Blockstream employee Allen Piscitello, known as AlpacaSW, revealed himself as a leader of the supposed grassroots movement, user activated soft fork (UASF). UASF was a very active in the contentious year of 2017 when the Bitcoin Core (BTC) community was splitting. Piscitello is an employee of BTC dedicated company, Blockstream, a fact unknown until just recently.
Bitcoin Core Company, Blockstream, Manufactured ‘Grassroots’ UASF Movement
History is a strange science. Events and time periods become clearer, easier to understand the further observers are from initial happenings. And in 2017, a lot of was going on. The scaling debate took many turns, culminating in the August 1 hard fork eventually creating Bitcoin Cash (BCH), one of the most popular cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Among the various camps or sides was the user activated soft fork idea. It wished to fork the network by gathering up a majority of nodes, whereas forks are generally considered a mining signalling affair. Exchanges, users, businesses were urged to cartel as nodes to gain influence over the BTC network. Developers, industries within the space all had to coordinate to pull it off. A couple succeeded, but this one was designed to activate segregated witness, a pet project of BTC developers from the company Blockstream.
Bitcoin Core (BTC) is dominated, as it has been for years, by essentially one company, Blockstream. It’s an interesting outfit that seems to produce very little in the way of actual products. In fact, a great deal of its efforts appear to be online, attacking those who dare question their prescribed BTC roadmap. They’ve also apparently engaged in Machiavellian efforts at whipping sentiment for and against certain implementations, hiding the fact of their involvement.
Developer and sub-Reddit moderator David Shares, known for his passionate defense of Bitcoin Cash, happened upon a seemingly unconnected article and at least one YouTube video. When CoinSpice.io asked Shares about UASF being an organic, grassroots effort, he shot back, “That’s what Blockstreamers want you to believe.”
He continued, “Well the revelation is that Blockstream has people working for them that pushed the UASF who at the time were supposedly the ‘grassroots’ people. They wanted people to believe it was grassroots when really it was championed by Blockstream staff,” Shares emphasized.
After asking CoinSpice.io to simply search Twitter to see for ourselves what came of the inquiry, up popped tweets to UASF indeed being sold as ‘grassroots’ (see image above). In fact, it was the first result. “They def pumped grassroots initiative,” Shares pointed out. “But it was totally pumped by Blockstream staff.” The key isn’t that a company should not advocate for a position, even strongly, but that “at the time nobody knew [UASF advocates were] employed by [Blockstream],” Shares noted.
The video in question linked to an article, and then it all started coming together for Shares. “I never knew he worked for Blockstream until the video!” The video is public, and recently Crypto Insider interviewed Allen Piscitello. He admits working as a Liquid product manager at Blockstream for at least a year. Shares believes Piscitello to be AlpacaSW on Twitter, aka Alphonse Pace, responsible for many social media battles surrounded UASF.
Shares and others openly worried at the time UASF would make the network susceptible to what is known as a Sybil Attack, whereby fake identities, easy to make, could introduce more bad actors. Peer-to-peer networks are especially prone.
Since the revelations were made public by Shares, AlpacaSW on Twitter, aka Alphonse Pace, has not posted to that account as of this writing.
CONTINUE THE SPICE and check out our piping hot YouTube channel. Our podcast, Milk, might help sooth that crypto burn. Follow CoinSpice on Twitter. Join our Telegram feed to make sure you never miss a post. Drop some BCH at the merch shop — we’ve got some spicy shirts for men and women. Don’t forget to help spread the word about CoinSpice on social media.