Roger Ver and Craig Wright, two bitcoin figures who have never shied away from controversy, are in the midst of a public fall out over Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork.
The Bitcoin Cash network regularly hard forks in order to conduct network upgrades. But this time around, the developers behind Bitcoin ABC, which is the main implementation of the Bitcoin Cash network, announced updates to its protocol, including compatibility with smart contracts and scaling improvements. This major update got an enthusiastic thumbs up from Bitcoin Cash advocate Ver, formerly known as “Bitcoin Jesus.”
In contrast, Wright, who once claimed to be bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, was not so happy. Only a week after that announcement in August, nChain, a blockchain research firm where Wright is the chief scientist, announced its own new Bitcoin Cash implementation—Bitcoin SV, short for “Satoshi’s Vision”—with the intention of restoring the original bitcoin protocol, “to fulfill the vision of bitcoin’s founder Satoshi Nakamoto,” wrote nChain CEO, Jimmy Nguyen. “Bitcoin SV is intended to provide a clear BCH implementation choice for miners who support Bitcoin’s original vision, over implementations that seek to make unnecessary changes to the original Bitcoin protocol.”
Both Ver and Wright have huge online followings, and a history of ridiculous and overblown public fights. So it doesn’t help that the two implementations they’re endorsing are not compatible, and the adoption of both could cause a split in the Bitcoin Cash network. Cue the characteristic theatrics, one week ahead of when both of these implementations will take effect on November 15.
Ver alleges Wright sent him the above nasty email this week threatening to sabotage Bitcoin ABC. “I AM Satoshi” the email reads, “Have a nice life.” Ver shared the document in a 21-minute video griping about how he ever worked with Wright, and calling Wright’s technical knowledge into question. “It’s never easy to admit that you’ve been fooled,” Ver says. “But maybe I’ve been fooled.”
Wright has taken to Twitter (and elsewhere) to air all the ways that he thinks Bitcoin ABC is a terrible idea, namely, that it could make illegal activity easier. He even went as far to say that he would work with authorities to get it shut down. “Oh… I do have a Masters in Law on JUST this area,” he tweeted yesterday.
Though what happens with the fork remains to be seen, it seems likely that Wright and Ver will make sure we know all about it.