Jaded Bitcoin Veterans Need To Take A Step Back

Recently there has been a lot of discussion regarding Bitcoin transaction fees and the time it takes to confirm transactions. This conversation can be seen on the front page of the subreddit r/bitcoin over the past week, and nearly every day on the r/btc forum. The two highlighted topics within the debate are whether or not fees are too large at the moment and if over 10 minutes is too long. Some people have said to have been waiting for six hours or more for one confirmation, and some are paying much larger fees to move their Bitcoin.

‘I don’t Care What Side of The Debate You Favor, Jaded Vet’s Could Be Kinder to Newbies’

The price of Bitcoin has got everyone amped up as it touched over $700 per BTC the other day and is wavering just below that range as of press time. Of course, when the value lifts there are signs of more transactions taking place within the network. This consists of people selling off to make gains, people buying more in anticipation for increases, day trading, and day-to-day common purchases and transactions.

Within the network, we have seen large amounts of buying on Chinese exchanges and LocalBitcoins and record daily volumes in numerous other countries around the world. The world economy is shuddering, and new users globally are appearing left and right within our community. Some people are just learning about the cryptocurrency for the first time and are investing a tiny bit or a whole lot of wealth into the market. One thing is for sure new people eager to be educated on the subject most likely don’t need to be badgered or made fun of.


Lately, the animosity has gotten so bad that users are scaring away new Bitcoiners. No matter what side of the block size debate you are on making fun of people who don’t know what they are doing isn’t progressing our efforts. For instance, some new user complains about a slow confirmation time and are told, “Show me the Txid or GTFO.” First and foremost this is the typical reply by many seen across multiple forums.

In my humble opinion simply asking to see the Txid kindly would probably motivate the conversation better. But we all know there are trolls out there making stuff up so really we need proof. The funny thing is within some of the forum discussion even when the proof is given it’s still not good enough. Typically after evidence is shown you then see the next typical reply which is, “My transaction went just fine. You didn’t send the right fee. The wallet you use sucks.” and so forth. Today one particular commenter writes this particular statement to a person having a problem:

“I sent two transactions in the last 24 hours, both cleared in less than 30 minutes. Why do you special snowflakes post about your crap transactions, when it all comes down to two things: Unconfirmed inputs from a previous transaction, and being too cheap to throw in a few fractions of a bitcoin to get your transaction processed. I mean really, pay the goddamned fee you cheap assholes.”

I honestly can’t imagine how a new user would feel after seeing such a reply, and again no matter what side of the debate you are on its a bit rude. Jaded veterans now assume everyone should have a ‘21 inc. Fee Handbook at their side at all times. They explain this is just the way it is and if you haven’t gotten the latest update on fees GTFO. It is pretty despicable really that the split within our community has gotten to this point. Over the past six months, the bickering has been pretty bad, and logical conversation with solid reasoning is far and few between.

jaded_HD_copyI love Bitcoin and really dig this community. I’ve made some excellent friendships with people who love decentralization, peer-to-peer networking and open source technology just as much as I do. I have been passionately exploring this space since 2011 and have written hundreds of articles on the subject. In this small opinionated editorial, I’m wondering if we can all take a deep breath and stop attacking new users with ‘jaded-vet semantics’ and ad hominems. In my humble opinion, this is the last thing we need even if you are for an off the chain solution or someone who wants bigger blocks. Besides all that smoke people having issues should be helped and supported. The Bitcoin game is so young and still there is only a small percentage of users out there. We can let ourselves get jaded or take a deep breath and a step back and maybe act more kindly. One statement that has really stuck with me was a response from security expert Kristov Atlas when I interviewed him last year about this very subject. Atlas told me: 

“I’ve noticed a lot of people in Bitcoin, including myself at times, fall prey to ego identification with Bitcoin. We’re so excited by it, so moved by its potential, and work so hard on growing it that we mistake it for ourselves. Then, when others loft criticisms at it — usually piggishly thoughtless, ignorant ones — we take personal offense. When I notice I feel hurt by a criticism of this kind, I find it helpful to take a step back and remind myself that it’s not personal for the critic. It’s usually driven by the fact that Bitcoin makes some people uncomfortable. We’re upsetting the status quo,”

New users are coming to see us every day. Explain to them about the current fee market in a kind manner. Ask to see proof nicely and explain the current solutions on the development table. Point them in the right directions of a better-operating wallet instead of telling them the software they chose to use sucks. They don’t know any better, they were recommended by Google or another type of browser. Explain to them patiently waiting is the best method for slow confirmations and they will receive their coin back from the mempool, or it will eventually confirm. Support is best told with kindness and empathy and your side of the debate matters not in these particular situations. New users will not come back when we approach them like Buttcoiners do. 

~ My two Satoshis

Images courtesy of Pixabay, and Crypto-Graphics.com 

Disclaimer:The statements,views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Live Bitcoin News

About Jamie Redman

Jamie Redman is a financial tech journalist from Florida thats been entrenched in the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open source code, and decentralized applications. Redman has written hundreds of articles about the disruptive protocols emerging today.