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Bitcoin Unlimited has become sclerotic and it's a problem

Bitcoin Unlimited has become sclerotic and it's a problem

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Some may know that u/imaginary_username recently called for a BU membership vote to expel "Norway" from BU after his role in an attempt to doxx a BTC proponent named Hodlnaut as part of Calvin Ayre and Craig Wright's decision to begin suing a number of individuals for libel. For those who are out of the loop, cryptotwitter has been in overdrive for the past week with Calvin and Craig sending out letters to individuals who have called Craig Wright a fraud or denyied that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, informing of their intent to sue unless provided with a public apology. This use of the justice system is a way of financially bullying and silencing individuals who lack the resources to challenge Calvin and Craig in court. So far, it appears that Hodlnaut, Peter McCormack and Vitalik have been targeted.

It seems that u/imaginary_username's BUIP request was intended to push BU to address the toxic situation, in which BU members are not only maintaining support for Craig and Calvin throughout this ordeal, but are also directly involving themselves in the worst of their behaviour. The response from BU has, so far, been rather lacklustre.

Solex (BU President) responded by suggesting that such action would not be appropriate, because Norway's behaviour was not directed at BU:

The issues I see with this BUIP is that the conduct mentioned is not directly against the BU organisation. It is about a third-party matter. This means it requires a much higher threshold of evidence i.e. that @Norway published the doxxing info before anyone else or received payment for it. … The principle is clear. BUIPs for removal of memberships need to to lay out a case for conduct against BU, contrary to its rules, which includes damage to its reputation. This requires some work to collate evidence and present for a membership decision. The example given about doxxing can only be considered in the overall context of damaging the org's reputation. The connection in this case is very slight, hence the bar is high. It would be different if hodlonaut was a BU member, but, like you @Tom Zander, he never bothered to apply for membership.

Instead, it has been proposed that u/imaginary_username either (1) personally collect evidence demonstrating that Norway's bad behaviour is "a long-standing pattern of actions that cause harm to Bitcoin Unlimited", or else (2) modify the original BUIP to instead "condemn the doxxing and/or suing of individuals for reasons of blockchain politics". Understandably, u/imaginary_username, whilst standing by his initial proposal, has decided to settle for (2) due to the high bar that BU Officers have set for (1):

I think this particular offence is different [to past cases of bad behaviour from BU members], and @Norway did not merely join in "calling for" the doxxing, but also posted information himself as well as broadcasted it in a couple dozen replies. This is the only instance I feel egregious enough to warrant action - I have better things to do otherwise. But if the bar is higher, I'll relent.

With all that said, I'll modify the BUIP into a call for censure instead before the deadline. It might be symbolic in practice, but a vote on it will still show where the membership stands, and hopefully cushion some of the damage that has been done in the eyes of the wider public.

Whilst BU's response seems in keeping with usual procedure, I am concerned that BU's procedure is not equipped to deal with our current situation, in which BSV is using its weight to financially bully individuals in the Bitcoin Cash community and others in cryptocurrency generally. For those unaware, BSV is also suing three Bitcoin Cash developers for writing the code that forked BCH in November.

Make no mistake, this legal action will cost many people tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of dollars, and it will be effective in silencing those without the financial resources to defend themselves in court. It is simply indefensible and utterly contemptible behaviour. The people involved in this activity have shown themselves to be toxic, and it is my opinion that Bitcoin Cash can no longer afford to empower these individuals by continuing to associate with them through Bitcoin Unlimited.

Either the Bitcoin Unlimited leadership is strangely ignorant of what is actually transpiring, or they are tacitly endorsing this activity by refusing to materially disassociate the organisation from these bad actors. As somebody who has always believed that integrity, honesty and freedom lie at the heart of Bitcoin, I'm appalled to witness this turn of events.

I am concerned that Bitcoin Unlimited is at a point where it must decide where its values and future lie, and that by refusing such a decision, the organisation is enabling bad actors. If something isn't done, I fear that Bitcoin Unlimited will tarnish this community's reputation and, in the long-run, resign itself to irrelevance.

Please receive this as an appeal to do something while the situation still permits.

submitted by /u/CatatonicAdenosine
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