In this week’s “Penning Down The Thoughts” series, Jimmie is taking the Pen team (and the readers), through anecdotes of what he e describes as the 3 musketeers. It’s a tale of 3 gentlemen and how they each came up with some of the most significant contributions to the crypto ecosystem. Without further ado, have a good read.
THE 3 MUSKETEERS
To understand what the three gentlemen are arguing about and why they can come to a united agreement, Sampson works on Bitcoin blockchain and Roger Keith Ver on Bitcoin Cash, and Charlie Lee on Litecoin, Yes I know it starts to get a bit technical.
One philosophy could be described as Bitcoin as digital gold, and the other philosophy could be described as Bitcoin as digital cash. The other team said you guys have it the wrong way around. First, Bitcoin needs to be usable as a currency, a medium of exchange. Then, maybe, it will become stable and a store of value. The solution is easy, just increase the size of the blocks from one to two, four, or eight megabytes so that more transactions fit into them. This will lower the fees, and people will start using Bitcoin as cash again.
The original title of the Bitcoin white paper is Bitcoin, an electronic peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Satoshi's white paper isn't the Bible. It's not a religion. Stuff changes, we evolve, and we might find out new things. So why this fixation on that white paper was created 12 years ago?
Roger Keith Ver told “There isn't any fixation. It's not the version of Bitcoin that I got involved with, and it's not the version of Bitcoin that I want to support.”
So Roger Keith Ver joined forces with a controversial online gambling billionaire, Bitmain, a Chinese crypto mining company. They forced a software fork, which is a split into two separate blockchains, every holder of Bitcoin now also owned the same amount of Bitcoin Cash.
Every revolution is followed by a counter-revolution, which is usually a purge of the original revolutionaries. People are very passionate about Bitcoin. And that's why they show a lot of emotion. When you're part of a tribe, you get very religious about your tribe, making the other tribe almost your enemy. It's tough to debate Roger because a lot of what he's saying is just his opinions and his emotions. You cannot debate someone's emotions.
Now the industry has grown so much that they are competing parties, propaganda machines, and conspiracy theories. Looks a lot like politics. The biggest fight within the Bitcoin ecosystem is far from over, who has the right to the name Bitcoin?
So who won Bitcoin's first war? Well, both parties got their way. After the split, the market valued Bitcoins much higher. And Bitcoin Cash (BCH) transaction fees were much lower. The benefit of the scaling debate or civil war was
Bitcoin was battle-tested, like many companies and many powerful people tried very hard to try to change Bitcoin, and they failed. This thing that Satoshi Nakamoto launched is much more resilient than anyone even hoped.
I know, I know, you want to find out what any of this has to do with this new Web3, a revolutionary internet. We'll get there, I promise, but first, we need to go from Bitcoins’ original blockchain to hundreds of blockchains.
CHARLIE LEE & LITECOIN
Back in 2011, when Charlie Lee was a Google engineer, he wanted a faster and lighter version of Satoshi's cryptocurrency and was one of the first to experiment with open-source software. The actual coding in terms of the code differences became Bitcoin and Litecoin was pretty trivial.
Litecoin was positioned as silver to Bitcoin's gold. And its network value grew to billions of dollars. Some critics say: Well, he sold at the highest point, and he kind of hurt the community.
Charlie Lee said “When I sold, no one knew it was at the highest point. I didn't know it was gonna be the highest point, everyone thought it was gonna keep going up. In hindsight, it was good timing, to sell it at that high. But I'm still focused full-time on Litecoin adoption, and working on Litecoin, and Litecoin development. So it's not like I sold it and just quit.”
Litecoin was one of the first alternative cryptocurrencies or altcoins. Some of the early adopters, like Charlie, made fortunes, and soon, there were hundreds of coins made by cryptographers, copycats, and con men. There's a coin for bloggers, a currency for online gamers, one with anonymity, and even one for banks. But can this invention unleash something even more powerful than digital currencies?
“Penning down the thoughts” is a series compiled by the CEO and Co-Founder of Penning, Jimmie Hansen Steinbeck. A compilation of his vast experience, knowledge, failures, successes, know-how & ideas. Jimmie has spent the last decade (almost since the birth of bitcoin), working in the crypto, blockchain (also known as Web3) space, as an investor, entrepreneur, and expert advisor to numerous crypto companies.