If you read recent media reports about future of bitcoin, you wonder what is going on.
For sure it is NOT clear which software or which blockchain we will be calling the “true” or “real” bitcoin in the future.
- Many people and companies have withdrawn their support for SegWit2x bitcoin and the so called New York agreement is not widely accepted.
- Bitcoin developers claim that Bitcoin SegWit2x will be just another altcoin:
- they “don’t think Segwit2x will succeed in its attempt to become the main bitcoin blockchain” see here.
- Horror stories are told (as we read here):
- SegWit proponents have refused “to enact replay protection”
- “the loss of funds for many users on the network will literally be unavoidable”
- this is claimed due to “accidental replay spending, replay attacks and sudden and widespread incompatibility between various software and services”.
- Forbes says that bitcoin is at the edge of destruction.
We have known since for so many years. Self-inflicted misery, turf wars between developer and stake holder fractions, etc. Forbes reports about what is going on in the social and developer media: “a toxic stew of name-calling, trolling, bullying, blocking and threats”. The community has “hard forked”, this “politically and ideologically” and “by censorship“.
I will now offer an independent “conspiracy theory style” explanation while this [yet another] battle of industry standards is fought so bitterly. The point is that on this planet, crypto standards ARE expected to bugged/insecure, work against the cautious advice from academics, or/and serve special interests. The question is about ending the sordid monopoly of current bitcoin developers on dictating dodgy crypto standards to govern blockchain technology at large. Until now bitcoin have been held hostage by particular highly controversial cryptography solutions as ECDSA+SHA256+secp256k1. What went wrong on bitcoin crypto front so far? Almost everything:
- These things are contorversial wrt best practices in crypto engineering and are not universally accepted: no one outside bitcoin community uses this strange crypto suite. Not a single bank card, not a single TLS transaction on the Internet, not a single ID card, electronic passport, etc etc.
- The reputation of secp26k1 is very bad, it should never by used by anyone. Is it not recommended by NSA, NIST, SEC, Microsoft, BSI, NATO etc. Not a safe curve etc…
- We need to recall that ECDSA signatures has become popular only because in the old times, Schnorr has patented his signature scheme, which patent has however expired in 2008.
- SHA256 is also a problem: the security of SHA256 has never been seriously evaluated in academic crypto research [100 times more effort was spent studying SHA1] and therefore we should expect some nasty surprises here as well.
- We have seen that bitcoin developers have been actively suppressing better crypto alternatives and people who promote crypto upgrades.
- In contrast – unlike current bitcoin crypto – Schnorr signatures are provably secure AND do not suffer from malleability problems and are also secure against repeated random attacks.
- Segregated witness allows to make blockchain more compact with lower fees AND will also make future crypto upgrades safer and easier with script versions and soft forks. It will also make blockchain validation easier/faster.
Few days after this was written, on 9 nov, the date of the bitcoin fork has been postponed. Within 24 hours the market price of BT2X on HitBTC has fallen from levels above 1000 USD and have reached and stabilized at levels below 200 USD.