Thursday, April 26, 2018

How Bitcoin Cash Can Avoid the Same Mistakes as Bitcoin Core


The bitcoin cash (BCH) community understands key principles: Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system; most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node; "second layer" scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic. While important, and it places the BCH ahead of others, education isn't only about the scaling debate. It's important to understand all aspects of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash Knowledge is Power
If I were to ask a question: "Why did Bitcoin (BTC) fail its mission to become Peer to Peer Electronic Cash?" — you would likely hear many answers.

Some would say "censorship". Others would point to "centralization of protocol development" or "apathetic, complacent miners"… or even "Nakamoto Consensus doesn't work".

Those answers may be correct to a certain degree. I'll address each of them throughout this series, but there's an overarching principle that connects all of these.

And that principle is this: Not enough people in the Bitcoin community actually understood how Bitcoin is supposed to work.

I say that humbly — it's not that I'm so smart that I can explain how it's all supposed to work, but here's the point: Bitcoin is like a school of fish. We all have to be swimming together. Maybe not in perfect unison, but at least in the same direction.

Isn't it amazing how a school of fish can move together with coordinated body positions and synchronized movements? Scientists do not fully understand it, but it's believed to be rooted in genetics.

So how can we, the BCH community, be like the school of fish, and move together toward our destination without getting chewed apart by predators? Ultimately it boils down to this: Knowledge is power. The most important tool for liberty has always been a well informed populace.

Another word that means the same thing, is: Education.

A Deeper Problem than the Blocksize Debate
Many in the BCH community understand key principles… like how Bitcoin should be a peer to peer Electronic Cash system. Or that most users can use SPV wallets instead of running their own node. Or that "second layer" scaling solutions are often unnecessary and problematic.

Those things are very important. By understanding those (and other) fundamental principles, the BCH community is already well ahead of other communities, and that understanding goes a long way toward the goal of all swimming in the same direction.

But education shouldn't stop with knowledge of the scaling debate. We should understand all aspects of Bitcoin. Technical, economic, social… everything. The more we know, the better prepared we'll be against whatever form a future spectre takes to try to destroy Bitcoin.

As individuals, we should first take the responsibility to educate ourselves, and then educate others. And, perhaps education about the importance of education is the widest-scope principle we can formulate. It's a meme-worthy idea.

In Part 2, we'll take a closer look at consensus, decision making, and the social aspect of Bitcoin.

Written by Jonald Fyookball
Jonald Fyookball (pseudonym) is a cryptocurrency enthusiast, best known as the project leader of the Electron Cash wallet, and for a series of hard hitting articles on the Bitcoin scaling debate. Jonald is a computer scientist, businessman, investor, libertarian, and Bitcoin advocate.

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