Software development organizations worldwide take note. This means you. The next time a programmer quits, you, your organization, your product, and every last penny it ever made might vanish overnight if they post a blog! That is because "Software Product Instant Death" is the new "Programmer quits".

No ... it really isn't ... and that's because it's exactly as silly as it sounds. 

However if you read any of the headlines on flaming fire the last few days, it's what you might have been led to believe about bitcoin. I'll let you in on a little tip. It's still sounds ridiculous because it is. 

Enough with the nonsense already.

The Aftermath

Friday the world was set whirling in a panic as the price of bitcoin came scorching down to earth following an announcement by one of the now former bitcoin developers, Mike Hearn.

He preached doom, gloom, and the death of bitcoin, and mainstream media outlets (some repeat offenders) followed suit with an amplification screaming BITCOIN HAS DIED A PAINFUL DEATH IN CIVIL WAR, or some other equally as baseless claim.

It didn't take more than a few hours to realize the panic attack was due to the Medium post. The comedic relief of the day came one from Bram Cohen calling Mike Hearns actions "Whiny Ragequitting", and multiple people pointing out the the 88 other ways bitcoin had already died, this being the 89th time. It continued to lighten the mood and the price began to float back up and people went on with their lives and that was that.

Except for the mainstream media who refuses to let go and continues to regurgitate the same story in a "but I read it on the internet, it has to be true" kind of way. They must think that if they say it enough times again and again, they might just wake up and it'll be true. They keep pushing it as if they would be delighted if 6 billion dollars and thousands of jobs dissipated while families suffered and economies crippled overnight.

Some people just enjoy when others suffer. I usually enjoy when those people suffer.

Is There Still a Problem?

Sure. A potential issue does exist. The block size must increase or transactions on the blockchain will reach a point that would be intolerable for realistic use.

In other words, it's too damn slow and getting worse.

This is because only one megabyte or less can be stuffed into a block and almost all blocks these days are at or near the limit. So things are slower than optimal.

One of the inaccuracies stated and then further shouted by the mainstream media was the indication of a refusal to implement a solution at all. What actually happened was that BitcoinXT did not achieve the 75% consensus required to "go-live", however, it is not and was not the only solution being proposed nor did any such refusal to implement a solution exist.

The XT consensus has been taken for what is was, a rejection. BitcoinXT was a little too aggressive and ambitious for everyone to get comfortable with in such a short time. This has been shrugged off for what it was, as consensus to not implement it, and the focus has been to get another solution out for a decision.

This was negatively reflected in the mainstream media and each released article seemed to amplify the death and failure of bitcoin more intensely, but the truth couldn't have been any further form the truth and it was not any kind of catastrophic failure. In fact, the consensus worked exactly the way it's designed to work. Not everyone was comfortable with XT in its entirety. That's all.

XT, Core, Classic, and What Is SegWit?

The potential solutions involve Bitcoin Core and a newer model tagged Bitcoin Classic (also a possible new oxymoron as its only about a week old).

They are different but ultimately contribute to the common goal. As Ryan Shea stated Monday, the core developers have been speaking with everyone and listening. As bitcoin grows, the majority of what surfaces from under the hood goes noticed unless something negative is brought to light. Due to the nature of the process of software development, things can tend to get overly technical and most folks just get lost when things stop making sense.

That is simply because software developers speak and work a certain way. You couldn't expect them to spend a few minutes reading some notes about what you did at your job today and understand that any better.

To remedy that. Let's start with whats going on right now and explain the basics and stick to the issue at hand.

From a public opinion point of view, most people ended Friday knowing that:

A. Things are too slow.
B. They are getting worse.
C. some bitcoin guy Rage Quit. 
D. Bitcoin died.
E. Rage Quitting went viral
F. The price went down.
G. The sky might be falling.

Take everything from B to G and throw it away. Forget about it.

Those points are irrelevant, inaccurate, or no longer fact. That's leaves us with only A. Technically B as well, but A will repair B. Size and speed.

If you get caught up in one of the continuously ongoing conversations and end up seeing something like SegWit HF 2MB SF, you can get lost rather quickly. What the hell does that mean?

Let's frame that and walk through it right quick.

Development Scaling Size Fork Consensus
Bitcoin Core SegWit 2MB/4MB HF/SF 28%
Bitcoin Classic Flat 2MB HF/SF 72%

  1. Development: What code base is being worked on by the developers (Core or Classic)
  2. Scaling: Scaling model or technology*
  3. Size: How much is the block size going to increase (2MB/4MB)
  4. Fork: Hard fork (HF) or Soft fork (SF)
  5. Consensus: How many miners are in support of the effort 

*Scaling is way the block size is going to increase. 2MB is an obvious 2 megabyte increase in block size. SegWit is short for Segregated Witness and simply put, it basically allows the size to decrease by omitting data not required for the block.

If other words. This is what makes things work again. We just need to pick one.

Moving Along

The scaling and the size calms the current concern and basically make things go faster instead of slowing down. There are some other items and things involved. However for the majority of those using bitcoin in everyday life, they just need things to get consistent and not slower and we need bitcoin and the blockchain to still be here tomorrow. That's it.

There's allot of nit-picking over sidechains, kilowatts deals, fees, hidden agendas, and the Chinese internet speed competing for last place with Motel 6. This is all normal development. This happens in every conference room across the globe every day.

It is a simple thing, but it's not so easy to accomplish this simple thing. What makes the blockchain so unique is what also makes it difficult to implement even small adjustments and this challenge will continue to present itself in the years to come.

Can we expect a smooth ride soon? Absolutely not. We can certainly expect a ride, however, because the only thing that is dying ... are the journalistic hopes that bitcoin is anything but alive and well.

Story by dinbits
Image by dinbits staff

The opinions expressed by authors of articles linked, referenced, or published on do not necessarily express, nor are endorsed by, the opinions the of or its affiliates.

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.