This is really interesting, though you won’t really appreciate it if you have no idea how Bitcoin works. (Remember Silas Barta and I wrote a guide. And HT2 Tatiana Moroz for alerting me to all of this.)
Without having had time to read it, I previously linked to this article describing the imminent “fork.”
However, I now realize that that article was not a third party describing the conflict, but was instead explicitly coming from the point of view of the Bitcoin XT camp.
In contrast, this article explains things from the point of view of the Core camp. It also is biased, using the term “Judas block” in an illustrative example…
But here’s something really fascinating from the latter piece. After explaining why the two sides are at such an impasse, it says (and I’m adding line breaks for ease of reading):
So with all these scary uncertainties, you may ask why hasn’t Satoshi come out to speak on the behalf of one side or the other in order to settle the dispute? Indeed it would be akin to him coming out to act as a 3rd party mediator, such as when a parent comes in to break up a fight among siblings.
There has in fact been a post by someone claiming to be Satoshi, from a valid known Satoshi email address, claiming pretty much that the XT fork is unnecessarily dangerous, see here: Satoshi? Despite the many allegations that if this was really Satoshi, he would have signed his message with a known PGP key or perhaps moved some of his coins to prove that it was him, he has not done so. I for one do not believe that he would. If you read the message, (ignoring for a second who it is from) he is saying that Bitcoin’s vision is not one where it is subject to the egos of charismatic leaders, including Satoshi Nakamoto. People who harp on the fact that Satoshi has not made a provably authenticated statement is clearly missing the whole point of this message. If he were to do so, rest assured the whole of the community will rally with him, but that is exactly what he doesn’t want to happen, a whole community blindly following authority! Consistently so, the author points out that if it takes a benevolent dictator to pull us out of this mess “deux ex machina” then Bitcoin, as a project in decentralized money resistant to authority, has failed. That tautological statement, is provably true if you can wrap your head around it. Therefore, if Satoshi wants it to succeed, he won’t use his ‘God card’ and settle disputes.
If Bitcoin continually needs Satoshi to keep us from going astray, then Bitcoin isn’t worth saving. Considering that Satoshi has likely the most coins at risk than anyone else, and him coming forward to break the impasse would likely save us (and the value of his own coins) it is truly commendable that he has not done so. The fact that he hasn’t tells me that he (where ever he or she is) is truly acting in an altruistic manner. He is more willing to let Bitcoin die, than to let it continue on as a system that does not value consensus as its first and foremost priority.
Setting aside the technical dispute, it’s pretty cool that we are at a point where a guy writes matter-of-factly on the Internet about some hidden founder who nobody knows and yet this founder has the ability to settle a dispute because of his authority. (Or it could be a woman.) Furthermore, even though nobody knows who this guy is, he could prove that it’s “really him” if he wanted. (That’s what the writer means above with the “PGP key” stuff.) Also, he’s possibly worth $200 million because of what he created and gave to the world, yet–to repeat–nobody knows who he is.