legitimate points about the importance of client side validation. Just read that article.
34. "If you solve lightning, you also solve the discrete log problem". My bulls*** meter is spinning so fast that figuring out the next time it will hit zero *is* a hard discrete log problem.
35. Panel with Jeff Paik, Samson and Roger begins.
36. Wow, Roger is *really* willing to be aggressive here, even with Samson right beside him.
37. Good to see Roger using the argument that "just continuing the existing approach of increasing block sizes is the safe path". It does need to be reiterated that making fees suddenly rise to super-high levels *is* risky and NOT a "conservative" strategy.
38. Bitcoin core devs' work in making the node more efficient over time so it can handle and efficiently process larger and larger blocks is indeed admirable.
39. Samson advocates L2 scaling via lightning and sidechains.
40. Roger emphasizes "judge by effects, not intents; effect that we've already clearly observed is greatly lost adoption"
41. Samson: "I stepped out of the room during [Craig's] talk"
42. "Now blocks can be up to 4 MB in block weight" - true in theory, but 1.3-2.4 MB in practice depending on extent and type of segwit adoption.
43. Roger: "not fully counting witness data in block weight is a subsidy"

Samson: "there's a reason for that"

FYI, I'm on Samson's side on this particular issue; signature bytes and non-signature bytes do NOT affect nodes the same way.
44. Roger: what is Bitcoin to you, Samson?

Samson: a new form of money.

Roger: with $50 fees?

Samson: well, what are fees now?

Roger: $0.20, but only because the users were driven away.

FYI, I'm on Roger's side here; $50 fees should IMO count as a de-facto liveness failure
45. "It's easier to migrate from bitcoin core to altcoins than to migrate from bitcoin core to lightning" - this is actually a very interesting point: lightning only benefits from bitcoin's *currency* network effect, NOT *tech/development* network effect.
46. Samson: "I don't think block size limits impede usage. If you go to a restaurant and it's full, you wait"

This I think is definitely a bad argument; I actually go to restaurants often and usually when I come to one and it's full, I go to a different restaurant.
47. Samson: "If you're accepting payments in altcoins, there's very little liquidity"

IMO not true since ~2015 for the top ~10-50 coins. Just use the altcoins as a payment channel; when your balance gets to ~$100 convert to bitcoin through shapeshift and sell to fiat from there
48. Samson: I think sound money is more important than transactions/usage
Roger: I think transactions/usage is what *makes* something sound money

I'm also with Roger here.
49. Roger brings up the replace-by-fee debate. "Block times don't matter if miners accept the first transaction they see, not the highest-fee-paying one"

Samson brings up that RBF was not a protocol change.

Roger brings up my post on why soft forks are coercive.
50. I agree with my post on soft fork coercion: vitalik.ca/general/2017/0…

That said, I am more on the core side on the replace-by-fee issue. Relying on miner altruism is dangerous. That said, I think BCH should just hard fork to cut block times down to ~15 seconds and adopt GHOST.
51. Samson brings up "crypto-Keynesianism vs crypto-Austrianism", seemingly expecting the crowd to view Keynesianism negatively (statism! currency devaluation!) and Austrianism positively. Reminder: it's ok even for libertarians to be a little Keynesian: econlog.econlib.org/archives/2013/…
52. Samson: "Bitcoin Cash does not have Segwit. Lightning requires Segwit"
Roger: "It does not"

To be clear, I think what Roger means is that Lightning requires *any* tx malleability fix, not Segwit specifically. BCH has Flexible Transactions, which also fixes malleability.
53. More arguments on replace-by-fee.

54. Roger: "just increasing the block size is a long-term solution"
Samson: "it's a dead end"

I'm ok with the super-big-blocker position but only if sharding techniques (or at least fraud proofs and data availability proofs) are used to make light client verification easier.
56. Roger: "production quotas lead to bad outcomes"

I disagree as a matter of economics; this ignores externalities. I suppose a chain where the only restriction on block size is stale rate risk could be viable, but I have centralization worries about that...
57. Jeff Paik: "Why is there such an animosity between you two"

Roger: "I'm happy to answer first"
58. Roger's argument: the core devs diverted the project and shifted the vision in ways that many of its constituents disagree with ("store of value") and belittled and censored them, so of course people are upset.

I personally do agree that the vision was diverted.
59. "Bitcoin Core is some science project for people who live in first world countries..."

One line I think I saw on /r/buttcoin is "Bitcoin has turned into a bizarro ICO for the lightning network"
60. Samson: "Now that you have your own coin and BCH people have their own chain to promote, there really doesn't need to be any animosity"

Agree fully; though it does seem we are still far away from that.
61. Samson did then attack bitcoin cash'ers for calling it bitcoin cash. That seems unfair; we for example have no issue with Ethereum Classic.
62. So I *do* think both sides need to improve their discourse.

But Craig Wright *is* crazy.

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