[Bitcoin-segwit2x] Alpha Milestone

Peter Smith peter at blockchain.com
Thu Jun 15 12:34:00 UTC 2017

I don't think it's productive to get in another long one here -- we've all
had enough of those, but I'll reply once more and let it drop.

*Bitcoin companies serve users, and we should not lose track of that.*
Of course we serve users. That's why we know the current situation is
untenable and our collective inaction has done them a great dis-service.
We've collected 100,000's (nearly a million) data points that show our
users rate bitcoin for its fast, cheap and reliable transactions first and
secondly (a close second), as a store of value. On these metrics, bitcoin
has severely underperformed relative to its potential and the rest of the
market for the last two years. I'd imagine Coinbase's data is quite
similar, as is every other consumer service I've spoken with (nearly all of
them fwiw). It is *because *our users that I feel we must act. If anything,
I feel the weight of that responsibility heavily -- not listening to users
is a luxury that I don't have, as opposed to some companies which do not
have any actual bitcoin customers.

*A number of polls say the opposite of what you are saying Peter*

Polls on r/bitcoin, or within twitter clusters, which have 1,000<
respondents are an *incredibly *poor measure of anything. When speaking
with Core/Blockstream folks these last two years, it was "hash rate
matters" -- remember flying to China too lobby miners against 8mb, later
Classic plan? -- then it was economic nodes matter (well, 80%+ are on
Segwit2x), -- now it is twitter polls matter?

Most bitcoin users aren't on bitcoin twitter,* do not even speak english*,
and just want the product too perform well. If I send you 100,000's of data
points on this (and we use the best research platform money can buy), will
you shift your view, or is there some other metric we should now measure
support with?

Did you know that in China, many think SW is the attempt of a western VC
backed company to take control of Bitcoin? There is trivial support for
USAF, but there is less so even from any market outside the US plus a tiny
bit of EU, ie anyone that does not speak english.

For what its worth, any actual analysis of the bitcoin twitter
conversations show's that there are less than 100 significant accounts and
the rest is mostly astroturfing, shills, and bots (on both sides). Most of
the real social media conversation has moved too discussing Ethereum, ICOs,
and DLT.

*future contract who's price collapsed in the market: BTU on Bitfinex.*

We aren't here too work on BU, we're here too work on SegWit2X. But past
that, a terribly constructed forward contract, with little upside to the
buyer and a tiny think market is another poor measure, albeit a great PR

*We should not be looking for a fight, nor to override or bully but to be
inclusive and hope to reach consensus.*

We've been doing that for years, and we've come to a point that has:

- A 2MB change that is well, well below the safety limits set down by
academic researchers years ago (they say its probably higher now)
- Inclusion of SW (which some lobbied hard for)
- 80%+ miner support
- 80%+ transactions or 'economic node' support
- etc

*The development is being done in public, the mailing list is public*
(indeed, I'm responding here, in public, to your set of concerns about the
project) and we're getting great feedback from across the industry and
community, some of which is helpful and some of which is less so.

This is quite good enough for me.

*There are filter bubbles all around, eg there are no technical community
members on this list, nor the slack *

I think it's a real mistake too downplay the technical people at the
companies that have built the vast majority of the software people around
the world use too use bitcoin. We have all assigned our own resources to
this and have Jeff, Sergio, and others as well. James Hilliard has been
providing a lot of great input for one.

I hope more will join in -- would you consider asking your employees at
Blockstream to audit, even if its just to tell us all the way its rubbish?
That would be great to be able to fix issues in advance.

Sadly, I'm out of time. But I will say that in my defense, I am one of the
few people here running a company that is truly bitcoin centered at this
point. Most folks are selling DLT software, like yourself, to banks/FS
groups, or investing more heavily in alts, ICOs, etc. We're different, but
we're also less risk hedged that perhaps you are and have a high, high duty
to our users to keep delivering a product that they find useful, love, and
is competitive in the market. So, I'll firmly support a move forward.


PS -- Mike, I'm sorry for another distracting email on the list, I promise
I'm done now!

On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 9:24 AM, Dr Adam Back <adam at blockstream.com> wrote:

> Bitcoin companies serve users, and we should not lose track of that.
> A number of polls say the opposite of what you are saying Peter,
> though of course it is hard to measure accurately, and the BU project
> which has similar intent, and methodology of community engagement has
> a future contract who's price collapsed in the market: BTU on
> Bitfinex.  It is not at all surprising to me that Bitcoin users would
> tend to reject dictate from a small group of companies and miners,
> think about the audience and the independent mindset that saw them
> self-select to join Bitcoin in the first place.  We should not be
> looking for a fight, nor to override or bully but to be inclusive and
> hope to reach consensus.
> Excluding key participants and the "we're doing this, get on the train
> or be left behind" that brooks no review, nor concern that there be
> ecosystem consensus, nor technical consensus is an anathema to
> Bitcoin.
> There are filter bubbles all around, eg there are no technical
> community members on this list, nor the slack (I am also not on the
> slack).  That allows people to self-vindicate and shields you from
> peer review and public commentary. For example
> https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/6h612o/can_
> someone_explain_to_me_why_core_wont_endorse/divtc93/
> A core developer was told he need not apply to join the (list/slack?)
> unless he pre-agreed to the conclusion - that is not inviting review.
> That sounds like BU pledge of allegiance and has no part in a FOSS p2p
> currency.  Even the forming of distinct and closed communication
> channels is not inviting review.  Why would this project be special in
> needing to work in closed/controlled environments and not participate
> openly like the 6 or so other implementations and hundreds of
> developers across dozens of companies, institutions and individuals.
> To come back to the key point however, which I have made repeatedly,
> is WHY do things in a self-sabotaging manner.  Why is it so against
> the grain for participants to use wording seeking community review and
> hoping that the ecosystem will find consensus.  It's like one sentence
> and you guys cant bring yourself to say it?  Why?
> Adam
> On Thu, Jun 15, 2017 at 9:30 AM, Peter Smith <peter at blockchain.com> wrote:
> > where
> > community and user consensus is not a consideration, I continue to
> > think that is a mistake
> >
> >
> > Adam, I think you are mistaking R/Bitcoin and certain twitter clusters
> for
> > the "community" and "users."
> >
> > More people log into our alone platform in a day than log in those
> forums in
> > a month.
> >
> > Even if it is inconvenient for you personally, or Blockstream
> > professionally, the vast majority of Bitcoin users and community is
> > represented by the people on this mailing list.
> >
> > If working with, and for, that community of users is important to you,
> would
> > you consider leading your company to supporting this upgrade on behalf of
> > users?
> >
> > Sorry Mike for off topic.
> >
> >
> >
> >
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