Vays vs Ver: Two Very Different Bitcoin Visions Clash at Anarchapulco

This week many bitcoiners attended the voluntaryism-based Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco, Mexico to discuss liberty and topics such as Bitcoin. During the weekend The Crypto Show broadcasted a debate between Bitcoin proponent Tone Vays and’s CEO Roger Ver concerning the future of Bitcoin scaling. These prominent members of the Bitcoin community had entirely different views on subjects such as fees, hard or soft forks, and scaling solutions in general.

The live debate broadcast from Anarchapulco started off with Vays and Ver describing their backgrounds within the Bitcoin economy. During the end of the introduction, Ver explains why he got involved with the cryptocurrency community and why he believes the original direction of Bitcoin, being accessible to everyone, is being undermined.

Also read: Wall St. Veteran: ‘Bitcoin Has Proven That It Cannot Be Controlled or Censored’

Two Very Different Visions for Bitcoin  

“The whole subject of this debate is that the goal of Bitcoin and the roadmap is being altered by a bunch of people that came to Bitcoin much more recently than myself and I’m very upset with that,” explains Bitcoin investor Roger Ver. “Because I want to see Bitcoin become a currency that can be used by everyone all over the world to transact with anyone without any permission. The ability for Bitcoin to do that is being undermined at the moment, and that’s very, very concerning to me.”

Following this statement, The Crypto Show host asks, “Tone, don’t you want Bitcoin to be for everybody?”

“Of course I do,” Vays details. “But I feel that we need to do it in the safest possible way, and the safest possible way is with the smartest developers in the room, who I believe are the ones that have created Segwit. They’ve gotten us this far, I trust their judgment and we can get into some more details, but I’m a huge supporter of Segwit, and that’s the direction I would love to see Bitcoin go.”

Roger quickly responds to this statement saying, “Other than an ‘appeal to authority’ do you have a reason why you think Segregated Witness is the right way to go?”

“Well they are more technical than me, I don’t have the ability to read the code, there is a huge group of decentralized developers,” Vays responds. “It’s like saying, no I’m sorry, I don’t think people from a town should have a say in how the nuclear reactor in that town should be running, to provide them with electricity. I think it should be nuclear engineers that are responsible for the decisions. — I outsource my technical decisions to a very large decentralized group of developers. And that’s the solution [Segwit] they think is the safest and the best and there are over 100 people involved in that project.”

Vays vs Ver: Two Very Different Bitcoin Visions Clash at Anarchapulco
The Crypto Show broadcasts a debate concerning Bitcoin scaling with Roger Ver and Tone Vays.

  Ver Believes the Current Course of Longer Confirmation Times, and High Fees is ‘Absolute Madness’

Vays vs Ver: Two Very Different Bitcoin Visions Clash at Anarchapulco
Bitcoin Investor Roger Ver.

As far as the ‘appeal to authority’, The Crypto Show host mentions that a lot of people feel they want to allow the smartest people to develop this code. Furthermore, the radio show host explains, after discussing the subject with many people; he believes both sides of the argument have technical smarts. Tone disagrees and doesn’t believe both sides have the smarts.

“I think it’s important to review the history of what’s going on with Bitcoin,” Roger explains. “So Bitcoin was clearly created to be peer to peer digital cash. Satoshi Nakamoto was the name of the person that created Bitcoin, and he left the project, and when he did, he turned the project over to Gavin Andresen. Around that time I got involved and a whole bunch of other people got involved, and we got really excited about that — And Bitcoin was doing really well. Everyone’s excited about the current price, but the current price is about what it was four years ago. That’s not all that exciting.

If you look at it, Gavin Andresen did an amazing job leading the project. We knew that scaling was going to be an issue. He tried to solve that. And a bunch of people that came to Bitcoin much more recently treated him absolutely horribly. They kicked him out of the project. That’s the guy the actual original creator of the project turned over the project to so we could continue on the path that we were on. And then a bunch of new people came to Bitcoin and said they think it’s a good thing if Bitcoin transactions are very expensive, they think it’s a good thing if the Bitcoin blocks are full all the time, they think it’s just fine if everyone has to bid against each other to get included in a Bitcoin block. That’s absolute madness, people are going to use something other than Bitcoin.

We need to build Bitcoin into the best, most convenient, easy to use system for everyone in the entire world to use. That means fast confirmations, low risk of double spends, and low transaction fees. It’s terrifying to me that a bunch of people come in and think that if Bitcoin transactions cost $100 each people are still going to use Bitcoin — That’s absolute madness because they’re going to use something else.”

Vays: ‘I’d Rather Bitcoin be High Volume Important $100,000 Transactions’

Vays vs Ver: Two Very Different Bitcoin Visions Clash at Anarchapulco
Bitcoin proponent and technical analyst Tone Vays.

Tone responds to Roger’s statement saying: “I can comment on that. I say that very often. Look, if the status quo remains and we don’t end up scaling anything, Bitcoin transaction fees could get as high as $100 per transaction. I don’t want it to go there. If we don’t find a scaling solution, a Bitcoin transaction fee will go to $100, and I don’t have a problem with that. I honestly don’t.

I don’t want a debt ceiling increase. I don’t want a half-assed solution to fix something half-assed. I would rather it not be fixed. I’d rather Bitcoin be high volume important $100,000 transactions but at least stay safe, not fork, not have to explain why there are two Bitcoins. That’s my choice. I want Bitcoin to scale, and I think it can scale very safely with Segwit. But if the core developers compromise and do a hard fork, which they have tested and they have determined that a hard fork is not safe, — if they compromise in any way shape or form on a hard fork, which I don’t think they will — but if they do, I will lose my faith in the core developer team. I would no longer consider Bitcoin programmed by people that want the best for Bitcoin. I would rather have the status quo and have that transaction fee go high and be used for $100,000 transactions or thousand dollar transactions, and maybe people will be able to afford that $100 fee.”

The Debate Further Highlights Opinions on Off-Chain and On-Chain Solutions

The two continue the debate talking about who uses bitcoin and discussing whether people feel hard forks, Segregated Witness, and off-chain solutions like Lightning are safe. Tone looks forward to these types of off-chain implementations that may provide “infinite scaling”. Roger explains his opinion on those types of solutions by quoting Satoshi’s own words from 2010: “He said in regards to Bitcoin scaling the ultimate solution would be to allow the blocks to get as big as they can get.”

“And that’s the Bitcoin I signed up for, that’s the Bitcoin that all the early adopters signed up for and understood was going to be the roadmap,” Ver adds.

The rest of the debate can be viewed in its entirety here. believes in a healthy productive debate when it comes to issues concerning Bitcoin. Discussions like these are a great way for people to express their opinions in an uncensored fashion.


What do you think about the current state of Bitcoin scaling? Do you agree with Tone’s opinion or do you agree with Roger? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, The Crypto Show, and Pixabay.

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  • Jean-Claude Morin

    Funny how SegWit claimed to be “instant” blocksize “increase” while Roger explained well that it would take months if not years for every wallet and software to use those new Segwit addresses.

    Also in case of hard fork, Tone claimed that the loser chain would self-hard fork to reset the difficulty. A self-hard fork within days and you think everyone would upgrade? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! The loose chain would likely consist and people stubborn to NOT upgrade and idle/unchecked old version of Bitcoin. In case of hardfork, the loose chain will most certainly die very quickly.

    • Frank Koster

      it is instant , wallets can switch when activated. for small amounts that would be good for big amounts you keep the old 1 adress since segwit has a channel limitation ( you cant do free transactions on big amounts )
      Unlimited blcksize will kill the fee market for minetrs , thus kill the bitcoin network unless you are roiger ver and own a lot of bitcoins (so you can pay “miner fee”) , thus centralizing all the mining if people fall for this…

    • spiroseliot

      there is and another solution and we not have to wait a single miner to decide to let the innovation of bitcoin.
      The rules are setup from nodes and not from miners.
      The solution is a user soft fork activation proposal.

  • Frank Koster

    Well I do not agree with ver reason , if you make blocks limitless you create a zero fee transaction market.
    killing the miners , leaving only ver because he owns a lot of bitcoins to keep this game up.
    Unlimited creates a situation that there is always space in the blockchain for a zero fee transaction.
    and thats the last thing you want for bitcoin… Segwit allows some transactions to be free bigger transactions must be payd for because tere is a limit per channel lactive (conot recal the axact mbtc limit) . this allows miner fees to be in place. and kepping small transactions free of charge.

    • Jean-Claude Morin

      Nobody ever suggestion limitless blocks I don’t know where you got that. Miners decide the block size they want and there is risk to create a 2.5 gig block as it take more time to propagate and increase the risk of orphan. BU only you to configure hard-coded value from Core with a mechanism to accept the block anyway if it’s the longest chain by another configurable factor.

      There will always be fee even if the block have space. It’s recent that that we have full block and there were fees before, they were low and if you didn’t pay much you wait a bit more. Now it’s increasing on a daily basis.

    • the1776

      Even with large blocks there will be a fee market. Miners have incentive to include transactions with fees. At some point, the mining community will realize that they don’t have to include every transaction and will say, “we’re only going to include profitable transactions.” That will be the floor regardless of the block size limit.

      • Frank Koster

        You get a race to the bothem and thats why roger likes this.
        in that way he can centralize mining , by doing to lowest fees and paying pminers with its own bitcoins.
        Thats why seg wit is the better option.

  • Ok, Normally I would keep my opinions to myself just like I have done for over a year now. But in this case I will present some arguments since I did watched this “debate” and I got annoyed by it:

    1.- The argument about being first giving you more of a moral right over Bitcoin direction is a weird one from Ver. He does realizes that based on that argument alone both Theymos and Myself opinions would then beat his opinion right? Theymos was into bitcoin by mid 2009. I first read about Bitcoin late 2009 and got into it during 2010. It is weird argument to make because that don’t really matters at all.

    2.- antpool and f2pool continue to mine blocks with a single transaction several times a week. This recent spam attack was cleared thanks to Bitfury actions. Bitfury can now pack 3K+ transactions in a block. If all pools started properly mining fully packed up blocks like Bitfury does. Then there would no delay problems 99% of the time even with how things are right now. It would also decrease the fees. But, I don’t see anyone commenting and condemning such hazardous behavior enough either. Or the fact that even if you raised the blocksize to 2mb, such behaviour would still be a big problem.

    3.- While Theymos has gone further than just moderating, it is still not censorship. In this is case it would be Curation. I know very well the difference since I manage The Google+ Bitcoin Community and The Facebook Bitcoin Group. Of which Roger Ver is a member of too. But even then what matters is the context. Reddit is Subject-based venue centric. User profiles are just a matter of archive, not a prime imperative interactive stream. That’s the kicker. There cannot be such thing as Censorship on /r/Bitcoin or BitcoinTalk. There is curation, but that is the admin prerogative and right over its members. It would only be censorship if it was like Twitter or Facebook that are profile stream centric. Removing posts would then indeed be censorship, intrusion and subversion. This is not /r/bitcoin or BitcoinTalk case. Roger&Co just don’t want to recognize there is an immense contextual, format and setup derived difference.

    4.- The bitcoin community didn’t just turned their back on Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen. It was not sudden and it had a lot of reasons.

    5.- Roger likes to say how Satoshi left Core maintaining to Gavin so everyone should heed Gavin advice. Well, Gavin gave up his position to Wladimir. Same point would apply then.

    • Patrick Miller

      Very well said.

    • Jean-Claude Morin

      1. The point is you came later and try to change the rule of bitcoin. Bitcoin was not intented to work with full block or expensive fees, not until the block reward get too low to be effective for mining. By judging how fast the difficulty increase, we do not have this problem at all.

      2. What a joke, not every pool can pack 3k transactions per block, those were the smallest transaction… at some point the big transaction will have to go true. So now the new logic is send small transaction rather than more fees?

      • Point one addressed his argument of he being wary of people that came later. Alluding to those that were first somehow having more a moral right on Bitcoin Direction. I say that is a pointless argument. But if you were to follow it literally, then his opinion would matter less than the opinion of Theymos or mine. Roger later on expanded that point by adding a qualifier of not only being early or of the first but also having more skin in the game. Even if that don’t makes it a valid argument at all.

        Point two was about the ridiculous fact that there are still pools mining blocks with a single transaction. While it would be hard to pack 3K tx per block. I can still argue that any mining pool mining blocks with less than 1K transactions is behaving poorly in the network. There should an agreed standard minimum amount of transactions put into blocks by all mining pools so this don’t happens. I also argue that if this was the case, most of the delays in transactions experienced while some bad actors spam the network would not happen. In no moment I am saying that people should do less complex transactions or smaller transactions.

        Hope this clarifies things. Thanks for your reply.

        • > There should an agreed standard minimum amount of transactions

          Seems strange you are so long in Bitcoin, but don’t accept simple fact. Bitcoin works based on economic incentives, not agreements. Fully applies to empty blocks, as non-fee reward is large. When fees will be most part of reward and non-fee reward becomes insignificant, probably in tens of years from now, you won’t see any empty blocks even without agreements.

          • I know how it sounds. But I think it would had been worth a try for mining pools to agree on a standard given the current situation. Even if it would be a temporary one. Although I would still argue that the deciding what would be minimum of transaction is OK is better and not an outrageous ask than at this stage still seeing blocks with less than 100 transactions and even 1 single transaction blocks. Trust me that it is something I would had not considered suggesting just 1 year ago. I get your point though. Duly noted.

          • I’m not an expert on mining, but head first mining resulting in empty blocks is due to the fact that miners don’t know which transactions are included in previous block, so they can not include any transaction.. 1 transaction or several included might be the case when only coinbase transaction is in the block or some transactions which belong to this miner/pool so they are sure they were not propagated to the network before, hence can’t be present in previous block. So what you suggest is simply not feasible, unless you want miners to waste resources, which is illogical. Empty blocks also represent POW done, so they add 1 more confirmation for all previously included transactions, which also has its value as it adds security.

          • I am not saying that it would be easy to fully pack blocks everytime unless you something reactive like bitfury did. But choosing to not pack them as well as possible is a choice done for profit smoothing. Given doing the right thing does increase variance and can lead to 5% less profitable blocks too. Which is why, it could work given current incentives if something was agreed as a standard. Or at the very least doing what bitfury does only under certain condition. It is indeed a complicated subject. Never implied it would be an easy thing to solve.

          • > something reactive like bitfury did

            What bitfury did has nothing related to empty/full blocks we discussed before. They just filled blocks with small transactions, which are just same full blocks, but with more transactions inside. As it is kicking the can down the road it might be actually bad for current Bitcoin network conditions. It doesn’t solve the problem in any way, just postponing it. There are two solutions ready – Bitcoin Unlimited and SegWit, and participants have to decide. As long as backlog increases, pressure to take decision also will increase.

            > But choosing to not pack them as well as possible is a choice done for profit smoothing.

            That doesn’t make sense in my opinion. Mining is not charity. Why should they? There are no right and wrong things in bitcoin, and it is a distributed network. So agreed standard, or other centralized agreements don’t really fit this at all.

          • Thought I had replied to this. But basically we are disagreeing on details and differ in some perceptions. That’s fine. Now it is just yet another waiting game and see what happens in the end.

  • sjs

    The block size limit was increased from 250k to the present 1mb over time without causing any damage. Why can the limit not be raised to 1.25mb and then to 1.5mb over time etc. – it’s only one line of code. Additionally why can a minimum fee not be applied as well ie no ‘free’ transactions as that seems to be the main concern of the small block adherents. The miners’ requirements would be satisfied and a hard fork is avoided. The result of the change could be observed in real time and further adjustments could be made in time. The network has previously survived a 250k increase without implosion why wouldn’t it now?

    • Patrick Miller

      because that one line of code (which it’s not one line of code actually, it’s multiple lines of code) is part of the CONSENSUS layer on the network. That’s the whole reason why SegWit was done as a soft-fork, because it is backwards compatible with existing nodes and consensus layer, while providing an OPTIONAL consensus layer for SegWit, which adds the Witness block basically. So the regular block stays at 1mb, and the entire block becomes 4 mb, 1mb+3mb = 4mb blockweight.

      • sjs

        Ok, thanks for the explanation. How was the consensus issue dealt with in the past when the block size was increased incrementally from 250k to 500k up to the present 1mb? Was there backward compatibility then thereby obviating the need for a hard fork? As this is such a stumbling block, did Satoshi N not make provision for this without all and sundry having to be concerned about a potential major hemorrhage? Is this all about large miners in China wanting to drive up earnings for fees or is the ‘orphaning’ of larger blocks a real issue?

        • Patrick Miller

          I don’t believe the block size was ever hard capped at 250k or 500k, it’s just that there weren’t enough sustained transactions that blocks were typically mined larger than those sizes. Originally, I believe the code was set to 32mb, but that opened up a large attack vector which could cause serious problems if someone spammed the network and built a huge block, possibly causing delays for block propagation and even crashing nodes. This is why Satoshi made the limit to 1mb. However, as the network grew, the data started to show that larger blocks were actually serious problems for bandwidth on the network as a whole… the biggest problem is that with very large blocks, you can effectively shut out people with inadequate internet connections from running a node. My belief (and i’ve studied the code quite a bit but I’m not a programmer by trade or even hobby) is that SegWit is a very brilliant solution that allows us to upgrade to larger blocks (4mb) while also fixing transaction malleability. TX malleability is what makes zero-confirmation transactions risky, it also makes it difficult to chain transactions. Also, SegWit adds the option for using alternative signatures in the witness block, so you can do signature aggreggation with schnorr signatures. This right here is a huge win for scalability.

          • sjs

            Thanks Patrick, that clarifies it somewhat. I’ll read up on SegWit for better comprehension.

      • vatten

        It can be raised safely by a synthetic fork, which is much better than either soft fork or hard fork

        • Richard Toddar

          I agree this is an interesting proposal. Synthetic forks should be discussed more. Unfortunately, none of the other exciting possibilities made possible by Segwit like Schnorr, MAST, Lightning or version bytes are enabled with just a block size increase, so my hope is that would still be considered.

  • spiroseliot

    i cant imagine why someone ask the opinion for a guy such as Ver. He is not a developer, he has nothing done for bitcoin over this years and he has even misunderstanding how bitcoin works.
    He not even educate himself all of this years to understand what is a blockchain system.
    We can all see this for what he say and the misinformation he hopeless try to spread
    And what remain?. Roger Ver as a bitcoin holder.
    But i have not see anyone to ask Tim Draper or Winklevoss how they thing bitcoin must work and for sure they holding much more bitcoins than him.

    • Roger Ver

      Wow, you got every point exactly wrong.

      • spiroseliot

        you only spread fud and you always try to split community instead to unite it.
        I dont know who you pay you to do this dmg to bitcoin.
        For sure Winklevoss has done much more than you for bitcoin.
        The recent bitcoin price prove this./

  • Patrick Miller

    even if just a small amount of wallets start sending SegWit transactions, it will instantly start to free up space for standard bitcoin transactions.

    • Jean-Claude Morin

      yep but that would be a small increase like 1.1 MB… not 2.3 MB instantly…

      • Patrick Miller

        Even an increase to 1.1mb would still dramatically reduce the pressure. We would probably get to 1.7-2x fairly quickly, in my opinion, as miners and pools would quickly want to use SegWit since they have many small inputs, and they can get huge discounts for those inputs.

  • Jörg Molt

    In my opinion they are both going wrong. Ver and Tone are discussing about something that is not worth. We do not need an Block increase at the moment, because we are to small. Imagine if 50% people in the world will use BitCoins then there is a real change to keep up after a hard fork. But now it will comes as seen as ETH. We will kill ourselves.

    But Tone is wrong with his debate of scaling and prices. In China there have been no fees a long time, but they turned over now. It is your own decision to get fees and match the price. For example a transaction has today real costs about 0.83$ thats not much for someone who spend 0.5 BTC for example buying something at Amazon.

    If the transaction fee goes upwards 100$ it isn`t a lot for someone who handles 100.000$ but it is compared to a low single transaction in relation too much. Thats not effective and the mindset for a cryptocurrency will be killed and thats what Ver says they will move to other solutions.

    What here has to take place is a way to the middle. In a few years people are right for a hard fork. But not now. So later upsize could stop increase of fees in a good way. But for now it would be a good choice to integrate SegWit, Lightchain, MASS and so on. A hard fork could come if a greater crowd has adopted BitCoins. Most of all not using BitCoins for trading only hold them. So if it comes out more than now by trading for goods, we can turn over to a higher block size.

    We should stop argue about that. Because both Ver and Vays but not at all only in single points.

    If we do nothing TumblR will be set up. They said they do so wether SegWit is on or not. But this is keeping them away from BitCoins.

    What we need is a consensus about SegWit and later Block Upsize. But for now a hard fork will kill the community

  • I’m 100% with Roger on this..

  • Robert DuBeau

    Everyone in the room agreed both block size increase and segwit should be done. Even Roger wants segwit. Even Core wants block size increase.
    The argument is only about which to do first!
    The UTXO set growth is what is at stake. It must not be allowed to grow too fast, as it forces all nodes to keep all outputs available for searching. This is both extremely inefficient and dangerous for a large Bitcoin network.
    Segwit first means limiting UTXO growth and pushing transactions onto the Lightning Network sooner, which is real Bitcoin transactions, very fast, many thousands/second, low or nonexistent fees.
    As was pointed out in the debate, this is what Roger actually is asking for. Scaling, and low or no fees!
    There is NO reason to keep every transaction on the block chain, and every reason to build LN as soon as possible.
    Two-layered Bitcoin using Lightning Network is the best Bitcoin.

  • As opposed to BU which requires a HF forcing everyone to update???

    • Zyo

      Forcing everyone to upgrade is not the ideal solution but it is a viable one. It’s been done in the past and this allow to move forward without any technical dept and reduce code simplicity.