The sixth episode of Magical Crypto Friends launched just hours ago, and our favorite quartet of wise anthropomorphic animals have once again given us an update on the state of the cryptocurrency world. Most notably, the series focuses on Litecoin, Monero, and Bitcoin, but also takes shots at Bitcoin Cash, Electroneum, dubious ICOs, and actors from the field who damage the magical and positive spirit.
The episode begins with a shot at the BCH fanboys who accused the show of being a gathering of Blockstream affiliates and fanboys. The Belgian goatee-sporting Whale Panda, who also moderates the discussions, informs Samsom Mow (Chief Strategy Officer of Blockstream, as well as Deconomy debate partner of Roger Ver) that he hasn’t received his paycheck for being an advocate and supporter of SegWit and the Lightning Network. Therefore, he suggests that advertisements for DASH and BCH shall be placed in the background for the sake of funding the show.
On the same note, the Monero mastermind “Fluffy Pony” Riccardo Spagni demands his financial compensation, while also sarcastically complaining about not being able to set a Lightning node to receive the payment. This supposed funding issue continues with a joke by Charlie Lee, who suggests that an ICO should be started for the sake of creating a coin that makes the show financially sustainable. But when Samson suggests a more practical and down-to-Earth return to advertisements, he quickly gets slammed by the Whale Panda for wearing a t-shirt which promotes the Samourai Bitcoin wallet. This whole series of ridiculous accusations about getting paid by obscure interests culminates with the statement that the payment for Samson’s endorsement consisted of just a t-shirt. But after this exchange, the bearded moderator suggests that the show must begin and the “My Little Pony” inspired introduction rolls as a reminder of what the four HODLers stand for.
The Main Topics of Discussion: Monero’s Hard Fork and LitePay!
When he doesn’t get intoxicated with his impressive collection of fine wines, the Fluffy Pony is very confident about the Monero community. The amount of centralization that these hard forks generate might not be in the spirit of cryptocurrencies, but they’re efficient for maintaining privacy and there’s a fascinating sense of camaraderie going on in the XMR community. Riccardo is certain that the supporters and users of the coin are very supportive of hard fork against ASIC miners, mentions how the consultations have led to a sense of confidence in this direction, and disses the opposition as being mere outsiders who can be identified by the freshness of their accounts. He is also positive that the core followers won’t get tempted into the other hard forks which might emerge, as signing up to get supplementary free coins automatically gives away ownership details about your coins and compromises your privacy (thus defeating the purpose for which Monero was created). Keep in mind that this episode had been filmed in late March, so we are still to see an official reaction in regards to the 4-coin confusion which emerged after the fork.
Another big piece of news is that Charlie Lee finally reveals key details about LitePay’s failure. He basically reassures everyone that the project wasn’t a scam, but rather an overambitious attempt to create something whose scope was far too difficult to achieve. The entire business plan revolved around the Visa-backed Litecoin debit cards, and as soon as this promise appeared to be impossible to keep, the project dissolved into nothingness. The most interesting detail, which is mentioned for the first time ever and wasn’t featured in the Litecoin Foundation's official address, concerns the money invested into LitePay. As it turns out, the Litecoin Foundation had contributed with about $50.000, the foundation’s director Xinxi Wang had offered $50.000 of his own finances, and the rest of the funds were brought by Kenneth Asare (the entrepreneur who founded LitePay and served as CEO of the short-lived project). When the money ran out and the business model became questionable, the collaboration ceased and “good money” from the Foundation wasn’t thrown after “bad money” for a disappointing payments application that was not salvageable.
Riccardo provides a pretty interesting insight on the situation: in order to make his payment processor GloBee function properly, he has invested about half a million dollars and waited for about two years and a half for the development to be completed. In contrast, LitePay had only emerged two months prior to the planned release and benefited from about a quarter of the funding. Nevertheless, the powered-up Chickun expresses his skepticism on the entire debit card reliance for cryptocurrencies and argues that establishing these type of partnerships doesn’t create much of a difference from what we already have. Charlie also says that Litecoin was doing just fine before Kenneth’s project appeared and continues to be a leading cryptocurrency. He also mentioned that there are other similar payment processors which work with Litecoin and do a better job in enabling payments, so the failed experiment of LitePay is a disappointment, but not a destructive failure on Litecoin’s behalf. People should #PayWithLitecoin instead of relying on traditional systems, remember?
More talks about block time, zero confirmation, Consensus, Satoshi’s Vision, and other conferences!
Then there’s the issue of block time and why the 10-minute interval is just perfect for Bitcoin for reasons that transcend traditionalism. It’s all about giving enough time for thorough validations to be made in the system, and that seems to be a lesson that certain Bitcoin Cash advocates haven’t learned. Charlie disses their developers for being stuck in time and looking for innovation backward, as the concept of zero-validation is not secure and against the principle of centralization. The joke develops into an inductive exercise of imagination where Roger Ver and Craig Wright are required to personally sign for every transaction to become valid, and the Fluffy Pony concludes that the matters discussed are not even that difficult, and the BCH programmers should try to better understand the phenomena before looking for alternatives in ideas that proved to be unsustainable in the past. This is a part which you absolutely have to watch; the explanations and references are top notch!
This time there’s a lot of talk about conferences which the four cute anthropomorphic animals attend, everybody seems to be excited about Consensus, and it’s even mentioned that the next episode would be streamed live from the event! Sure, there are some inevitable jokes directed at the “Satoshi’s Vision” Bitcoin Cash conference and some more light-hearted humor is directed towards Faketoshi and his very un-Satoshi answers. And just when you think that the “Bcash” jokes come to an end, a poll about altcoins gets brought up just to mention that thousands of voters preferred Dogecoin over “Satoshi’s original vision”.
Though this summary may sound a little mean, the atmosphere is always relaxed and there’s quite a lot to learn in between the jokes. Especially if you’re a filthy Blockstream supporter who gets paid for his fanboyism on social media and discussion boards. Speaking of which, I’ll be trying to run a Lightning node next week, so I definitely look forward to receiving a substantial financial reward for this in-depth coverage. There’s obviously no agency, critical thinking, or room for jokes in this space, everyone gets paid to do everything and we’re all jumping at each others’ throats for that 1% we disagree on!
On a more cheerful note, if you have an hour to spare and would like to hear the discussions and explanations directly from the source, then you may watch the episode by clicking this link. It’s definitely better than reading the native advertisement that Blockstream generously paid for!
Episode Rating: 9 Satoshis out of 10. This was definitely the best of the series so far, as it was focused on specific topics, featured less rambling and compressed the most information within the 50-minute format!