this is a good, if sobering, read. Emphasis added is mine.
These next few years are as existential for bitcoin as the Blocksize Wars.
Back then it was about who got to decide what bitcoin was, now it’s about what bitcoin is.
To most of us, bitcoin was always a tool for freedom - freedom to transact with who you wanted without trusting any third-party who could prevent you from doing so. But this is now a question.
While Bitcoin’s price skyrocketed, developers focused on building tools to ensure this goal was met - building a robust, stable foundation in Bitcoin Core, building out the Lightning network to enable cheaper payments with better privacy than “tell everyone everything you’re doing”, exploring (and implementing) tons of ideas for other scaling from sidechains to statechains to timeout trees to Ark to…
Sadly, all the ideas for making bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) actually useful for transacting trend towards having some untrusted party in the flow of funds - whether its a rollup or sidechain with one or ten chain operators, mobile lightning with an LSP, a statechain operator, ASP, etc, we just haven’t cracked building cryptocurrency payment rails without an (untrusted!) party being involved.
With regulators cracking down and more and more participants in the bitcoin ecosystem only interested in a 21M coins limit and seeing any form of non-KYC payment rails as hostile to the value of their investment, these centralized parties are increasingly going to be targets, and over the past few months we’ve even seen proactive closures to avoid regulatory scrutiny.
While there may have been a chance at clarifying (US) regulations that an untrusted party in the flow of funds isn’t required to perform the usual slate of KYC nonsense that strangles the traditional finance world, we squandered it expending all of crypto’s political capital pushing for securities reform to ensure token issuance is (maybe) legal rather than trying to ensure people can meaningfully transact without the entire world learning what they’re doing.
Worse, with mining (pools) as centralized as ever and relatively little desire to change from from most miners, every layer of bitcoin is centralized and ripe for regulatory capture. While Sv2 or p2pool revival has a chance at improving this, the push for increased expressiveness on bitcoin and the MEVil that may come along with it may all but close the door to decentralized mining.
With where bitcoin is today its hard not to see a bleak vision of the future. Building a system that enables trustless global transacting was always going to be an uphill battle, but I always anticipated most bitcoiners would remain focused on this goal. Instead, today, the bitcoin community is focused on petty squabbles and increasingly headed for yet another civil war.
Sadly I don’t have any great solutions here. If bitcoiners want to preserve what we’ve built and fight for it the focus needs to be on drastic improvements to default wallet privacy across the ecosystem, aggressive investment in regulatory change (and not through lobbyists focused on securities regulation for crypto token issuance), and operation of scalability solutions across the world, not just in the US. Sadly, all of these areas are horribly underinvested in, and invested in at only a tiny fraction of the amount of energy that has gone into other areas of bitcoin.
Yeah, not sure exactly what to do in this regard. But I share the sense of unease about the encroaching regulatory capture and the lack of privacy tools at the base layer and the reliance on LSPs on lighting.
Trying to learn Core Lightning is really hard. But I guess it's a place to start. I just wish there was a more accessible way. The GUI doesn't even have a backup function yet, afaik.
the focus needs to be on drastic improvements to default wallet privacy across the ecosystem,
Agree. But how? I mean how does bitcoin remain bitcoin without an open ledger. Any real security (confidential transactions, etc) will require some type of sidechain construction.
I suppose he could mean that wallets should all implement coinjoin / payjoin somehow....I'm not sure?
aggressive investment in regulatory change (and not through lobbyists focused on securities regulation for crypto token issuance),
I share this feeling, but well it rubs me the wrong way. Are we saying we're reduced to begging the state for permission now?
and operation of scalability solutions across the world, not just in the US.
I honestly don't know how to parse this? Is LN a scalability solution? Is it only available in US? (not being snarky, I just not sure what is meant here).
we're reduced to begging the state for permission now
Not necessarily. Another way to look at it is "work with the tools you have. improve the environment you're in."
It's all well and good to consider how a utopia could occur, but it's more in line with the realities of our ancestors that things were improved gradually
Have you tried tap root? I have tried but it’s complicated
165 sats \ 0 replies \ @Car 11 May
What you work on in Bitcoin says more about what you are doing to change its trajectory positively or negatively. Choose wisely.
What is default wallet privacy? Can I please ask what is a default wallet? What does it look like if we have one?
He means bitcoin and lightning wallets shouldn't be able to determine who you are.
They shouldn't send your IP addresses to random servers or collect your ID and that should solve the problem. Bitcoin Core is the perfect example of how a wallet should be, from a privacy model.
I agree, but many people buy/sell on kyc exchanges. Even using Core won't help with that. (Although it does have coin control and labeling)
Crypto token issuance has always been a dud. I think as the system matures, we will face these problems one at a time. We still havent figured out what will happen when the oldest coins move. Will it sink bitcoin?
So negative! Can we just leave negativity for a while and let's just focus on preserving our energies for good results?
912 sats \ 0 replies \ @k00b 11 May
Someone needs to be the messenger and I'm glad @bluematt a) is highly credible and b) is willing to do it. The reality is bitcoin has adversaries and we can't wish them away.
27 sats \ 0 replies \ @ca 11 May
Positivity doesn't bring improvement or progress.
We need to be waaaay more self-critical of ourselves!
What good results are we looking for. Lets pray together :)
I absolutely agree.
Bitcoin needs to be more capable to retain its core value proposals. Privacy should be a default option.
And imo once it gets to a certain stage, it will be impossible to set it straight just because how much wealth and power, nation and people are betting on it.
You can pay with a card using lightning, connected to your own node.
No middleman, Bitcoin only, and with the same benefits of legacy card payments.
I wrote about it a long time ago here: #29647
Here is another write up I did in bitcointalk:
Odell said this years ago. With recent developments it’s becoming more apparent that we may end up with “good” Bitcoin and bad. But it doesn’t have to be this way Bitcoin is political as much as it is software the sooner people recognize it the better and we can protect the rights and freedoms of people to transact in not only bitcoin but in a money they feel at their local level allows them to live their own lives how they wish
If things stay the way they are right now, I wouldn't be surprised if Bitcoin becomes a purely KYC endeavor. Forever trapped as a dollarized asset to be traded and speculated on.
Even if you have non-KYC sats, every white market shop you can spend Bitcoin on will probably ask for KYC if you opt to buy stuff in Bitcoin. Perhaps, they'll just outright ban your non-KYC UTXOs because it came from an unregulated source.
The future looks bleak, if I'm being honest. I personally think that the only way to reverse this is if there's a massive culture shift on Bitcoin holders from "number go up" to actually thinking about Bitcoin as an alternative form of money.