Projects that re-invent the Bitcoin blockchain are “like adding a fifth wheel to a car” and “disrespectful to Satoshi Nakamoto,” says Hivemind and Drivechain founder Paul Sztorc.
‘Giant Graveyard of Projects’
Satoshi Nakamoto already solved the problems that prevented earlier cryptocurrency experiments from succeeding, Sztorc said. Furthermore, Satoshi and other bitcoiners had put years of hard work and sacrifice into building and securing the network.
Sztorc has a long track record of criticizing altcoins and has made controversial statements on the subject in the past.
When asked why he decided to build Hivemind, a decentralized prediction market formerly known as Truthcoin, on a sidechain instead of an entirely new platform, he said, “I don’t understand the people who don’t build on Bitcoin, it was always obvious to me.”
He referred to the “gigantic graveyard of projects” by people who thought they could make a better blockchain. They ignored what Satoshi had already written and believed they could make something better with minor improvements, like a shorter block confirmation time.
“There’s a long path of hubris,” Sztorc said, “where you think you’ve figured it out, but you realize that Satoshi actually figured it out.”
Bitcoin Is the ‘Truth Module’
Terms like “blockchain” and “smart contracts” were “sexy” and were successful at attracting investment capital, Sztorc said. Sidechains, however, meant their functions could be secured by the Bitcoin blockchain without needing to write everything from scratch.
Sztorc compared the situation to software modularity — developers can add functionality to their projects by including an existing library, rather than starting with a blank page and imagining they can write everything better.
Demeester suggested that Bitcoin is a “truth module” that other projects could use, and “what matters most is that it’s consistent and secure, accessible and uncensorable.”
Sztorc said he had a special disdain for projects like Ethereum, which tried to change too much, be “too wonderful.” It represented an impatience, he said, a belief that Bitcoin could not solve every problem in the world right away.
Regretting the Scalability Debate
Sidechains could also render Bitcoin’s scaling and block size debates irrelevant, Sztorc added. He intends to present a paper at an upcoming conference proving that, with sidechains, it wouldn’t even matter if the Bitcoin block size actually shrank. An interconnected network that allowed for more transactions could settle more transactions later on the main blockchain.
He said he regretted that the scaling debate often focused on its participants personalities rather than the technology. Figures like Roger Ver, Gregory Maxwell and others had given so much of their lives and identities to Bitcoin that, as soon as different ideas arose, there was bound to be conflict.
Demeester wondered if multiple sidechains would mean that everyone with an idea could “have their own island and build a skyscraper on it” while remaining on the Bitcoin network. “It just blows open everything,” he remarked.
While disapproving of altcoin and specialist blockchain projects, the two agreed those projects may actually serve a positive purpose by absorbing all the too-impatient people away from Bitcoin. Sztorc wondered if future alt-blockchain projects would help draw away the “crazies, scammers, and get-rich-quick” crowd.
At the bottom of it all, Sztorc and Demeester concluded that Bitcoin could give everyone what they want while remaining stable and secure.
Do you agree with Sztorc’s opinion on non-Bitcoin blockchains? Let us know in the comments below.
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