If it weren’t for the Cryptsy failure, Mike Hearn would undoubtedly be the most hated man in the Bitcoin community at the present moment. After publicly announcing that he was giving up the decentralized currency and called it a failure, he doesn’t have many friends left. Unsurprisingly, leaders in the community have been taking shots at him publicly.
The latest, and perhaps most visible from a mainstream press standpoint, is BnkToTheFuture’s Simon Dixon’s rebuke of Hearn’s comments on CNBC earlier today. Dixon also asserts that Hearn is part of a war on Bitcoin, waged by some of the world’s largest banks.
Shortly before announcing to the world that he feels Bitcoin has failed, Hearn was hired by R3 CEV, a company that has reportedly signed on over 30 of the world’s biggest banks, including UBS, JP Morgan, Citi and Goldman Sachs.
The project Simon Dixon is referring to is a private blockchain reportedly in the works by R3, involving the aforementioned banks. Presumably the idea is to use the internal blockchain to enable payment transfers between the different financial institutions for far cheaper than is possible using the legacy network today. Cryptocurrency advocates fear that this could steal bitcoin’s thunder in regards to remittance payments.
Dixon seems to assert that this is part of a nefarious plan to stunt Bitcoin’s growth. While a private blockchain would be capable of keeping fees low enough to compete with bitcoin in that specific instance, it wouldn’t have the decentralized advantages and would be subject to whatever fees the private banks wish to put on their customers.
“One of the huge benefits of bitcoin is that you can transport money globally, for virtually free, to anywhere in the world to anyone who has an internet connection. But you don’t need a bank or a government guarantee to perform that activity. What the banks have done, is they have now gotten together and formed a syndicate, because through 2015, Bitcoin was the highest performing currency.” said Dixon.
Dixon then seemingly made reference to Hearn, stating that the banks had hired away a “Core developer who had been there very early on” to work on the private blockchain.
Later, when the reporter asked Dixon directly about Hearn’s comments, he didn’t hold any punches. Dixon made it very clear who he was referring to earlier and how he feels about Hearn in general.
“What Mike Hearn was referring to was that all of the Core Developers, miners and important people [in Bitcoin] recently got together at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in order to discuss: ‘Now that volume is at record highs, how do we scale it at the next stage?’ Solutions were put together. Now, Mike had his own version of a solution which wasn’t getting the traction that it needed. At that point, the bank syndicate hired Mike Hearn and then [He] announced last week that Bitcoin has failed. So, I question the integrity of that announcement because Hearn knows as well as anyone that the solutions to scale bitcoin are being put into place.”
Dixon’s point that Hearn’s timing was curious, especially since the scaling debate seems to be heading towards a solution hasn’t gone unnoticed by most of the Bitcoin community. The connection has been made ad-nauseam by Reddit commentators and members of Bitcointalk.org.
Simon Dixon is the CEO of BnkToTheFuture.com, a hybrid crypto-fiat crowd-investment platform that has funded major projects like Uphold. You can watch him rebuke Hearn on CNBC’s website or by watching the embedded video above. We will have more on the blocksize debate, Mike Hearn’s depature from crypto and any other related events as information becomes available. We have reached out to Dixon for clarification on his comments and will update this page if necessary.