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Former Blockstream CSO Samson Mow Rejects Move to POS; Calls Out Ripple Co-Founder

3 mins
Updated by Robert D Knight
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In Brief

  • Samson Mow is emphatically against the shift from PoW to PoS.
  • Mow launched a direct attack against Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen on Twitter.
  • Find out what other influencers are saying about Greenpeace and Larsen.
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Samson Mow, formely chief strategy officer of Bitcoin Core development company Blockstream, now CEO of Pixelmatic, has emphatically rejected any notion that the cryptocurrency should switch consensus methods from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) in the future. 

The refusal came after Greenpeace, working in lockstep with Ripple co-Founder Chris Larsen, launched the “Change the code, not the climate” campaign. Larsen has personally donated $5 million to fund the group which aims to pressurize key figures, BTC miners, and influencers into changing the Bitcoin network’s consensus mechanism.

Currently, it hasn’t been received well. Mow, chief strategy officer of Blockstream was among the first to shoot down any such notion of bitcoin POS, and a chorus of other prominent figures quickly joined him in his refusal.

“[Five] million [dollars] wasted because ad campaigns cannot change #Bitcoin consensus rules,” said Mow in a tweet on Mar. 29. However, Mow seemed to just be getting started, subsequently posting a flurry of refutations over the following days.

“If nearly every major “Bitcoin” company and 80% of hashrate couldn’t change the blocksize, what makes you think an ad campaign can change #Bitcoin to use PoS?” added Mow later that day, in a reference to the Bitcoin Cash fork in 2017.

“Gonna laugh so hard if someday Greenpeace has their accounts frozen and they need to use #Bitcoin,” he said.

“Of course an ICO scammer thinks there is a substitute for real work,” said Mow in a direct attack against Larsen.

If nothing else, Larsen has definitely won Mow’s attention.

More than Mow

Mow isn’t alone in rejecting the notion that Bitcoin should make the switch to Proof of Stake. Jameson Lopp, CTO of Casa, has also been on hand to provide a laundry list of counterarguments. Much like Mow, Lopp’s Twitter timeline has been dominated by the issue over the last few days.

“If “environmentalists” had half a clue how Bitcoin works, they’d be spending their energy trying to increase Lightning adoption rather than pushing for PoS,” said Lopp on March 31.

“Lightning places a big fat denominator under their “carbon emissions per transaction” calculations.”

Bitcoin analyst Willy Woo also attacked Larsen and Ripple:

“I’d prefer if Larsen put some real skin in the game and provide $1b of support in order for him to test the resolve of the Bitcoin network. And of course so he can give away his scam gotten gains,” said Woo.

Anthony Pompliano provided his own thoughts and in customary style he didn’t hold back: 

“The climate change crowd has lost their mind… what they are talking about not only is impossible, it makes zero sense,” he said.

Perhaps surprisingly, Blockstream CEO Adam Back was among those who chose not to directly comment. Back instead opted to retweet a post by *WuCoin*:

“Hey @Greenpeace, @chrislarsensf. #Bitcoin is open source software, anyone can #changethecode. Even you. Why not spend your $5M marketing budget on a PoS fork instead of a disinformation campaign? Wait, somebody already did it, just buy $5M of BitcoinPoS. Good luck with that.”

With almost everyone who cares about bitcoin prepared to die on the hill that is Proof of Work, good luck indeed.

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[EDIT: An earlier version of this article stated that Mow was CSO of Blockstream when in fact he left Blockstream on March 1st. Mow is now CEO of Pixelmatic.]

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Robert D Knight
Robert D Knight is a journalist and copywriter who has specialized in crypto for over four years. His varied experience includes freelancing, in-project contracts, agency work, and PR, giving him a holistic view of the blockchain industry.