Nice try Mike Hearn, but Bitcoin is just fine

Mike Hearn recently published an article calling Bitcoin a failed experiment, presumably because he and Gavin Andresen haven’t had much luck in taking sole control of the currency with their Bitcoin XT hard fork. I guess he would call it a “success” if two people who have hardly contributed anything to the codebase were able to take control of the development process (despite Satoshi himself saying that if Bitcoin needed “leadership” the concept was a failure).

The timing of the article is impeccable. Yesterday at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy there was a meeting which included 8 members from the Federal Reserve, various R3 members. R3 is a consortium of 42 banks that Mike Hearn now works for setting up their own Blockchain system (I wonder if he was already in discussions with them while working on his Bitcoin takeover with XT). When one of the R3 members was speaking, he made an interesting remark: “I don’t know what time it is, but any minute now there will be a New York Times article saying Mike Hearn broke up with Bitcoin and called it a failed experiment.” A remarkably accurate prediction, even getting the wording correct! The article was indeed published during the meeting.

How interesting that the New York Times article was published during an industry and policy panel talking about Bitcoin. During this panel discussion, which was attended to and viewed by numerous financial industry heavy-hitters and traders, we’re all learning all about Bitcoin and the Blockchain, many for the first time. The second they get out of the meeting and google anything at all about Bitcoin, they’ll be inundated with the latest news articles saying a “key” bitcoin developer (now go and see how many lines of code he actually wrote) is saying Bitcoin has failed. Couldn’t have timed it any better.

There’s also more to it than this from a broader intelligence and banking industry perspective, but I don’t have time to write an essay. If you want a foundational understanding of what’s happening you might want to start by having a read of Pieter Hintjens’ book: Culture and Empire.

I’m not going to give investment advice, and even if I did you definitely shouldn’t listen to me. But as a disclaimer, but I’m guessing the price will simply falter for a month as all the fresh blood recoils in shock, but then it come stuttering back up with growing confidence and resume it’s trend upwards to $1000 at the end of this year.

When there’s money on the table the wolves come out from their hiding places, so the interests behind XT (or some new player) will probably hit back with something else in 12 months time, these attacks need to allow time for the community to recover before new consent can be manufactured. So get ready for “XT” to be replaced with some other name or well marketed combination of letters by people claiming to be acting in Bitcoin’s best interests or ‘how Satoshi intended it’.

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