At this point, that's really the simplest "Occam's razor" explanation for Blockstream's "irrational" behavior.
Once you let go of your
irrational belief that Blockstream's owners actually want to get a "return" on their $75 million investment, from "innovations" such as sidechains technology (Lightning Network - LN) - only then
will you be able to see that Blockstream's apparently "irrational" behavior is actually perfectly rational.
their goal is to "get rich" from LN. And if you believe that, I have a Dogecoin I'd like to sell you. What are the real goals of Blockstream's owners?
Blockstream's owners don't give a fuck about the Rube Goldberg vaporware which some focus group christened "the Lightning Network". That name is just there to placate the masses of noobs who congregate on /bitcoin
The owners of Blockstream are laughing at Adam Back as he continues to labor in isolation, the stereotypical math PhD who is clueless about economics, toiling away creating a slow, overpriced, centralized "level 2" payment layer on top of Bitcoin - a complicated contraption which may never work. They have neutralized him - but meanwhile, he thinks he's a rock star now, as "CEO of Blockstream". Little does he know he is the worst "collaborator" of all. Investors are risk-averse
If Blockstream's owners really
wanted to get rich from LN, do you really think they would freeze the "max blocksize" at 1 MB for the next year, when this 1-year freeze obviously risks destroying Bitcoin itself (along with their investment)?
Investors are not stupid - and they are
risk-averse. They know that if there's no Bitcoin, then there's no Lightning - so their $75 million investment would go out the window.
And all the "Core" devs have actually gone on the record stating (in their less-guarded moments, or before they signed their employment contracts with Blockstream) that 2 MB blocks would work fine - even 3-4 MB blocks. Empirical research by miners has shown that 3-4 MB blocks - or even bigger - would work fine right now.
So why aren't the Blockstream investors pressuring the Core devs to go to 2 MB now, to remove the risk of Bitcoin failing?
If Blockstream did the "rational" thing and agreed to 2 MB now, the price would shoot up, the community would heal, innovation would start happening again. Bitcoin would proper, and Blockstream's investors would have a good chance at making a "return" on their investment.
For some reason, Blockstream's investors are trying to stop all this from happening. So we have to look for a different explanation. If the owners of Blockstream don't
want to get rich from the Lightning Network, then what do they really
The simplest explanation is that the real
risk which Blockstream's investors are "averse" to is the possibility of trillions of dollars in legacy fiat suddenly plunging in relative value, if Bitcoin were to shoot to the moon.
They're afraid they'll lose power if Bitcoin succeeds.
In order to provide some support for this radical but simple hypothesis, we have to dive into some pretty nasty and shadowy geopolitics. What do the wars on Iraq and Syria, JPMorgan's naked short selling of silver, and the book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" all have in common?
Whenever a currency tries to compete with the Fed / Petrollar / BIS  private central banking cartel, the legacy fiat power élite destroys that currency (if the currency has a central point of control - which Bitcoin does have: the Core devs, the Chinese miners, and Theymos).  BIS = the Bank for International Settlements, often referred to as "the central bank of central banks"
Trillions of dollars were spent to take down the central banks of Iraq and Libya, because they defied the hegemony of the Fed / Petrodollar / BIS private central banking cartel. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ellen+brown+iraq+libya+bis
And while you're googling, you might want to look up whistleblower Andrew Maguire (who exposed how JPMorgan uses naked short selling to "dump" nonexistent silver in order to prevent the USDollar from collapsing). https://duckduckgo.com/?q=andrew+maguire+jpmorgan
And you might also want to look up John Perkins, whose book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" is another major eye-opener about how "the Washington consensus" manages to rule the world by printing fiat backed by violence and justified by "experts" and propaganda. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=john+perkins+confessions+economic+hit+man
That's just how the world works - although you have to do a bit of research to discover those unpleasant facts.
So for the legacy fiat power élite, $75 million to take down Bitcoin (and maintain their power) is chump change in comparison. You all knew that "they" were going to try to destroy Bitcoin, didn't you?
Even Jamie Dimon practically admitted as much. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=jamie+dimon+bitcoin
Did you really think they would be clumsy enough to try to ban
Private central bankers run this planet, and they have never hesitated to use their lethal combination of guns, debt and psyops to maintain their power. They pay for the wars, they keep people enslaved to debt, and they dumb down the population so nobody knows what's really going on.
Print up a trillion dollars here, kill a million people there, brainwash everyone with censorship and propaganda. That's their modus operandi.
So we shouldn't be surprised if they they ruthlessly and covertly try to take down Bitcoin. They have the means and the motivation.
It was only a matter of time before they identified the three weakest centralized points in the Bitcoin system:
- the Core devs
- the Chinese miners
And so that's where they applied the pressure.
I'm sorry to be rude, but all three of those players listed above are idiot savants / sitting ducks up against the full-spectrum of covert dirty tricks deployed by the legacy fiat power élite - whether it's money, ego-stroking, or pretending to go along with their crazy cypherpunk beliefs that Bitcoin will only prosper as long as it remains small enough to run a node on a dial-up internet on a Raspberri Pi in Luke-Jr's basement.
So the simplest explanation is this: Blockstream is a "front company" which has been established for the purpose of performing a "controlled demolition" of Bitcoin.
So Satoshi messed up. He messed up by baking in a 1 MB constant into the code at the last minute as a clumsy anti-spam kludge - which could unfortunately only be removed
via a hard fork - and which the global legacy power élite have figured how to retain
via social engineering directed at clueless Core devs and clueless Chinese miners (and clueless forum moderators). So why is the price is still fairly stable?
Heck, I'm so paranoid, I wouldn't even put it past them to try to interfere with investors
who might otherwise be trying to send a signal by "voting with their feet".
In other words, several observers have commented that the only way to liberate Bitcoin from the cartel of Chinese miners and Core/Blockstream devs is to crash the price.
And many other observers are puzzled that the price isn't crashing now that Bitcoin is being strangled in its cradle by Blockstream.
Well, this wouldn't be the first time that the Fed / PetroDollar / BIS private central banking cartel sent in the "plunge protection" team to artificially prop up their fragile, centralized, permissioned currency. https://duckduckgo.com/?q=plunge+protection+team
Who knows, they could easily have printed up a few million dollars in phoney fiat and given it to players like Jamie Dimon or Blythe Masters who probably have access to the HFT (high frequency trading) tools to keep the price exactly where they want it, for as long as they want it. Manipulating an unregulated $6 billion market would be child's play for them.
The point is, we have no idea who is buying bitcoins at this price right now. Or what their motives are.
I know that if I were part of the legacy fiat power élite, this is exactly what I'd be doing now: buy off the devs, pressure the miners, encourage the censors, and play with the price - so nobody knows what the hell is going on. Prevent the price from crashing for the next year (so the community won't have a "smoking gun" to reject the Core devs and the Chinese miners)... and prevent it from going to the moon also (so the dollar won't look like it's crashing). Not too hard to do, especially if you have unlimited fiat at your disposal. 2016 is the perfect time to perform a "controlled demolition" on Bitcoin.
All the forces in the global economy are now aligned for a massive economic storm of epic proportions. Without Blockstream's interference, Bitcoin's price would be shooting to the moon right now, because it's the only digital asset class free of counterparty risk, compared to all the other garbage floating around in the system:
- Deutsche Bank is teetering on the edge of collapse: that alone would be 5x the size of the Lehman collapse. (Deutsche has about $75 trillion in nominal derivatives exposure - 1000x as big as its mere $58 billion in assets. It's probably already bankrupt, and is merely being held together with
chewing gum and paper clips accounting tricks.)
- Most of the major stock markets around the world are down 10-20-30 % so far this year.
- China has started to devalue the Yuan, and will soon be facing trillions of dollars in capital flight - some of which would flow through Bitcoin.
- NIRP (Negative Interest Rate Policy) now rules over 25% of the world's GDP.
- After multiple rounds of QE (quantitative easing), the central bankers have shot their wad, and have no tools left to stimulate the economy.
- The 8-year US president reign will end this fall - which is when all the financial dirt that was swept under the rug always comes out. (Recall that Timothy Geithner went to Congress begging for the first $1 trillion of the bailouts after the 2008 election, in early November.)
- And the Bitcoin halvening is coming up.
Bitcoin is one of the only
safe harbors in this oncoming economic storm. So it should be skyrocketing right now - if there were no artificial constraints on its growth.
So if Blockstream were not
doing a controlled demolition of Bitcoin right now by freezing the blocksize to 1 MB for the next year, then the Bitcoin price could easily go to 4,000 USD - instead languishing around 400 USD.
In other words: the USDollar would be crashing
10-fold versus Bitcoin.
The only bulwark against Bitcoin rising 10x versus the USDollar is Blockstream's stranglehold on the Core devs and the Chinese miners.
Just like the only bulwark against precious metals rising 10x versus the USDollar right now is JPMorgan's naked short selling of phoney (paper) precious metals, mainly via the SLV ETF (exchange traded fund). https://duckduckgo.com/?q=jpmorgan+naked+short+selling+slv
(Most informed estimates say that there is 100x more "fake" or "paper" gold and silver in existence, versus "physical" gold and silver. So it's easy for JPMorgan to suppress the silver price: just naked-short-sell "paper" silver. They do this as a service to the Fed, to prop up the dollar. And your tax dollars pay for this fraud.) The silence of the devs
Isn't it strange how not a single Blockstream dev dares to "break ranks" on the 2 MB taboo?
This unanimous code of silence among Blockstream devs speaks volumes.
Devs on open-source projects like this (particularly ones which were founded on principles of "permissionless" "decentralization") would never
maintain this kind of uniform code of developer silence - especially when their precious open-source project is on the verge of failing.
Most devs are rebels - especially Bitcoin devs - ready to break ranks at the drop of a hat, and propose their brilliant ideas to save the day.
But right now - utter silence.
This bizarre code of silence which we are now seeing from the "Core" devs must be the result of some major behind-the-scenes arm-twisting by the owners of Blocsktream, who must have made it abundantly clear that any
dev who attempts to provide a simple on-chain scaling solution will be severely punished - financially, legally and/or socially.
Blockstream has deliberately set Bitcoin on a suicide course right now - and all the devs there are silently complicit - and so are the Chinese miners who submissively bowed down to Blockstream's
"scaling" roadmap. But I don't really blame the devs and the miners. I feel bad for them.
I'm not really "blaming" any Chinese miners for being used like this - nor am I really "blaming" devs such as Adam Back, Greg Maxwell, etc.
Nor do I really "blame" guys like Austin Hill.
And I even think guys like Theymos and Luke-Jr "mean well".
They're all just being played. They think they're doing the right thing. Their arguments are genuine and heart-felt. Wrong, but heart-felt. This is what makes them so dangerous - because they really sound sincere and convincing. This is why they are the perfect pawns for the owners of Blockstream to play like this. Subtle coercion
We recently found out that they locked the Chinese miners in a room for 13 hours until 3 AM
to force them to sign an "agreement" to never use any code from a competing Bitcoin implementation that would increase the blocksize. https://np.reddit.com/btc/comments/46tv22/only_emperors_kings_and_dictators_demand_fealty/
Have you ever
seen this kind of coercion in an open-source project - an open-source project founded on the principles of "permissionless" "decentralization" - where many of the founders were "cypherpunks"??
The miners and the devs - and Theymos - and guys like Austin Hill - all are passionate about Bitcoin, and they all believe they are doing "the right thing".
But they are being manipulated, without their knowledge, by the real power behind Blockstream. Prisoners in a golden cage
Strange how we never get to hear what really
goes on behind closed doors at Blockstream. We never get to see the PowerPoint decks, we never get to find out who said what. Blockstream's public messaging is tightly controlled.
If Bitcoin were to have a "core" dev team, it should have had something like the Mozilla Group, or the Tor Project - non-profits, who answer to the public, not to private investors. Instead we got Blockstream - a private company funded by some of the biggest players of the legacy fiat power élite. WTF?!?
If they wanted to develop sidechains and LN, then fine, they should be able to. But what they're really doing is radically changing Bitcoin itself - mainly by freezing growth at 1 MB blocks now, which is choking the system.
Depite all this, I still would not go so far as to say that the Core devs and the Chinese miners are really "traitors". At most, they are actually prisoners in a golden cage, who are not even really conscious of their own imprisonment. They're smart people - and in some ways, smart people are actually easier to fool, once you figure out what they believe in.
So this is what I really think the owners of Blockstream have done. They've figured out how to manipulate the Core devs and the Chinese miners - and they're happy that Theymos is playing along, censoring the main online forums - so they're able to move ahead with their plan to do a "controlled demolition" of Bitcoin, and it only cost them $75 million dollars. Centralization got us into this mess.
The only reason Bitcoin is vulnerable to this kind of "controlled demolition" being performed by the owners of Blockstream is because mining operations and dev teams are centralized
- thus providing a single, vulnerable point where the legacy fiat power élite could easily deploy their full-spectrum attack.
We finally have a digital asset with no counterparty risk - and they want to take it away from us, so that we continue to depend on their debt-backed, violence-backed legacy fiat.
And they're able to do this because the Core devs and the Chinese miners and Theymos were such easy gullible centralized targets. Decentralization will get us out.
If you are a miner or a dev, and if you want Bitcoin to survive, then you must go back to the principles of permissionless decentralization.
Go dark, release some code anonymously.
Release an internal Blockstream PowerPoint deck or some internal Blockstream emails to Wikileaks, exposing what the Blockstream investors are really
Otherwise, Bitcoin is probably going to fail to realize its potential - and we'll have to wait a while for truly decentralized development (and mining, and forums) to possibly create a successor someday.
If you're a hodler, it would be great if such a phoenix rising from Bitcoin would be a "spinoff" - ie, a coin bootstrapped off of the existing ledger (to preserve existing wealth, while upgrading to a new protocol for appending new blocks). https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563972.0
But who knows.
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