There aren’t many things that bitcoin core and bitcoin cash supporters can agree on. If the two camps were a couple, they could reasonably be described as having irreconcilable differences. When Satoshi’s Place, a virtual graffiti wall powered by the Lightning Network (LN) sprang up, it was inevitable that the BTC and BCH factions would grab their spray cans and start a turf war. The results are amusing to say the least.
Phalluses, Blasphemy, and Crypto Memes
Welcome to Satoshi’s Place, an ephemeral art wall where anyone can pay a satoshi for a pixel using the Lightning Network, BTC’s much-vaunted and controversial layer two scaling solution. For next to nothing, anyone with an LN connection can bedaub slogans on the virtual wall, but there’s a catch – the artwork will only remain for as long as it takes for the next buyer to overwrite it. It’s a simple concept, but one that has set the stage for a series of epic battles between BTC and BCH supporters.
Much like the long-running feud between the Montagues and Capulets in Romeo & Juliet, the origins of the BTC/BCH beef have been lost to the mists of time. Ostensibly it’s about scaling (BCH supporters prefer on-chain scaling and bitcoin as a medium of exchange rather than store of value while BTC proponents prefer the opposite), but in truth the camps are so diametrically opposed now that blockchain scaling is merely the excuse for battle. This week, Satoshi’s Place has formed the ground zero for the tribes to exchange insults and deface one another’s logos.
Welcome to Bitcoin, Now Get Out
Most of the jockeying for bitcoin supremacy taking place on Satoshi’s Place is harmless internet banter; a childish manifestation of the sort of put downs that are normally exchanged on crypto Twitter. To any newcomers to bitcoin, the digital conflagration manifested on Satoshi’s Place must seem utterly bewildering, but to regulars it’s all par for the course. While the concept of a wall filled with MS Paint-level genitalia sounds like the worst possible advert for bitcoin, the project harks back to the cryptocurrency’s anarchic beginnings.
Over the past six months, the bitcoin cash ecosystem has been blessed with a slew of experimental projects that arguably rekindle the original spirit of bitcoin. Blockpress, Matter, and Memo are all examples of BCH experiments that combine education with entertainment. Satoshi’s Place is one of the few BTC projects in the same vein to have emerged in recent months.
Satoshi’s Place Is a Success But the Jury’s Still Out on Lightning Network
It’s likely that the BTC and BCH communities will have forgotten about Satoshi’s Place soon and moved on to another virtual battleground. The website’s current popularity, however, shows the potential of Lightning Network, whilst giving BCH supporters a chance to point out its flaws. Lately, BCH advocates have highlighted shortcomings such as the need for funds in an LN payment channel to be sent in order to make room for receiving funds and the necessity for a wallet to be online in order to receive off-chain funds.
LN supporters, in turn, will counter that the technology is still in its infancy and will operate a lot more smoothly by the time it’s market ready. When nuanced discussion about the merits of Lightning Network breaks down, core and cash supporters can at least settle the debate emphatically now: by heading over to Satoshi’s Place and daubing dicks on their opponents.
What do you make of Satoshi’s Place and Lightning Network? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Satoshi’s Place.
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