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Dear Mr. Lee,
Regarding your article dated January 26, 2016 entitled “The esoteric debate that’s tearing the Bitcoin world apart, explained“, while I applaud you for accurately articulating the concerns of critics of larger blocks, viz. centralisation, I would like to call the following points to your attention :
1. Delays with confirmation times are unfortunate realities in the Bitcoin network at present for two main reasons : i) the health of the relay network is quite poor on account of the ever-increasing costs and complexities of maintaining a functional node combined the objectionable state of the codebase as maintained by Satoshi and his immediate successors, ii) impoverished users have “come to expect” free (ie. zero miner fee) transactions, which are readily rejected by miners in a fee-competitive (ie. full block) environment. This latter condition leads to many tears and wails of “unfairness,” but that doesn’t change the economics, nor the physics, of maintaining the block size as it is, if not smaller.
2. While it’s indeed the case that a fee market for Bitcoin transactions would push many users, both potential and those existing today at the margin, to avoid Bitcoin altogether, the insinuation that webwallet middlemen such as Coinbase or BitPay are in any way part of Bitcoin is deeply misleading. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there’s only one Bitcoin blockchain, and if you’re not in sole possession of the private keys and running a fully verifying node, you’re still in the world of fiat. This is perhaps hinted at in your piece, but it must be made abundantly clear.
3. How would you know that Satoshi’s block size cap was “arbitrary” ? Unless you’re the only man on earth with omniscience, you’re hardly in a position to make such claims.
4. Please stop mentioning the “Lighting Network,” it’s not a thing and any insinuation to the contrary reflects poorly on your scholarly and journalistic credentials.
5. Please stop mentioning Bitcoin as a “mass-market technology,” it’s not, never will be, and any insinuation to the contrary reflects poorly on your scholarly and journalistic credentials.
6. If you’re going to name the names of the big block advocates, going forward, you’d be well served to also name the names of the small block advocates, namely The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin as assembled in #bitcoin-assets on IRC Freenode. This is, after all, where Bitcoin policy is set for the principle reason that this is where Bitcoin businesses – that is, businesses that have no fixed geography, no interaction with fiat, and actually make a profit – convene. It’s what it is.
If you have any questions at all about any of the aforementioned points, I’d be happy to explore them in more detail.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely, and on behalf of The Most Serene Republic of Bitcoin,
On this January 28, 2016 at block height 395`489.
PGP Fingerprint E6625CC14638C4CA404694E9165749929F9A6BDD
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P.S. If you want to verify the sig for yourself, your best bet is to do it against this unmunged copy.
P.P.S. What’s so esoteric about the war over the fate of the free world anyways ?