At the Blockchain Money Conference in London held yesterday and today, after an enthusiastic presentation on Bitcoin’s benefits, specifically focusing on its ability to increase economic freedom which, according to Roger Ver’s presentation, increases incomes, lowers mortality rates, decreases wars “overall”, among other benefits, Roger stated in response to a question that his biggest disappointment was Core’s take on scalability as it did not “keep up with consumer demand.”
Roger stated that he questioned “the morals of the people who have come up with [segwit]” before adding that we “should not trust anyone who does not support open discussion.” He continued to state that there has been “active suppression of dissenting opinion” which has given an appearance of the scalability issue being addressed.
While not giving a direct opinion, Dan Morehead, CEO at Pantera Capital, stated that if we look at transaction volume and overlay bitcoin’s price, “price perfectly fits to transaction volume… if transaction volume doubles, price will probably also double.”
Chandler Guo, a bitcoin and ETC miner – I don’t mine ethereum anymore, he stated – said that he wants more transactions and a bigger blocksize, but cautioned against “hardforking fast”, using the ETH/ETC split to argue that we do not want a bitcoin and bitcoin classic coin, without elaborating further.
One of the panelists stated, to everyone’s agreement, that the question of scalability was a good problem to have as it shows there is much demand for bitcoin with Alex Shelkovnikov, head of corporate venturing at Deloitte, stating that governance was a bigger problem than scalability. We need, he said, “more clarity and understanding on how decisions are made” as, sometimes, the way decisions are made do not represent the entire community.
Valery Vavilov, Bitfury’s CEO, stated that the “blocksize should be increased, but in a smart way.” Increasing the blocksize is “not necessary today,” he added, before stating that we need to find ways to scale bitcoin to accommodate exponential growth.
Sitting on the same panel, Roger Ver stated that “every business which serves customers wants to increase the blocksize” while a “bunch of computer nerds (not meaning it in an offensive way, he stated, I myself am a computer nerd) who are not running companies are serving customers.”
I bumped into Roger Ver outside while he was seemingly introducing someone to bitcoin by suggesting they download breadwallet on their phone. I asked him whether he will block segwit. Roger stated that he had not yet decided, but for a lot of people who got into bitcoin in the early days, he says, it feels like segwit is a “bait and switch.” It does not keep to Satoshi’s vision, Roger argued, and it may consolidate core dev’s power and influence.
A number of proposals to increase the blocksize were put forward, but miners seemingly rejected them. Segwit is now released for miner’s decision, but we’ll have to wait and see how they respond.
Images via Andrew Quenston for CCN.