Is BTC Still the Real Bitcoin? Not According to Roger Ver

Anyone familiar with Roger Ver may have already heard him proclaim the benefits of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), while deriding the development path taken by Bitcoin (BTC).

That development path has been largely guided by the overseeing hand of Blockstream – a privately funded company which has itself provided much of the funding for Bitcoin’s development.

A Departure from the BTC Vision

While Roger Ver’s constant assault on Blockstream and BTC on Twitter may prove irksome to some – it does appear to be founded on genuine reasons. Ver believes that features like the Lightning Network and Liquid Network detract from the original ideals set forth by Satoshi Nakamoto in the original Bitcoin whitepaper.

Furthermore, Ver and many others maintain that Blockstream purposely derailed the development of Bitcoin, purely so that they could then step in and get rich selling a product that was never needed in the first place.

As Ver recently told his Twitter followers:

“Supporters of lightning network intentionally crippled the world’s best working and most popular cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in an attempt to push people onto something that doesn’t work, isn’t ready yet, and may never be able to work!”

The crippling of Bitcoin Ver refers to is the refusal by Blockstream to increase block sizes in order to increase scalability. What many believe should have been a straightforward issue – and one that was even touted by Satoshi Nakamoto himself – eventually became a farce.

Rather than increase block sizes on the Bitcoin blockchain to hold more transactions, Blockstream instead decided to create and sell their own products, such as sidechains and the Liquid Network, in order to solve the (self-sustained) scalability problem.

Earlier this week, Ver tweeted:

“BTC is the only coin in existence with intentionally limited on-chain capacity.”

Conflict of Interest?

As for Blockstream, they have made no secret of their intentions to make money from their Bitcoin activities. The company plans to provide sidechain services for investors using the newly created Liquid Network – a system which sees Bitcoin swapped out for a pegged sidechain token.

Some people may see a conflict of interest here. But even if we put conspiracies and speculation aside, this tweet by Blockstream CEO Adam Back suggests they aren’t too interested in maintaining the Bitcoin mainchain:

“I bet they’d pay $100/tx for digital gold, and mid-sized international remittance, I would. Still be really good if fees were much lower.”

The tweet refers to speculation on what the future price of a Bitcoin transaction would be, and seems to confirm that Blockstream see Bitcoin as a remittance tool for large-scale investors, rather than cheap, efficient P2P digital cash.

When Bitcoin started it was supposed to be a decentralized, permission-less, trust-less, immutable and therefore uncensorable alternative to the existing financial hierarchies and centralized infrastructures.

Even if you like the idea of Lightning Network hubs, block producers, and state channels, one thing you can’t say about them is that they’re decentralized, permission-less or trust-less.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was forked from Bitcoin in 2017 after many in the BTC community became dissatisfied with the blockchain’s direction. Bitcoin Cash essentially acts as the pre-Blockstream version of Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Greg Thomson is a freelance writer who contributes to leading cryptocurrency and blockchain publications like CCN, Hacked, and others.