Dual visions for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Chris Dev

June 8, 2019

It's sad to see one of the great thinkers in crypto abandon reason for madness, but that's exactly what has happened with Daniel Krawisz, who was formerly one of the founders of The Nakamoto Institute. In his latest article, he espouses his views that "Anonymity is unnatural with Bitcoin because it requires many people to work together to construct records that conceal the relationship between inputs and outputs.". This couldn't be further from the truth. The fact that connections between inputs and outputs are traceable by anyone other than the parties to a transaction in Bitcoin is actually a bug. Furthermore, if an efficient protocol existed to provide anonymity and fungibility at the time, Satoshi would have used it, but it didn't exist in 2008, when Satoshi wrote the white paper. It wasn't until 2016, when the pseudonymous, Tom Elvis Jedusor, wrote the Mimblewimble white paper that an amazingly efficient way to enforce anonymity and fungibility at the base layer of the protocol was understood.

Krawisz goes on to say, "An anonymous coin will only attract worse and worse criminals as it grows.". NO! That's not what it's about. As the great Andreas Antonopolis said, "100% of criminals wear shoes. Should we ban shoes?". Sure criminals want anonymity, but so does everyone. If your employer pays you in Bitcoin, do you want him to be able to see what you spend your money on? No, of course no one wants that. They want anonymity. Do you want the grocery store clerk to know your net worth every time you buy groceries? No, of course no one wants that. If you give a homeless person on the street a dollar, do you want that person to know your net worth? Of course not. I could go on and on, but everyone wants and needs anonymity. That's why when Aristotle enumerated the properties of money, he included fungibility (or interchangeability of an asset). The best fungibility is realized when it's completely impossible for anyone to distinguish between two units. That's the property that exists with the Mimblewimble protocol because inputs and outputs are completely nondescript and amounts are unknown. With dollar bills, this interchangeability is enforced through case law and courts who make people accept any dollar bill that's presented and by ruling that people can't claim ownership of a particular unit of money or distinguish in any other way. But, if it's possible to realize this same sort of fungibility without courts to enforce it, wouldn't it OBVIOUSLY be better? Of course it would.

The rest of Krawisz' article goes on in rambling form without much of a coherent thought. But the take away is that this is who we're up against. If you agree with this article, you certainly don't want Mimblewimble to be implemented in Bitcoin. The stage is set. BSV's vision of Bitcoin or the Mimblewimble vision. There's no turning back you must pick a side. Due to the way that Bitcoin is implemented, anyone can propose and implement a change and the market will decide which side of the fork is Bitcoin and as we see some people decide on BSV or BCH being the "real" Bitcoin. A fungible, private, scalable version is coming. Do we want Bitcoin that is trackable and quite frankly not useful in the way that even fiat money is today? With fiat, you can get paid, and your employer doesn't know how you spend your money and the act of giving anyone money doesn't let them know your net worth. Isn't that something that should be possible in Bitcoin? I think a lot of us came to this space as Libertarians or people that at least don't want to have as much centralized control. If we can't see clearly on this issue, I'm not sure how much hope there is.

This is why I am confident that Bitcoin will eventually implement Mimblewimble, when the technology has been proven through the launch of Grin, Beam, and now MWC and we implement things like Multisig, Atomic swaps, and Lightning network, wallets that work on all Operating Systems, hardware wallet integrations, and more it will be ready for prime time. It's just WAY better money and everyone who holds Bitcoin now deserves the benefits of Mimblewimble. Oh and by the way, when Bitcoin hard forks in Mimblewimble, the price will be MASSIVELY higher. We saw this with Segwit in 2017. The market reacted pretty well I'd say. 20X in 2017, but the Mimblewimble upgrade is MUCH bigger and MUCH more important.

So, the $64,000 question: Why are maximalists so scared of Mimblewimble? Why do they promote solutions that don't entirely address the problems like Wasabi wallet? I can speculate: Ideas take time to spread, but this is one idea that has crystalized in my mind over the last few years and become so clear that it's completely impossible to comprehend any other possible future. Some people will need to see it before they believe it. When we launch MWC, later this year, with the very attractive GUI wallet we are working on which will be available on Windows, Linux, and MacOS, maybe that will help some people see the potential that we've seen for a while now. So, with registration open until July 19, 2019, there is still time to register. It only takes a few minutes and you can help us test out Mimblewimble by claiming your free airdrop of MWC which has a limited supply of 20 million of which 6 million will be airdropped to Bitcoin holders who register.