The things we lost on the way, and the great way forward

in #blog3 months ago

I am engaged with cryptocurrency stuff since the early days of Bitcoin, and I have seen stuff come and go. And it's weird to see people completely unaware of the stuff that once was but now isn't in the picture anymore.

With Bitcoin itself, I am sad that many people don't remember what Bitcoin set out to be, eating up the "Bitcoin Maximalist" bullshit and just aiming for a high price, not realizing that everything Bitcoin was went down the drain. I am sad that people don't realize that early Bitcoin users like me used the kind of things that now finally pops up again on Bitcoin Cash. But we lost a big part of the ecosystem never to come back when the community was stubborn on increasing the blocksize limit to relieve the transaction fees.

Many companies that accepted Bitcoin had to stop because the transaction fees made it completely impossible to continue. I am now using Alfatop instead of Bitrefill, and I am worried about how they labeled me a Bitcoin Cash shill internally in their system. I just want to be able to use crypto to pay, not just to invest. I am not an investor.

Similarly, with Steemit up to where we are now with Hive, there are things that came and went. I remember using Steepshot, and I am sad that doesn't exist any more. Still, I feel the message about what Steemit really is about is very much there with the Hive community, and I am very happy about how quick and smooth the fork went. Except for when censorship makes it unable to inform well, I would say for the short term it took to implement the move we were informed pretty well, and where that didn't work (and I missed some notes, sorry about that!) we communicate and compensate.

About this specific fork I like to remind everyone of the time this very thing, a company suffering a hostile takeover and the community forking out, happened and how that went. That time was when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems and immediately kicked out the community participants from the system. The community forked into LibreOffice, immediately merged in Novell's go-oo code that didn't go into mainline OpenOffice before (fun fact, this was already the code that most Linux distros were running), incredibly improved community participation through the implementation of Gerrit (that is probably something the HiveDev community could learn from...) for code review and just waited for hopefully, possibly, being abte to use the old name again at some point.

Oracle tried and failed to capitalize on their buy. You cannot buy a community. In the end the code and the name went to the Apache foundation, because Oracle was of course pissed with the fork. The Apache OpenOffice code by now has a particularly bad name because of long standing never corrected security issues for over a year, and LibreOffice is generally known to be the better project.

Of course it takes a long time for people to get the memo that all this happened, and still a sizable amount of people never does... But I think it's good to realize that when a community forks out, it is practically impossible for the hostile takeover that caused that to have anything more than a hollow victory.

(And on that note, yes, I think there is no good reason for BTC ever go to the moon as many people think it would, unlike BCH which I have seen more and more actually being used for purchases e.g. on OpenBazaar/Haven, and as such slowly gaining relevance and value. BTC is being curtailed by a hostile takeover company just as much as Steemit is [Blockstream] and it has been skillfully stripped of all redeemable qualities. Get out while you can and ask your exchanges to move away from BTC as the pivot currency, unless you like paying through the nose for a slow handicapped means of payment.)