Cryptocurrency mining pool SlushPool has recently manually added a BTC transaction into a block to help Tone Vays, a derivatives trader and analyst, win a wager mage against BCH proponent Roger Ver.
The wager was made at the 2019 Malta AI & Blockchain Summit, during a debate between bitcoin (BTC) proponent Tone Vays and Bitcoin.com CEO and BCH advocate Roger Ver. In it, Ver argued BTC transactions are too expensive for business use due to the cryptocurrency’s small block size.
Vays, on the other hand, argued segregated witness (SegWit) and second-layer scaling solutions like the Lightning Network allow users to make small transactions without paying high fees, and that he has been using BTC on-chain without paying too much for transactions.
The debate ended up seeing Vays send Roger Ver $5 worth of BTC with a one satoshi per byte transactions fee – equal to the fees paid on the Bitcoin Cash chain – to see if it would confirm the same day. If it did, the CEO of Bitcoin.com claimed he would donate $10,000 to a charity of Vays’ choice.
Today at #AIBCsummit @rogerkver claimed average #Bitcoin transaction fee was $3. I called bullshit & he offered to pay $10,000 if my $5 $BTC transaction would clear in 24 hour at 1 #satoshi/byte = 1 Penny!— Tone Vays [#UnderstandBit] (@ToneVays) May 25, 2019
Transaction cleared after 10hrs. Debate at 6:35:00 https://t.co/QAhqmrjhvN pic.twitter.com/VYHiBibh3u
During the debate, both parties noted the transaction was “priority 23,836 out of 24,355 transactions,” meaning that most transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain had to clear before miners picked that one up, at least according to fees paid for transactions.
As Vays soon noted on social media the transaction cleared after 10 hours. Some, however, found it strange. Cobra Bitcoin, the pseudonymous co-owner of Bitcoin.org and Bitcointalk, pointed out on social media that SlushPool – the mining pool that found the block the transaction was included in – manually added it to help Vays win the bet.
Really shady stuff going on at @slush_pool. There was a $10,000 bet between @ToneVays and @rogerkver on whether Tone’s very low fee transaction would confirm today. 10 hours later slush pool mines it as its most high priority transaction in block 577628 (#2 tx after coinbase).— Cøbra (@CobraBitcoin) May 25, 2019
Cobra Bitcoin figured it wasn’t mined “naturally” as it was the second transaction included in the block – right after the coinbase transaction – despite the fee being less than 1% of that of all other transactions included in the block.
On Reddit, users pointed this out and accused SlushPool of manually adding the transaction. The mining pool, according to some users, is known for supporting BTC and being against Bitcoin Cash.
Should Roger Ver Pay?
The wager quickly became a controversial topic that seems to bring back memories of the scaling debate that was going on before Bitcoin Cash forked off of the Bitcoin network back in August of 2017.
Some argue that Roger Ver’s point stands as the transaction wasn’t “naturally” confirmed, but manually included in a block. Moreover the CEO of Bitcoin.com claimed he’d donate the money if it confirmed that day, and when the transaction did confirm it was past midnight in Malta.
On the other hand, some claim the transaction did go through anyway, and as such Roger Ver should donate the funds to a charity of Tone Vays’ choice. Moreover, Vays himself argued BCH supporters could have spammed the BTC mempool with two satoshis per byte transactions to stop his from clearing on time.
So much controversy over the $5 transaction at 1 sat/byte 😂. Let's let Twitter decide if @rogerkver has to donate $10k :)— Tone Vays [#UnderstandBit] (@ToneVays) May 25, 2019
- yes @slush_pool prioritised as they are free to do
- 1 sat/byte transactions cleared in prior block & mempool emptied soon after
- 24hr day or Malta day?
On Twitter, Vays created a poll that was retweeted by SlushPool and admitted the mining pool did prioritize the transaction. It currently shows most users believe Roger Ver should donate the funds. As one commenter pointed out, however, the results may change if Ver and other BCH supporters retweet the poll.