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Time to Make Bitcoin Code More Exclusive

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:20
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Darryn Pollock
Bitcoin is no longer a hobby, it is a business, and it's probably time to make it harder to capitalize on
Time to Make Bitcoin Code More Exclusive
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Looking back at the history of Bitcoin and its CypherPunk roots, it is understandable why this peer-to-peer electronic cash system was put on the web for all to see and use as its code falls under an open source MIT License. However, the world and the cryptocurrency world for that matter is also changing, and it is probably time to make the code a little more exclusive.

Blockchain code has been replicated and copied helping spread the ecosystem to a place where it is now widely known and adopted, even in the mainstream. However, it has also led to a boom in the Blockchain economy where hundreds of people are trying to do the same thing, with slight changes.

This has helped with the ICO boom, mostly on the Ethereum Blockchain because of its smart contracts, but there are growing concerns about a forking revolution of Bitcoin coming. Therefore, this indiscriminate forking of Bitcoin needs to be put in line before it does some real damage.

The proposal

The proposal put forward by Bitcoin developer Jose Femenias, suggests the addition of wording on the MIT License that would make it difficult to profit off Bitcoin’s brand after forking from the cryptocurrencies Blockchain.

The license would essentially need an additional rule that states:

“No part of this software can be included in any other project that uses the name Bitcoin as part  of its name and/or its marketing material unless the software produced by that project is fully compatible with the Bitcoin (core) Blockchain.”

It is clear what Femenias is trying to stop and perhaps that is not a bad thing.

Fork mania

Bitcoin has seen a few forks already, with the biggest obviously being Bitcoin Cash whose mandate was to improve Bitcoin’s ability to scale and to push the digital currency back to what Roger Ver calls ‘Satoshi’s vision.’

Regardless of one’s view on Bitcoin Cash, there is an argument that can be made that it was forked for a legitimate reason, not just as a marketing ploy. Or, for those who are a little more pessimistic, they will find it hard to compare Bitcoin Cash to things like Bitcoin Diamond and Bitcoin Interest, which are clear attempts to profit on the original chain and the Bitcoin name.

Need for improvement, not for scams

There is no doubt that Bitcoin, as the oldest and original cryptocurrency, needs to move with the times and is in need of improvements, and forking is one way of doing this. However, the growing trend to pretend to be a Bitcoin improvement just to profit off a name is damaging all around.

The Bitcoin community is wide-eyed and very trigger happy, and thus prone to falling into traps. Bitcoin does not need other scam Bitcoins bringing its name down and tainting all that it has done.

Bitcoin is no longer a hobby, it is a business, and it is a brand that has built its reputation for being something quite special. There is no longer a need for open source code to spread it, rather a need for exclusivity to preserve it.

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About the author

Darryn Pollock is an award winning  journalist from Durban, South Africa. He picked up Vodacom’s Regional Sports Journalist Award in 2017 while expanding his Blockchain and cryptocurrency reach.  He is a contributor to Forbes, Cointelegraph, Binary District, and of course, U.Today. Darryn’s belief is that Blockchain technology will be the driving force of the next technological wave and it is the obligation of journalists and writers to tell its emerging story with integrity and pride.