I've had quite a few discussions on steemit.chat lately about bitcoin. While many are very excited about it, I myself am very careful with holding my funds in it, let me try to explain it from my perspective and experience with it. I know many won't like what they read here but its just my opinion.
Everything written here might not be 100% true, but that's how I see things lately.
Bitcoin was created in late 2008 and made open-source in early 2009. Back then almost no one knew about its potential or how it worked so very few people took the time to mine it with their CPU's. One of the early birds is the creator and mastermind of the Graphene Blockchain that powers Bitshares, Steem and Peerplays.
Bitcoin started gaining traction a few years later and the hashpower started to rise. Someone figured out that if you use your graphics card to mine it it would give you a much higher effect on hashrate and would increase the amount of coins you got as reward from new blocks. Still not too many mining it at this time, but graphics cards were easy to obtain for anyone in the world so it was still deemed as a fair distribution.
Then the era of Asics started. They figured out that if they put a bunch of processors which only focused on the bitcoin algorithm it would mine even faster than graphics cards, but not everyone was able to create these. The flood of new companies promising miners these special computing powers were not many and not many of them delivered on their promises either. The asics were getting upgraded from time to time until it reached the technical limit of processors size in general and it couldn't get faster than what that technology was evolving. (this is said in a simple way so most users will understand + that I myself am not so technical about the details of it - feel free to correct me in the comment section)
At the same time as this was happening, Litecoin was created with another mining algorithm that didn't let Asics mine it, only GPU's. It was the first altcoin and many were excited, finally something to mine again with the GPU's they had in masses after bitcoin went for Asics. All was nice and fun, people were mining, holding and taking profits.
Because of Bitcoin's and Litecoin's open-source protocol it made it easy for others to create their own little "shitcoins", some with a certain goal and potential, others not as much. What many of them did do though was add more players to the crypto scene and helped its adoption in general, one of the best at these at the time was the joke of the altcoins called dogecoin.
Bitcoin had its bad moments here, many realized it was mostly being used for negative things such as drug markets and laundering money. It didn't help much that the biggest exchange at the time, Mt. Gox, "lost" over 880k bitcoins and screwed over a lot of investors. Thus a really negative vibe was brought upon the technology and left many people with a sour taste in their mouths afterwards, not only the ones that were invested in it, but also bystanders and newcomers looking to get in. Bitcoin started to dramatically fall in price over the next few years from over 1200$ to almost 150$.
Over the next few years more and more altcoins were created, most with each own purpose and many with what I believe a much better technology than the mother of all coins, bitcoin.
Now a short description of how I currently see bitcoin and why I am afraid to leave my value in it. What I am confused about and what I am sure about.
Let's just see this from a greed perspective. Everyone likes money, everyone wants their money to grow over time, especially since fiat money just keeps on inflating and losing value and banks have started resorting to negative interest rates in some countries. So the people who have found out about bitcoin, understand its technology and potential might have put a lot of money into it, so much that a crash in the bitcoin price might cause a lot of personal problems to them.
Now let's say I have invested a ton in bitcoin and I see these new currencies come along, all innovative in themselves and adapting to newer innovations and safer algorithms. What would I try and do to not lose market cap to these "shitcoins"? What would I do if most of my money is now invested in these special miners that cost me a lot and would be obsolete if bitcoin was to adapt to better algorithms? What am I supposed to do with them if Bitcoin were to go GPU only or Proof of Stake? I don't know, all I know is that I would lose a lot of money in it.
Let's see some options that I could choose though, from my profits I already have I could use a portion of them to help bitcoin along versus all these other currencies.
Do what most of the world has been doing lately, pay others to change their opinions and control others opinions on the internet. What we call shilling for a currency you yourself are invested in isn't even half as bad as shilling for direct profits from someone else who profits from it in the long run.
A few things I know for certain about Bitcoin.
Its biggest and most popular forum is Bitcointalk.org and is owned by a user called theymos. There are a lot of conspiracy theories around that and I don't really want to get into too much detail about it, all I know is that he also controls the biggest subreddit r/bitcoin. These are 2 very big "pools" that control a lot of discussion about bitcoin, about its mining, its future and its weaknesses. Everything is controllable and can be censored/edited, etc.
Is someone talking bad about my beloved bitcoin? DELETE their posts. Is someone questioning bitcoins development and adaption? DELETE 'EM!
Okay let's skip all that censor stuff, another big problem is that no one to this day still knows who created it and who this "Satoshi Nakamoto" is. Why is this a problem? Why can't he remain anonymous? Well, he can and he is, but he still owns a big percentage of the total supply of bitcoins. Many suspect its over 1 million bitcoins. If you go to blockchain.info and type in a random block number from the early ones in the search bar you will stumble upon addresses with 50 bitcoin in them that haven't been moved ever since they were mined. Are they lost forever? Is the person who owns them just waiting for the right moment? What happens if they start moving to the markets? A strange identity owning currently over 2 billion dollars, I wouldn't want to trust something like that, would you? Would companies? Would real powerful people who want to integrate their businesses trust in a technology that has no face of the creator and currently the biggest shareholder?
Hmm, let's see how we can help that. Oh right, I can just pay someone to pretend to be Satoshi Nakamoto!
This is what really pisses me off, even on a Twitch channel last night talking about bitcoin someone went "oh but didn't they find out who created it? I heard it in the news."
I wanna keep this text only so I won't be posting links to relevant videos of this, but it is true. Craig Wright went on different News Channels announcing that he was the creator of Bitcoin. The timing and his reasoning for coming out now seemed a bit odd, almost too odd. When he was asked to provide proof of this, i.e. signing a message from a really early block where Satoshi's coins resided, he accepted to do so and "show it" to a couple people. Why so few people, Craig? Why not broadcast it over the whole network? Why not be proud of your creation, show everyone that the coins are yours and in "safe" hands, give trust to the people about the biggest innovation of the century and let it go mainstream? Why not?
Oh right, it might also be that he isn't Satoshi Nakamoto and someone just wanted him to pretend to be to so Bitcoin wouldn't lose trust to the newcomers. He shared a "signature" of a transaction and it took a Redditor a few minutes to find a bug in it that made it invalid, afterwards he went back to the News Channels and expressed his "I just can't do this, I don't want to do this, apologize for not following through". These are not actual quotes but paraphrasing what he said. This can all be googled of course for more details. It still doesn't change of what happened and how someone somewhere tried to give bitcoin false trust by sending this person to pretend to be the creator of Bitcoin.
Then we also have the whole scene of Bitcoin Core Developers and BlockStream. I myself have stopped following Bitcoins "development" or lack thereof since 2 years back. Looking back at it now I am really glad I did. Sure Bitcoin might have seen a 5x rise since a few years back, but considering its scarcity and how hard it is to mint new ones should have made it go a lot higher in value, right? It being the first and most known, the biggest and most "secure". Why is it not seeing as big increases as Ethereum for example? Why not as big increases as Bitshares?
"It's still going up, though". Sure, many stocks and other commodities go up in value, many of them go up in value also before a big fall. I'm not predicting that Bitcoin will crash in price massively, but it sure wouldn't surprise me considering everything that is going on with it, and everything we don't know of what is going on with it.
I like Bitcoin, I'm grateful it brought me to this innovation and paved the way for so many others and newer ones to come to life and revolutionize almost everything that is currently being middle-manned and leeched off of as a "service" without there really being a need for it anymore. But why is it being held back this hard? Why has there not been a solution to the blocksize problem in so long? Are investors manipulating the price of it while jumping ship to other coins, or are they manipulating all the doubt that is rising right now so that they can hoard more of it since it is this scarce? I guess that's the billion dollar question here and the one I can't answer. Everyone has to be the judge themselves about it.
Anyway, if a lot of this is news for you I guess you'll have to google a lot of the facts to make sure I'm not just bullshitting you. My main reason for not trusting bitcoin is that these Core Developers are doing anything in their power to censor people questioning Bitcoins development. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how censored and controlled the biggest news platforms for Bitcoin are and how they are withholding information about other currencies and projects, but of course a big percentage of users don't care about it or never find out that the subreddit is being censored on the daily. That's also a big reason why I believe in censorship-resistant platforms like Steem where anyone can have a voice, wheter its a rant like this one or genuine distrust about something. My voice is still heard and visible and nothing can take that away from here.
Make sure to do your own re-search and try to dig as deep as you can if you are investing a lot of your value in these currencies, much like anything else in the world right now a lot of stuff is easily manipulated. Often so much and in such a big degree that once you realize it it might already be too late.
Let me know what your thoughts on it are in the comment section if you made it through the wall of text.