Bitcoin Users vs Bitcoin Miners

It is obvious there is a disconnect between both the miners and the users of Bitcoin. Due to the scaling debate, it appears some sort of battle line has been drawn between both groups, even though they ultimately aim to achieve the same goal. This turmoil has created a very uneasy situation, effectively splitting the community.

Miners And Users Don’t See Eye To Eye

If there is one thing we can take away from the ongoing scaling debate, is how different “groups” exist within the overall bitcoin community. On the one hand, there are the miners, who actively include new transactions in the blocks they mine. On the other hand, there are the users who are not necessarily participating in the mining game. The user group encompasses bitcoin owners, node operators, and even developers.

With Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Core battling it out, so to speak, it has become quite apparent that miners and users do not agree on much for the time being. Miners have an incentive to keep the scaling debate going, as the higher transaction fees will directly end up in their pockets. Moreover, as of now miners who want to solve the scaling issue mainly favor Bitcoin Unlimited. This is achieved either out of the sheer belief BU is the best solution, or due to the additional incentives provided by certain mining pool operators. It is important to note,that the miners’ opinion has been flip floppy, and is based on which implementation of Bitcoin will bring in more profits.

Bitcoin Unlimited is not actively supported by the majority of users, though. Most bitcoin enthusiasts lean towards Segregated Witness, as do nearly all service providers and exchanges right now. This creates a gap between both groups, as each prefers a different solution right now. There is a disconnect between those who use bitcoin and those who make money from bitcoin at this time. While that is only normal when political issues take the center stage, it results in a clash between the different groups.

In fact, things have gotten so dire there is now an active discussion about hard forking bitcoin. Splitting bitcoin into two separate ecosystems – like Ethereum and Ethereum Classic – would not do the crypto any good. Interestingly enough, the hard fork decision seems to gain support from miners, whereas users would prefer a more traditional approach. In fact, the concept of a user-activated soft fork is gaining some traction among the bitcoin user community, whereas miners feel this would threaten their “status” in the overall ecosystem.

If this uneasy situation continues to escalate, some very difficult decisions will need to be made sooner rather than later. Miners alone should never dictate how bitcoin needs to scale, as they only represent a part of the overall bitcoin community. The users should not make the decision on their own either, as miners provide an invaluable service to bitcoin. Finding common ground should be the top priority right now, but that is much easier said than done at this time.

If the transaction fees were addressed at an earlier stage, things would not have escalated to this level. If one has a wound one should treat it, ignoring it would cause it to rot and force an amputation. The same principle applies to bitcoin, as the increasing transaction fees have been a growing wound that should have been cauterized well before anyone even contemplated splitting bitcoin in two. Bitcoin users and miners need to start finding common ground, rather than fighting against each other.

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One Response

  1. anon March 31, 2017

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