Bitcoin has a problem. It is going through an identity crisis. We have all heard the debates about Bitcoin’s future. What it was originally meant to be, and the future steps that it should take. At some point, the conversation always comes back around to what Satoshi Nakamoto originally intended. What was the original purpose behind creating Bitcoin, and what did he envision as the future road map of Bitcoin taking?
There was no greater example of this than the Blocksize wars that nearly destroyed Bitcoin in 2017. There was a debate about whether to increase the blocksize to maximize scaling or to keep the blocksize smaller to maximize security. Ultimately the latter option won out and resulted in fans of Bitcoin scaling forking off with Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin has won out and for the time being the waters remained calm in the BTC ecosystem. But that all changed this year with the implementation of Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC20 tokens. Innovations on Bitcoin that not only defied all expectations about what everyone thought could be built on Bitcoin but also caused fees to soar. All of a sudden, there were controversial debates about what people should be using the Bitcoin block space for.
Were there correct uses, and incorrect uses for Bitcoin?
Some of the most “pure” Bitcoin maxis argued that these new types of transactions were a waste of precious Bitcoin blocksize, and were garbage. Others argued that Bitcoin is all about freedom. That people can use Bitcoin however they like, as long as they are paying transaction fees.
Whichever side of the fence you fall on isn’t important, but the real question is if Bitcoin lacks a leader that helps shape the direction that it is going toward?
For example, Ethereum has Vitalik Buterin as its thought leader. He has planned out the future road map for the blockchain. Innovation is encouraged, and we don’t see any of the debates about Ethereum development that we see on Bitcoin. There aren’t purity tests, and there isn’t the question of “What would Vitalik do?” That is simply because he is still around.
However, it is completely different from Bitcoin. Satoshi mysteriously left Bitcoin never to be heard from again. Everything that he has said, and the blockchain he has created has become something of a gospel or religion. We are left interpreting what he said, and what his intentions were. Left wondering, “What would Satoshi do?”
It is this kind of questioning that at times has caused Bitcoin’s development to come to a halt. If Satoshi was still around, it is likely that Bitcoin not only would be much more developed, but adoption might even have grown further. If Satoshi had said he wanted smart contracts on Bitcoin, or for it to scale further; this type of development would have been added to the chain. Causing a majority of all other projects in the crypto market to lose their use case. The entire market could look completely different.
With that said, it's arguable that the greatest thing Satoshi did was actually leave Bitcoin. It is the only way that it could become fully decentralized and mature. While we all would like his direction about what he wanted for Bitcoin. The truth is that Bitcoin is no longer Satoshi’s. It is all of ours, and that is what makes it so special. The fact that the network could come to a consensus and implement major upgrades such as SegWit and Taproot is a major achievement. Satoshi leaving Bitcoin actually made it stronger and relieved us of one of its greatest attack factors.
How about you? Do you think Bitcoin still NEEDS Satoshi?
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