Bitcoin purists slam Luxor’s support of ‘magic internet jpegs’
Mining pool Luxor added a jpeg to the Bitcoin blockchain sparking a backlash from purists who say the chain is for monetary transactions only.
Bitcoin mining pool Luxor recently tweeted that it had “harnessed its magic energy” to mine a jpeg file into the blockchain.
This resulted in block 774628 being significantly larger than the standard approximate 1 MB block size, at 3.96 MB.
The jpeg in question depicts a bald, bearded “wizard” in sunglasses, captioned by “taprootwizards.com, magic internet jpegs, join us.”
“Last night, Luxor harnessed its magic energy and freed an ancient wizard from his cosmic cage where he was trapped for many epochs.
Keen observers of the chain of time might have noticed a 4MB anomaly, the likes of which have never been seen.
Will there be others?…”
Bitcoin community split
In a follow-up tweet, Luxor continued with the theatrical theme, mentioning the Taproot Wizard being “untethered and freed from his bondage!” while pointing out he now exists “in the hearts, minds, and hard drive space of Bitcoin node operators.”
The tweet ended by referencing a refusal to be censored and silenced, implying this was an exercise in freedom of expression.
“He refuses to be censored, he refuses to be silenced.”
The Bitcoin community gave a mixed reaction. In a Reddit post, purists argued that the Bitcoin blockchain should be reserved only for “real monetary transactions.”
Another said the scope for “vile and disgusting” jpegs to be added permanently to the chain had been opened.
“Yeah… This is rather dangerous. We’re one bad actor or one automated miner from cementing vile and disgusting things to a permenant, globally distributed, uncensorable database….”
One Redditor, who identified himself as a node operator, said if a code commit existed to “not accept or relay these transactions,” he would choose it. In response, the poster was challenged as endorsing censorship code.
Similarly, talk of the Bitcoin network not being a data storage chain was countered by a comment on who decides Bitcoin’s uses.
“Who are you to decide what someone uses Bitcoin for?”
Developer Jimmy Song waded in, saying:
“Luxor will be punished by the market. Just watch.”
Block size controversy
Block size limits the number of transactions recorded within the block. Satoshi Nakamoto incorporated a 1 MB block size limit, which equates to around three to seven transactions per second, depending on the size of the transactions.
There is a long-running debate on whether this hinders the chain by putting the brakes on scalability. Although Nakamoto never specified why a 1 MB limit was set, some speculate it was an anti-spam measure designed to prevent network overload.