David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
Self-professed cypherpunk Jameson Lopp has set the cryptocurrency community a seemingly impossible task: explain Bitcoin in less than 280 characters.
A global, neutral payment network that allows anyone on earth to transact a huge or tiny amount of value with anyone else within minutes, without needing to ask permission from a government, without disclosing one’s personal information, and without the possibility of censorship.
— Alex Gladstein (@gladstein) June 2, 2019
While some responses, like the one above, were overtly genuine, others were more sarcastic.
“Bitcoin is free Internet money that will make everyone rich, automatically solve ethics without any effort on our part, cure cancer, and bring about world peace,” joked Bitcoin Core developer Eric Lombrozo.
It also wasn’t long before proponents of alternative cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) assigned similar challenges to their communities. Some responses were pretty unforgiving.
A protest movement based on various conspiracy theories, often revolving around the misconception that Bitcoin Core developers control Bitcoin and have been corrupted by Blockstream and/or other outside influences.
— Aaron van Wirdum (@AaronvanW) June 2, 2019
Few factors separate Bitcoin from its derivative networks BCH and BSV more than its block size limit.
This caps the amount of data (and how many transactions) miners can fit into a certain block, and has been the focal point of considerable controversy throughout Bitcoin’s history.
Transactions sent on L1 must be verified by all nodes. The more txs, the more resources required to run a node. Without a small enough blocksize, the resource burden will increase until there are few enough validators that the network becomes vulnerable to political control.
— Mario Gibney (@Mario_Gibney) June 1, 2019
Bitcoin blocks are set to not exceed 1MB (but can technically be stretched to around 4MB). On the other hand, blocks up to 32MB in size are allowed to be added to the BCH blockchain, and BSV encourages the network to accept larger blocks up to 128MB.
Cryptocurrency fans (thankfully) shared some versions of the meme that were a little more frivolous.
One requested Twitter to “explain the @TSA as completely as possible in a single tweet.” Another demanded the meaning of love in its entirety with just one post.
As for Lopp’s original challenge; there’s certainly a clear winner: a tweet posted by user @JackScottE.
— Jack Eldridge (@JackScottE) June 2, 2019
This wall of emoji artfully represents the world’s most popular cryptocurrency with great efficiency, leaving little more to be said – regardless of how big or small you like your blocks.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.