2021 has been the busiest year of my life. My daughter was born in April. We sold our house in July and moved from Chicago to Miami in August. I definitely had COVID-19 once and think I had it another time. CoinGeek conferences, Bitcoin Association events, dozens of podcast appearances… I have been published, featured or cited in BBC, Yahoo Finance, NBC, HackerNoon and many more.
Some highlights were my appearance on the Patrick Bet-David podcast, Kitco News with David Lin, and even a weird visit with Stefan Molyneux, but it all started with a very interesting guest appearance.
A lot of people know my story; a longtime bitcoiner who lived through much of the drama. When I joined the CoinGeek team in November 2020, I didn’t want to just be a columnist or just a podcaster. I wanted to focus on telling stories people had forgotten, but what was that title? I thought of “Chief Storyteller” at first, but that title implies that I might be lost with the truth. After a few weeks of tinkering, we discussed “Chief Historian” in the editorial staff, and it stuck!
But this led to a new challenge. Tell stories with some grounding in the things of the past, but keep them compelling to today’s readers. Well, I remembered exactly what really bothered me about Blockstream at the start of the Bitcoin Civil War, and that was the conflict of interest of their backers, namely Mastercard. A lot of BSV folks may not have been around since this debate began, but in 2015-16 it was not uncommon to discuss the venture capital ties of small blockers in places like the subreddit r / BTC, but that conversation had largely disappeared as BCH and BSV emerged and there was no longer a ton of reasons to discuss BTC’s string shooters.
It felt like a perfect story to bring to life in order to educate the BSV community on why we ended up where we did today. The short answer was “Mastercard and AXA Ventures”.
And that made for a great performance as the new Chief Historian of CoinGeek.com.
To advance the telling of the story, another of my goals was to help shed light on some of the things that many have heard but few actually know. Things like “Satoshi never used BitcoinTalk” or “Satoshi never used GitHub” needed to be clarified, so articles like What the Fork Happened to Bitcoin and Is Bitcoin Censorship Resistant? helped straighten out some crumpled history.
This is in addition to the creation and maintenance of the weekly CoinGeek livestream. We wanted to have a place where BSV could have a weekly roundup, Q&A, and create a place where there are no restrictions on the blockchain economy! A highlight was working alongside “the lovely” Alex Moon as executive producer.
No, YOU spent double!
Then we got some interesting news! There was double-spend on BTC, and all the maxis circled the cars to redefine the word “double-spend” as quickly as possible. Lucky for us, “The story broke on the 21st day at 9:21 pm UTC, the 21st year of the 21st century on a 21 quadrillion unit array, there was a magical little feat of $ 21,” letting us know that the feat was intentional or that magic still exists in our often cold and dark universe.
What about the 51% attack on BSV?
Of course, if we’re going to be discussing double spending BTC (which has publicly verifiable hashes), we should probably be talking about what happened with BSV. A pool or two malicious; veiled under the nickname ZuluPool (but not the real ZuluPool), has decided to attempt to double spending on BSV twice this summer. Officially, the Bitcoin Association took a close look at the assumptions made by BitMart Exchange and determined that a large double-spend did indeed take place. However, the exactly zero user parts were reported missing, and the nature of the attacks seems to me to have been carried out for public relations reasons. I take it I could absolutely be wrong on that point, but all these months later BitMart hasn’t provided public hashes to prove the theft, so should we just trust them when verification would be so trivially straightforward?
As I said in July, “I really don’t know, and the answer has become political because we live in a postmodern world where facts are fluid.”
“This bitcoin address [1G47mSr3oANXMafVrR8UC4pzV7FEAzo3r9] has a long history of use in “sextortion” scams, ransomware attacks, and other dark web embezzlement. Billions of dollars worth of bitcoin went through this wallet, and it looks like this user may have paid for reorganizing a few blocks on a few different dates to move a UTXO from one location to another in their own possession.
While the double spending of BTC wasn’t real, neither was BSV’s. At least with BSV, honest nodes have acknowledged this to be a malicious block restraint attack – a violation of section 5.4 of the Bitcoin whitepaper which states “When a node finds proof of work, it broadcasts the block to all nodes. So, like I’ve said a million times, ‘51% attacks don’t exist’ and the honest nodes invalidated the malicious chain and moved on. End of story.
GorillaDAO and GorillaPool
Pat Thompson announced the formation of GorillaDAO on the CoinGeek Weekly Livestream this year; challenging all BSV holders to put their ‘money where their mouth is’. Using the newly launched SFP Money Button tokens, Pat took over the presidency as the first DAO manager to distribute Ape tokens for BSV, and the democratic jungle experience started in a hurry!
But all was not well.
I think a lot of people didn’t know what to do or who was in charge. The experiment was actually about balancing who was responsible versus participating in the DAO itself, but human nature being what it is, members spent a lot of time debating the structure and functioning of the DAO itself. DAO itself or ignore the opportunity.
Put simply, the DAO can do whatever the DAO votes with which is something like a $ 100,000 treasure chest. Monkey inside, monkey outside. Go bananas!
One thing that struck me in the era of “attacks” and criticism that “BSV is just TAAL”, I thought it would be pretty cool to learn what it really takes to perform an honest node on BSV. Someone at nChain had let me know over the summer that I might not be as technical as I would like people to think, and one of the ways I thought about rectifying that was to humiliate myself and immerse myself in the infrastructure.
What better way to learn about horses than to try and ride a wild horse, right?
Well, “root” and I were happy that the GorillaPool proposal was adopted by DAO and launched on the mainnet, and the pool has been mining blocks since # 704246.
The experiment is ongoing and the pool recently exited the DAO, but things are going well as the pool is leveraging record NFT transaction volumes and particularly profitable blocks measured in sats / megabyte of data pulled. Importantly, now I can honestly say that I have intimate knowledge of the BSV node, network and mining conditions, so that I can speak with authority from a place of personal knowledge about my favorite technology in the world!
Our biggest block this week had 2.18 fresh bananas.
Proof ==> https://t.co/l10Pg4GQhU🍌🍌
Tired of business as usual? We’re here to make bitcoin fun again. Join us! pic.twitter.com/WfhguFbJk9
– GorillaPool 🍌🍌 GorillaPool.io (@MineLikeAnApe) November 21, 2021
Kleiman vs. Wright
As if the year wasn’t long enough, the Kleiman vs Wright lawsuit is almost like my BC / AD timestamp of world history. Also alongside Pat Thompson, we covered around 5-6 weeks of testing per day. With appraisals starting at around $ 70,000,000,000, I’ve even seen headlines using the word “billion” to explain the level of stakes at stake in the Wilkie D Ferguson Federal Court Building.
Courtroom 10-2 has become my daytime office and the hotel room my nighttime office. When I finally had dinner late, after the nightly special #SatoshiTrial live broadcasts, the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was on every TV with minor coverage of the Theranos trial going on. It was court, court, court throughout the month of November!
I was honored to befriend Andres Rivero and the rest of his team in the midst of a grueling schedule, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed meeting people from the side. from the complainant as well, namely lead complainant’s attorney, Vel Freedman, who hit me like a much nicer guy in the hallways than I thought from the courtroom (and Twitter.)
As the matter heated up, there was a growing media presence, multiple documentary crews (meaning you’ll see plenty of Craig’s on your favorite subscription service over the next couple of years) and a fair amount of local news.
For my part, media management was punctuated by a few moments where I had the opportunity to spend 1: 1 with Craig in the living room or outside for dinner just to relax or talk about history, politics, science, etc. “Have you seen Ready Player One?” was in line one night for every driver, waiter, doorman or passerby as Craig explained his story with Buckaroo Banzai, a legendary game from the machine code era of video game programming, and it was fun to share personal time with him around food and drink.
As we wind down the year it’s hard to choose what things to sum up versus what I forgot I forgot, I wish my friends in the BSV economy and beyond a Merry Christmas and a happy new year, a happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Festivus for the rest of us! I will be back in the new year to lead the fights, consult with start-ups, interview manufacturers and hold small blockers accountable.
As I hear my children’s voices in the background, I think this is the place to wrap. I am going to be a father and husband for a little break, because I remind each of you to do one important thing every day: BE GOOD WITH ONE ANOTHER!
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