“Mastering Bitcoin” author Andreas Antonopoulos was recently a guest on Trace Mayer’s Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, where the two longtime Bitcoin advocates discussed the current state of Bitcoin and how much the technology has grown over the past eight years. Near the end of their discussion, Antonopoulos made the point that Bitcoin is stronger than ever and all of the drama in the community needs to be ignored.
The Technology Is the Most Important Thing in Bitcoin
There has been plenty of Bitcoin-related drama on social media lately, especially when it comes to issues involving scalability (and the block size limit). Some Bitcoin enthusiasts now prefer the /r/BTCsubreddit due to disagreements with the moderation policies of /r/Bitcoin. There is a stark contrast between the two subreddits when it comes to each group’s vision for how Bitcoin should scale over the long-term.
Many of the disagreements between the two sects of the Bitcoin community have turned ugly, and Antonopoulos believes it’s best to get back to the technology’s roots.
“I think the most important thing is to try to objectively look at what’s really important in the Bitcoin space, which is the technology,” said Antonopoulos. “Try to not be discouraged by a lot of the extraneous drama that’s going on. In my mind, a lot of the drama is distracting from the real progress that’s being made.”
Antonopoulos went on to point out that, by many metrics, Bitcoin is stronger than ever. In his view, Bitcoin has never been as diverse or distributed as it is today. The “Mastering Bitcoin” author is also impressed with the large amount of technological innovation that has taken place in the space.
To Antonopoulos’s point on innovation, there are a few enhancements to Bitcoin that are on the horizon. To many, TumbleBit, lightning networks, Segregated Witness, Mimblewimbleand RSK are some of the most exciting technological advancements the Bitcoin community has seen up to this point.
Bitcoin also recently achieved an all-time high for confirmed transactions in a single day on January 5, and despite the recent drop, the bitcoin price has nearly doubled since early 2016.
Some of the Drama Is Manufactured to Be Divisive
With such a large amount of drama going on in the Bitcoin community, Antonopoulos is convinced that at least some of it is coming from nefarious actors. “All too often people can get caught up in the drama, and I do believe that a certain percentage of that drama is manufactured to be divisive [and] distracting,” he said.
Antonopoulos went on to note that every grassroots movement and disruptive organization in history has had infiltrators and provocateurs who are paid to cause turmoil. “It would be naive to assume that Bitcoin is the first one where that isn’t happening,” he added.
While there is a lot of infighting among the core Bitcoin community, it’s unclear if most users are even aware of it. Many end users may be more concerned with whether or not the technology works. “There are billions of people that are still unbanked, and they don’t care about the petty squabbles of who insulted who and called the other person the wrong name,” said Antonopoulos.
Antonopoulos’s advice to the Bitcoin community was simply to keep innovating on the technology if they want to see it succeed over the long-term.