Are you suffering from Bitcoin Metathesiophobia?

Chris Dev

April 2, 2019

I’m not a doctor, but I think I can safely diagnose the Bitcoin Community with Bitcoin Metathesiophobia (or fear of change). And who could blame them? After the agonizing multi-year scaling debate, which pitted Segwit vs. big blocks? I can see why people just want to settle down and oppose any change to Bitcoin; but may I remind you, in 2015 (when the block size debate started to rear its ugly head) the price of Bitcoin was as low as $152 and shortly after the resolution of Segwit activation in August 2017, the price spiked up quickly to $19,666 in December 2017?

So, as counter-intuitive as it is, these types of fights are GOOD for Bitcoin. That’s one reason why I’m excited about what I believe will be the next major battle over a change in Bitcoin. As I wrote earlier, I believe a hard fork of Mimblewimble into Bitcoin is inevitable. I also believe it will be GOOD for the price of Bitcoin, just as the block size debate was GOOD for the price of Bitcoin. And there’s a reason for this. Stagnation is bad in tech. Really bad. Cutting edge tech must be incorporated into Bitcoin or it will suffer the same fate as the systems it is attempting to disrupt. And while a conservative approach to making the change will be employed, and I fully expect a lot of innovation around how to make this gradual change to a Mimblewimble based blockchain, I don’t see any way around it. For one thing, there is too much money to be made in the process of making all these changes.

But first, Mimblewimble must be tested and to do that, it needs to be tested with real value. That is one reason, as part of the MWC project, we are forking grin (a Mimblewimble implementation) and setting a supply cap of 20 million (from an unlimited supply in grin) and airdropping it for free to Bitcoin holders. We hope that the work we do will be applicable to any future hard forks Bitcoin implements and that we can also let Bitcoin holders reap some of the rewards in doing this testing. Why should the Billionaire VCs who invested$100 million into grin mining hardware be the only ones to be rewarded for this necessary testing of the Mimblewimble protocol? Clearly they see billion dollar valuations for their Mimblewimble testnet, right? So, what are you going to do? Are you going to be a chump and just watch these VCs attempt to make a profit? Are you scared that the Bitcoin Maximalists, who think “grin is cool” will say you did something wrong by registering for a free airdrop? By the way, no one will ever know that you registered because we don’t collect any personally identifiable information, just a password you choose and a signature to prove you control your private keys (yes, even mrhodl and vortexcan register and no one will ever know). I have news for you, this narrative that “grin is cool” didn’t happen by accident. If you think grin is cool but don’t think a free airdropped version with limited supply is cool you are being marketed too. The people marketing to you do not have your best interest in mind.

Recently, I had an exchange on twitter with a Bitcoiner with views that I think are very common, but nonetheless, misinformed. See the full thread here:

My point was that “Bitcoin” or BTC didn’t win the block size debate because it was not a hard fork. It won because it had Segwit and Segwit is better than big blocks. So, don’t get lulled into the notion that hard forks can never happen in Bitcoin. They can and they will, but they can only happen when they are necessary. Mimblewimble is an upgrade to the blockchain and it cannot improve Bitcoin by being implemented as a sidechain or extension blocks as is being proposed now. The only way to reap the full benefits of the technology is to incorporated directly in the mainchain of Bitcoin. At the moment, the only known way to do that is with a hard fork. Some Bitcoiners would tell you that means it won’t be the “real” Bitcoin. To me, the “real” Bitcoin, hard fork or not, is the one that the market determines is the “real” Bitcoin. There’s no question, today that’s BTC today. The market got it right too because BTC has better technology than BCH or BSV.

But what happens (and I assure you it can’t be prevented) when someone proposes a hard fork with superior technology? Also, let’s stipulate that the only way to make the change is with a hard fork, as it is with Mimblewimble. I don’t know about you, but I know which side I will bet on and I don’t see the smart money disagreeing with me. Think about it, what happens if you have two choices and the technical community, universally agrees that the one with better technology is the Mimblewimble fork? How do savvy investors allocate their capital? The answer is obvious.

Maybe Bitcoiners need a history lesson about what developers thought of the Segwit2x fork? Well, every single core developer who chimed in said Segwit2x was a no go. One of them even put a “LOL” on the spreadsheet:

I can assure you no one will be laughing when a Mimblewimble hard fork is proposed. In fact, I would expect that many of the core developers are working on grin using pseudonyms. Who exactly is YeastPlume and Ignotus Peverell? Many of these developers started coding almost immediately after the white paper was released on the Bitcoin Wizards IRC channel on July 19, 2016 (a known hangout of the core devs).

So, if you are suffering from Bitcoin Metathesiophobia, take a deep breath, log off of twitter, and meditate on it a bit. What are you scared of? Oh and also, remember to register for the free airdrop of MWC so that you can get a free grin forked coin with limited supply that is being distributed to Bitcoin holders. Registration opens on April 20, 2019. There’s really no reason to not register. Follow us on twitter and join our discord as well.