TL;DR: Over two days in late June of 2019, bitcoin core (BTC) enthusiasts gathered in San Francisco for an annual conference. Panels, speakers, presentations, and even a hackathon were all part of the event. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developer, Jason B. Cox, attended, and CoinSpice caught up with him to ask his impressions.
Bitcoin Cash Developer Attends BTC Conference
Known for its emphasis on BTC maximalism, the conference, held June 25th through 26th in San Fransisco, at first seemed to be opening up to new ideas, viewpoints. Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu was featured as a speaker, and this apparently despite his well-known support for BCH.
Mere hours after Wu tweeted less than flattering comments about BTC, the conference’s main organizer announced Wu would no longer be attending. It could be interpreted as a telling set of happenings, sure to keep attendees of the conference in-line philosophically. It’s hard to know exactly, but when CoinSpice learned Bitcoin ABC developer Jason B. Cox would be among the crowd, we thought it too juicy of an opportunity not to ask about how he found the BTC affair overall. Cox offers a funny, candid look at the conference from a decidedly different perspective.
Interview with Jason B. Cox
CoinSpice: [teasing] What are you doing in that den of lions!
Jason B. Cox: Some miners attending the conference invited me to meet them and their co-workers. I’m usually heads-down coding, so I took this opportunity to network
What are your impressions thus far?
So far, the conference is very lack-luster. The location is a rundown warehouse. The audio setup is awful. Many of the talks are shallow and do a poor job of teaching people why Bitcoin is so much more interesting and powerful than its price. The remainder of talks have been rehashes of topics that are years old with no apparent progress. The periodic injection of shitcoin/altcoin/maximalism also detracts from any good content there may have been. It looks childish. That said, I did get to meet some people that I don’t run into on a regular basis. I guess networking is the only thing I’ve gotten out of this so far. However, I just sat through the trustless hardware wallet talk by Stepan Snigirev and it was good.
Did they harp on any project in particular, like BCH?
There was a point where the main panelist MC awkwardly shouted, “Remember, bcash is a scam!” at the end of a panel. It didn’t match the content of the discussion so it seemed really out of place. Other than that, direct hostility seemed low in the presentations and panels that I watched. There was more hostility towards Ethereum than Bitcoin Cash.
Have you had a chance to talk with people about their feelings regarding BCH?
Yes! I had primarily focused my discussions with people that understand that Bitcoin’s value comes from being a good payment system. It’s pretty clear that a non-trivial number of attendees are not beholden to a particular chain or ticker symbol. They’re more interested in Bitcoin tech improving their transaction experience, whether their personal focus is on remittance, privacy, low fees, or otherwise. When asked about Bitcoin Cash specifically, most were aware but not necessarily participating in the BCH ecosystem specifically. The most striking conversation to me was the tea merchant who said Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin were more popular and worked better than Bitcoin Core or Ethereum for payments in their experience. I wasn’t the only attendee paying for tea/coffee with Bitcoin Cash, and the merchant was very aware of that.
Is price FOMO as wild as it seems there?
At the beginning of the conference, a fair number of talks referred to the price. I didn’t hear much talk about it other than that, but to be fair I was not trying to engage in conversations with people that were not adding value to the ecosystem itself. Bitcoin is still too new to spend time doing otherwise.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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