Bitcoin community clashes over censorship and privacy tools
Is Bitcoin facing censorship? The role of Ordinals and coinjoins.
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A new debate surged yesterday when Bitcoin core developer Luke Dashjr and the official Twitter account of Samourai Wallet, a non-custodial Bitcoin wallet, engaged in a heated discussion accusing OCEAN, a decentralized Bitcoin mining pool, of wanting to censor Bitcoin transactions.
Samourai Wallet’s X account accused Jack Dorsey, ex-CEO of Twitter, and Luke Dashjr of attempting to censor transactions they disapprove of, including some coinjoin transactions.
Coinjoin is a privacy-enhancing technique used in Bitcoin. It works by combining multiple transactions from different users into a single transaction, making it hard to determine the origin of each input.
In response, Luke Dashjr stated that OCEAN was not working to censor anything; rather, it was a bug in Samourai’s software. Samourai Wallet later denied these claims.
In a debate that surged just one day after, Dashjr labeled Ordinals as a ‘bug’ exploiting a vulnerability in Bitcoin Core. According to Dashjr, Bitcoin Core has allowed users to limit the size of extra data in transactions since 2013. Ordinals bypass this limit by obfuscating their data as program code, leading to larger transaction sizes than regular transactions.
This debate between the two sides has lead to questions on whether ordinals and coinjoins will be a new area of contention within the Bitcoin community.