On August 17 the bitcoin payment processing company Bitpay published a blog post about Segwit2x that stirred quite a bit of controversy with the bitcoin ‘community.’
Bitpay Sparks Controversy for Promoting the BTC1 Codebase as a Reference Client to Bitcore Nodes
The post called “What Bitcore Users Need to Know To Be Ready for Segwit Activation” gives a detailed explanation to its Bitcore user base about the upcoming consensus process with Segwit2x. However, the post also leaves btc1 software (Segwit2x) as a form of upgrade for Bitcore full nodes.
Immediately a few bitcoin proponents and developers such as Peter Todd, Tuur Demeester, Francis Pouliot, John Carvalho, Rodolfo Novak and others got angry with Bitpay for recommending an alternative to the Core reference code. Developer Peter Todd called Bitpay’s statement “fraudulent” and talked of litigation. Programmer Eric Lombrozo has asked his Twitter followers to openly ban any company that supports Segwit2x. Across forums and social media, the blog post caused relentless debate throughout the entire day of August 17.
Bitcoin.org Operator Theymos Seeks to Remove Copay Wallet and All Bitpay Services from the Website
Then later on into the day the owners of Bitcoin.org decided to create a pull request to remove Bitpay’s services and the Copay wallet from the site’s recommended wallet section. One of the operators of Bitcoin.org and the lead administrator of r/bitcoin, Theymos, explains that Bitpay is pushing “fraudulent” software.
“Bitpay is fraudulently passing off btc1 as Bitcoin software to which people are required to upgrade,” explains Theymos. “This is highly unethical and a violation of the bitcoin.org hard fork policy.”
Therefore, this pull request removes from bitcoin.org any references to Bitpay and their software/services Copay and Bitcore.
Bitcoin developers like David Harding detailed that Bitcoin.org should “proceed slowly and try to get Bitpay to clarify their position before we delist them.” Other developers agreed with Harding’s opinion, but others agreed with the proposal set forth by Theymos. Then btc1 developer Jeff Garzik explains his view stating, “NAK. It is reasonable and practical to follow the blockchain with the most hashpower (thus most secure).” Bitcoin.org operator Theymos didn’t like this statement and replied back to Garzik by saying, “Bitcoin is not and must not be ruled by miners,” and leaves a link to a Bitcoin Wiki site he controls.
Segwit2x Developer Jeff Garzik Removed From Github Repo
Just when you thought the drama would end, it didn’t, as later on that day Jeff Garzik was removed from the Core bitcoin repository as a contributor. This also created quite a stir on Twitter as people who are angry about Segwit2x stated things like, “you brought it upon yourself Jeff, enjoy working on btc1 alone.” While others defended Garzik and called the action “ludicrous.”
According to bitcoin Core contributor, Matt Corrallo, Garzik’s statements in the past would agree with the decision. “As Jeff himself advocated for several times, this is just the removal of people who haven’t been active in the project for years. No need to read too much into such things.” Software developers Peter Todd and Greg Maxwell also confirm the reason why Garzik was removed was due to inactivity. However, there are some speculators who believe the move was far more political, and coincidently done before the second half of the compromise.
It doesn’t seem like Segwit2x is off to a good start for the second half of the New York Agreement. Already bitcoiners are talking about the birth of a third bitcoin called “B2X.” Meanwhile, bitcoin cash supporters are telling Segwit2x proponents to join them, as most believe the compromise is a failed attempt. It’s safe to say the quarreling will be very intense over the next couple months in bitcoin-land, and another blockchain split is looking more probable as the days continue.
The Segwit2x Working group (btc1) plans to hard fork the network to increase the block size to 2MB on block 494,784 on the Bitcoin blockchain.
What do you think about the drama surrounding the Segwit2x code and Bitcoin Core reference client? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and Twitter.
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