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The propaganda is that BitcoinXT is simply about increasing the block size. That is dangerously deceptive nonsense, simply a tool for dividing the community and giving the appearance of legitimate debate. It takes way more effort to clear up BS than it does to spread it. This is my & a co-author’s small contribution to help start the process of untangling the web of misinformation out there. Hopefully someone else can write up a coherent summary of it all. Failure to do so puts the future of Bitcoin in jeopardy in a very real, non-FUD way.

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    When did Mike become the bad guy? I feel there was a time, not long ago, when if I asked for someone knowledgable about bitcoin, I might have been told to talk to him.

    Also, I’m confused why it matters. It appears everybody is opposed to XT. Who cares if Mike tells people to use this other thing if nobody uses it?

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      When did Mike become the bad guy?

      Mike’s not a bad guy, he just wants to turn Bitcoin into GovCoin and isn’t being very upfront about it.

      I feel there was a time, not long ago, when if I asked for someone knowledgable about bitcoin, I might have been told to talk to him.

      He’s extremely knowledgeable about Bitcoin. Don’t mistake knowledgeable with trustworthy.

      Also, I’m confused why it matters. It appears everybody is opposed to XT.

      This only recently became the case. A lot of people were fooled not too long ago. Now that more people are becoming aware of the con they are switching their position from “support XT” to “support larger block sizes and BIP 101”. That’s certainly an improvement because at least BIP 101 only focuses on block size, but that doesn’t necessarily mean BIP 101 is the way to go either. There exists such a thing as fake compromise and it is a strategy used in negotiations (ask for something extremely unreasonable so that you can win something unreasonable).

      Who cares if Mike tells people to use this other thing if nobody uses it?

      If you care about Bitcoin, then you should care. If people hadn’t cared you’d be using GovCoin thinking it was Bitcoin.

      I doubt this is the last time a very smart, decorated and well spoken individual will come along and make a very reasonable sounding suggestion for “improving” or “saving” Bitcoin (or who knows what else). The suggestion may receive the endorsement of very trustworthy and influential people in the space (as happened with Bitcoin XT), and it may appear to receive “all the upvotes” on reddit.

      But, with this inoculation of XT still fresh in your mind, hopefully you’ll remain open to the possibility that someone is very deliberately and strategically pulling the wool over your eyes, and you’ll remember to look out for that other hand.

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      @itistoday — Your personal campaign against BitcoinXT is getting excessive, 4 submissions attacking it in the last 5 days.

      You keep saying Mike and Gavin are spreading FUD, but all I see is your posts spreading FUD—sometimes in the same sentence.

      I would kindly request for you to stop posting blatantly one-sided attacks on this topic. Perhaps /r/bitcoin is a better venue for that. :)

      (If other lobsters disagree, feel free to downvote or share your dissenting opinion.)

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        I respect that you feel that way, and if you think I’m spreading FUD you should highlight it and point it out. Waving your hand and calling it all FUD is disingenuous (EDIT: I see you stealth edited your comment to add an example, see next reply). When I said Mike was spreading FUD, I substantiated it with reasoning.

        Likewise, if you feel I’m being one-sided, feel free to point out anything that I’m ignoring or not addressing.

        Finally, perhaps you missed the comment, but I have no intention of bringing this issue up anymore since the threat seems to have subsided and all that’s newsworthy has been said.

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          I appreciate your civil response. :)

          See the links in my comment for examples. Saying that forking an open source project creates a potential for people to lose money is pretty much the definition of FUD. All the best FUD has some seed of truth but framed in a way to make it seem catastrophic. Any interaction with bitcoin creates the potential for people to lose money, that is the nature of the project. Even inaction creates the potential for people to lose money (arguably a greater risk).

          Mike has done a good job debunking majority of these arguments in his medium articles here, if you’d like to read. https://medium.com/@octskyward (let me know if you’d like links to the addressing of specific points and I can dig it up or paraphrase).

          In case any of this matters and it’s not clear, I’ll add some disclaimers/notes about me: I’ve been maintaining open source projects for a long time and I believe that this is healthy behaviour. I’ve been holding bitcoin since early 2011. I’ve explored the bitcoin protocol in-depth since reading the whitepaper and have built code that interacts with clients at the protocol level. I don’t believe that bitcoin will die whether bigger blocks get adopted or not (and I’m curious to see the outcome of either scenario), though from a technical perspective I suspect bigger blocks today is a safer move (less radical change than allowing full blocks and never-confirmed transaction overflow).

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            See the links in my comment for examples.

            Oh, did you edit your comment to add that link? No matter. I replied (twice), giving two situations in which people could lose their coins. So far that’s just one example of alleged “FUD”, and it wasn’t FUD.

            Mike has done a good job debunking majority of these arguments in his medium articles here [..] I don’t believe that bitcoin will die whether bigger blocks get adopted or not (and I’m curious to see the outcome of either scenario), though from a technical perspective I suspect bigger blocks today is a safer move (less radical change than allowing full blocks and never-confirmed transaction overflow).

            … It’s as if you didn’t read anything here. ?

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              … It’s as if you didn’t read anything here. ?

              Or, you know, maybe I took the time to understand how this stuff works in spite of a few dozen people screaming their heads off that the world is coming to an end?

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            Finally, perhaps you missed the comment, but I have no intention of bringing this issue up anymore since the threat seems to have subsided and all that’s newsworthy has been said.

            I think more than “all that’s newsworthy” has actually been said.. cough ..but thank the flying spaghettini monster for small miracles, that it is ending regardless.

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            I wouldn’t have downvoted if you hadn’t invited me to, but if that’s how we’re collecting views this time…

            I don’t really want to share an opinion, but I disagree; @itistoday’s campaign has been informative and helpful. To the extent that I’ve felt pressure to take a side, it’s been from the other one, but actually Lobsters has been pretty good at keeping this polite. Maybe my expectations are calibrated weirdly as a result of caring about the culture tag; I don’t know.

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            The effective thesis that needs to be written up in digestible form is that what has been referred to as simply a debate over “block size” appears to be the most sophisticated, deliberate attack on Bitcoin to date (that I’m aware of).

            Some people dismiss such statements as “tin hat foolery”, but it would be foolish to dismiss it (certainly if you haven’t looked at the evidence) because governments do this stuff all the time. They infiltrate organizations and standards bodies and succeed in spite of the brilliant computer scientists in those organizations watching out for stuff like that.

            It is routine. And if there ever was a project that would come under a sophisticated psyop attack, it would be Bitcoin. Bitcoin is always under attack in one form or another, and it will always be under attack. To not understand that is to not understand Bitcoin. If it’s cheaper to steal control of the software than it is to play by its rules, that’s what they’ll do.

            Go to the XT website or Mike’s blog and you won’t find any mention of:

            • The censorship tech that’s in XT already
            • Mike’s plan to track and blacklist (excuse me, “redlist”) coins
            • How increasing the block size makes it easier to 51% attack Chinese miners behind the great firewall
            • How it’s impossible to use block size to scale Bitcoin to VISA levels without turning it into VISA
            • How ridiculous it would be for a single person to be in charge of the world’s reserve cryptocurrency
            • The very real dangers that a contentious fork presents to users (and therefore the currency)

            These goals are in perfect alignment with a government’s goals and behavior.

            Instead, it is all about block size. Block size is the focus because the nebulous, arbitrary and hard to comprehend block size has the power to confuse, distract and divide. For the technically minded, increasing the block size is a totally legitimate desire. So it works as a divisive tool on those who understand and those who don’t. Block size is the misdirection so you don’t notice what the other hand is doing. What the other hand is doing becomes clear once you look elsewhere (i.e. the links in the submission).

            Previous discussions:

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              I can’t edit the post above anymore, but I want to be clear: it is possible to take actions and hold positions that are very harmful to Bitcoin and believe you are doing a good thing for it. It is also possible to hold mistaken or misguided views and not be a government agent.

              This is also not in any way intended to be interpreted as a “hit piece” on anyone. I am very much against such things. It is, however, aimed to be a very frank discussion about the realities of sabotage, and the parallels that can be found in this particular situation. We cannot defend against sabotage if we do not understand or talk about it.

              Also, the threat and the drama seem to have died down, so it would probably be best to leave it that way (unless it comes back).

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                I don’t really know whom to believe, and trying to understand what is going on is entirely tl;dr. Anyway, I don’t run a full node, so it’s not like swaying my opinion one way or another could make any difference, since I have already decided to not vote.

                That being said, I hope the dust settles and some day in the future I can instantly zap money to anyone on the internet anywhere in the world without requiring a 3rd party’s permission.

                I just noticed that there is a conference in Montréal to decide what to do. I live here. Should I go?

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                  I live here. Should I go?

                  If you want to. :)

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                    I mean, am I going to get anything out of it if I’m not a bitcoin developer?

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                      I don’t know, only you can be the judge of that. Look at their website and read through the links in the pastebin. If it interests you enough you won’t have to ask that question.