If the past is indeed prologue, BSV users upset by Dr. Craig Wright’s ongoing legal actions should think long and hard before plunging the channel into the great unknown.
Bitcoin expert Joshua Henslee (@cryptoAcorns) has a new YouTube video titled On Forking Bitcoin in which he addresses a number of issues that are currently driving discussions in the BSV ecosystem. These issues include some vocal dissatisfaction with Dr. Wright’s efforts to use the courts to facilitate the return of more than 111,000 Bitcoin tokens that were stolen following a February 2020 computer hack.
Wright seeks to compel the developers of the BTC, BCH, BCH ABC and BSV blockchains to recognize their fiduciary responsibility by assisting in the return of stolen assets to their rightful owners. This has caused consternation in some crypto corners, as it goes against the belief that Bitcoin transactions are truly immutable and therefore immune to edicts from courts, governments or any other central authority.
Henslee’s video opens with the question of whether the legal system is currently capable of dealing with issues involving the ownership of digital assets. Within the Bitcoin community itself, there is fierce debate over whether owning a private key directly equates to owning a digital asset, a question that becomes even more vexing given “ the huge gap” in the judicial understanding of the digital currency industry.
Henslee expresses discomfort with the potential fallout of allowing a court to order miners to redirect certain UTXOs to someone who has demonstrated ownership of the stolen assets. Once that cat is out of the digital sack, what will stop governments from seizing the assets of critics of their policies or actions?
Yet Henslee acknowledges that without legal recourse for victims of theft or fraud, the odds are slim that Bitcoin will ever emerge from its current digital ghetto and achieve its deserved status as a truly global currency. There is no Solomonic solution likely to be welcomed by all parties with a stake (direct or indirect) in the outcome.
Homicide: not a murder, but a crime nonetheless
From the day Wright launched his lawsuit to recover his stolen coins, his motives have been beset by some vocal CryptoVille factions, including many BTC/BCH developers who are being asked to facilitate the return of Wright’s assets. Ironically, it is the actions that these same developers have taken over the years that can lead to a token grabbing scenario that the courts and the general public will recognize as legitimate. Block leader Jack Dorsey recently established a legal fund for centralized protocol developers who have a fiduciary responsibility to network users.
Wright’s recent legal victory over Ira Kleiman has reignited discussion about Bitcoin’s nLockTime feature and how it can be combined with smart contract scripts to secure Bitcoin in an automated trust, such as the Tulip Trust in which Wright reportedly secured the vast bitcoin stores that Satoshi mined in the early days of bitcoin. Such an arrangement allows the token holder to intentionally discard the private keys to further secure the assets against unauthorized access.
Henslee notes that many of the centralized protocol developers who are currently resisting Wright’s request for help in recovering his stolen coins are among those who made changes to Bitcoin’s original protocol after Satoshi Nakamoto’s absence after 2011. Some of these changes invalidated nLockTime, rendering any parts that were in this suspended animation state unusable.
BSV having restored the Bitcoin protocol to its original state, the nLockTime functionality remains intact. Assuming Wright is able to regain control of these coins, Wright’s ability to spend the BSV coins – and demonstrate that the hashes and UTXOs are the same on the other chains – would give his claims a major boost. of property.
Henslee says Wright will have a strong case to make in court that code changes made by BTC/BCH developers did indeed seize assets belonging to others. Henslee said it doesn’t matter that this misappropriation was carried out accidentally – which is why the legal system recognizes manslaughter as distinct from murder – because ultimately actions have consequences, requiring other actions to repair. the damage caused.
Regardless of the correctness of his case, Wright’s numerous court cases have left some in the BSV community frustrated. These people see Wright’s continued presence in court as a distraction from the attention that should be focused on BSV’s technical prowess, resulting in a loss of liquidity that has discouraged more developers from making the channel look proper.
Some of those restless BSVs are now publicly considering embarking on a new channel without Craig that would retain all of BSV’s best elements while hopefully purging itself of its negative PR and legal baggage.
Henslee says he sympathizes with some of this group’s concerns – although he notes that the coordinated avoidance of BSV by exchanges such as Binance and Coinbase places much of the blame on liquidity – but he suggests that these people may want to think twice before making a decision. cannot undo.
As Henslee notes, forking requires a significant supply of hash power behind it to work. When BSV left BCH behind, Calvin Ayre was able to bring in his significant resources to support the fledgling chain. Who will support a new BSV fork to the extent necessary to ensure that malicious actors cannot treat the chain as their personal reorganization room?
Henslee also warns forking fans to recognize that the experience of previous forks does not bode well for increasing the number of developers working on the technology. The forks are dividing communities, forcing developers to choose sides. Time is wasted tweaking products to conform to a new reality, time it would be better to innovate. Many apps don’t survive these distractions.
In short, Henslee’s view is that the net disadvantages of a fork far outweigh the potential benefits, especially considering the additional tweaks the software tends to undergo along the way.
Henslee claims there is no current version of Bitcoin that mirrors what Satoshi created – and that includes BSV (which still retains the difficulty adjustment algorithm and ForkID changes that were introduced in BCH at the time). Henslee argues that this is the result of each developer’s assertive insistence that Satoshi was wrong and that significant changes to the original Bitcoin code are needed to correct those wrongs.
Henslee claims that all other digital currencies introduced after the arrival of Bitcoin are based on the assumption that Satoshi built something that could not scale. BSV, which most closely resembles the original Bitcoin protocol, has refuted this assumption. As such, Henslee warns future forkers should look carefully before jumping in, lest they find out too late that their new development team believes the “S” in “New BSV” should stand for SegWit.
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