There is a misunderstanding between Roger Ver and myself, which takes the form of a specific issue, but is also part of an ongoing communication problem. By writing this, I hope we can improve this situation. Even a minor improvement here would be of value.
One of the main roadblocks looks on the surface like it is related to personality clashes. The feedback I have gotten from others is that I am “attacking Roger and Bitcoin.com on social media”.
So before going further, I should say that it is not my intention to attack or badmouth Roger or his company. I’m sure it looks to some people that I have been doing exactly that, but this is part of the misunderstanding. The reason I give Roger flak, and focus on what he says, is because I recognize that he is a valuable part of our community, and what he says matters.
Following the wisdom of “seek first to understand, then to be understood”, I can understand how I can appear to others. People do sometimes find me hard to work with. I’ve been called “unpleasant” and “abrasive”. I have my challenges with communication. If it helps, I apologize to Roger if I’ve rubbed him the wrong way.
The Missing $500,000
Roger, you recently made a Reddit comment saying “I've donated / paid about $500K to ABC over the last few years”. I challenged the accuracy of this number in the same thread (I don’t believe we’ve received anywhere near that sum). You haven’t made any response to this, other than a private communication that it was being looked into.
Perhaps from Roger’s perspective, it appears that this is just another ungrateful, nitpicking complaint from me, and that I’m harassing him over financial details and wasting his time. Or, even worse, that I’m getting money from him while also bad mouthing him for it, complaining over and over, and having a bad attitude.
But, it is only fair to hear my side of things as well. Even if this number is inaccurate, some may wonder why I am harping on this point and refusing to let go of the issue.
My Side of the Story
I’m not going to write a long essay here, let’s just go right to it: Roger also made a comment recently that “ABC was dragging its feet” when it comes to development. In isolation, neither this comment, nor the $500k comment is accurate, but together they paint an especially bad and unjust narrative about Bitcoin ABC.
If I have to spell it out, there is a narrative being created here that essentially says “Bitcoin ABC has been given plenty of money and they’re not doing the work”. You can use your imagination to figure out what the implications of this false narrative are, and what this might lead to.
In general, narratives can destroy a community and we saw that happen before in Bitcoin Cash. And again, help with the legal bills is appreciated, but doesn’t impact the speed of developing code.
Battling misleading narratives makes it hard for me to do my job, both in terms of management and logistics, and also it is very demotivating, and a huge drain of time and energy. Misinformation is poisonous , and this is why it is so important to rectify it.
Also, it is unfair to expect me not to defend my position in public when this kind of narrative is being allowed to go out there unchallenged due to the fact that Roger did not retract his statement about the amount of money. So, while it may seem like I am “attacking” by bringing up this point, I feel that I am being attacked and forced to defend myself as long as it isn’t corrected.
What is the Larger Issue Here?
Yes, there is a communication problem but there's something else too. This may be a touchy subject, but in my view, Roger has repeatedly amplified people who push a message of "ABC is bad; they are Core 2.0, etc". I won't name names here as that wouldn't be productive, but I can assure you that I am not alone in this opinion.
There has been pervasive gaslighting (bordering on abuse) against ABC that has been allowed to go on for years, ever since Bitcoin Cash was created. The $500k issue is relevant to this pattern as now it is Roger himself who is either knowingly or unknowingly creating a similar narrative.
Maybe my own communication style over the years has provoked that response in Roger to a degree, and has helped start this negative cycle, so I will accept my part of the blame in that, but I think this cycle needs to stop.
I don’t know how to fix all the interpersonal issues in our community. It's true I don’t always have the best attitude, but communication is always a two-way street.