Bitcoin is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is Not Bitcoin? What is in a name? Everything, Says Calvin Ayre
In the recent civil war between BCH SV and BCH ABC, the latter emerged as the clear victor. However, unlike war, there was no armistice. Instead, in a sort of concession speech on Coingeek, the voice of Calvin Ayre, wrote an article virtually raising the white flag.
Calvin was the most vocal and prominent proponent of Craig Wright and his Bitcoin SV chain. In a subsequent press release it has been announced that, moving forward, a partition has been enforced. There will be no attempt to unify the chains. Instead, they will be using the ticker BSV and claim to be the true form of bitcoin. To make the message as loud and clear as possible a new replay protection has been implemented thus burning the ships and eliminating the possibility of a later reunification.
In a recent article, Calvin used the public forum to question the validity of using the Bitcoin name and if it wasn't fraud, the way it was being traded today. He asks
“I cannot understand how exchanges, wallets and payment processors can get away with calling Segwit BTC and ABC BCH a form of Bitcoin and not also be committing a type of consumer fraud as the general public does not know that this platform no longer uses the Bitcoin technology or economic model.”
He goes on to note the general idea and validity of staking claim to the name lies with the fact that Satoshi Nakamoto had opined:
“The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.” This, the CoinGeek man feels, ties Bitcoin to an “economic model enforced by the core design of its technology. Any changes to the core technological design will have an associated change in the economic setup; the outcome will be anything but Bitcoin. “
He bemoaned how overtime with multiple forks and changes the Bitcoin blockchain is left only in name but its essence has been completely altered. This then raises the question of using a name and selling it to the unsuspecting public.
It is actually a fairly interesting point he raises akin to the ship of Theseus; when does something that is altered stop being that very thing. The article then goes on to edify BSV as the true believer and strict follower of
“the original economic model and technical enforcement. [It]is the only platform that scales and therefore has utility as sound money and is the best place to retreat to preserve value in your crypto portfolio.”
This seems like a much softer tone that the BSV team seems to have adopted. In weeks prior to the fork, there were chest thumpings and gauntlets being thrown down about winning hash wars et all. There should be no hint of a suggestion that BCH ABC is innocent either.
And Calvin Ayre has certainly raised some interesting points to note about path deviations and naming rights. However, this war has undoubtedly been a bloodbath in economic terms.
BCH had a total market capitalization of $7,558,954,693. Today, even after combining the two entities the total cap is only $4,977,768,710. Collectively the two have lost over two and a half billion in value. While BSV has gained in the last couple of days, this is scant consolation. A coin that was gearing to take on Bitcoin, and was the most popular altcoin after Ethereum, is now at the risk of just being another coin.
This is the biggest concern after the curtains were drawn on this saga. The immediate reaction of the markets to the end of this expensive hash war was to see an upturn. The increased stability that comes with services and exchanges settling on a unified ticker is a positive start.
Yet it also means that while the two sides fight about who is the real heir to the throne, many on the outside will quickly lose interest, relegating the coins to ignominy and ultimately anonymity. Irrespective of the name of the coin or the underlying infrastructure, that is a risk that both coins will have to combat.
One can only hope that losing or winning isn't on the minds of people leading the industry.