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Jameson Lopp’s first impression of Bitcoin – Cointelegraph Magazine

  • Jameson Lopp has been involved in the Bitcoin scaling debates and has faced opposition from those who want to preserve Bitcoin as it is.
  • He gained notoriety when his home was stormed by an armed SWAT team, allegedly mobilized by a disgruntled opponent.
  • Lopp, the CTO of Casa, believes that the opposition to Ordinals NFTs might result in less support for necessary future upgrades.
  • He argues that while there are risks associated with making changes to the Bitcoin protocol, not making any updates could lead to the network becoming stagnant and unable to adapt.
  • Lopp highlights the need for careful progress and extensive work on scaling Bitcoin, as the Lightning Network alone will not solve all scalability issues.
  • He also emphasizes the importance of preventing Bitcoin from becoming centralized, like email has become with five major corporations controlling 90% of email users.
  • Lopp advocates for experimentation and innovation not just on the Bitcoin protocol, but also on second layers such as sidechains, drive chains, and rollups.
Jameson Lopp enjoys a beer bought with Bitcoin. (Twitter)

Who is Jameson Lopp?

Lopp grew up in a conservative household in North Carolina and showed early signs of being highly intelligent.

He joined Mensa to test his IQ, and although he initially dismissed Bitcoin, he was blown away after reading the white paper in 2012.

He became known within the Bitcoin community during the block size wars, advocating for larger block sizes and supporting the Bitcoin XT fork.

Lopp’s perspective shifted when he realized the challenges of working with larger blocks and the need to balance scalability with the user experience.

Coming of age

Lopp studied computer science at the University of North Carolina, which had a liberalizing effect on his conservative upbringing.

He worked in email marketing and eventually found a passion for Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Lopp believes that building decentralized financial infrastructure has a greater impact than engaging in traditional politics.

Lopp forks Bitcoin Core

Lopp created a fork of Bitcoin Core called Statoshi to provide transparency and understanding of Bitcoin node operations.

He applied for a grant from the Bitcoin Foundation to work on Statoshi full-time but didn’t receive any funds.

Lopp also applied to work at Coinbase but didn’t get an interview. However, his work on Statoshi led him to a role at BitGo.

Su Casa, mi Casa

Lopp joined Casa as the CTO, offering self-custody solutions for Bitcoin and now Ethereum.

He believes in the importance of providing secure alternatives to centralized custodians.

Casa plans to support ERC-20 and NFT assets in the future.

The loud, tiny minority goes SWATing

Lopp experienced a SWATing incident when someone called in a false report, leading to an armed SWAT team storming his home.

He faced challenges from living off the grid and took measures to protect his privacy but acknowledges the difficulty and cost involved.

Lopp maintains a GitHub list of known physical Bitcoin attacks, emphasizing the importance of keeping one’s crypto holdings private.

Future progress for Bitcoin

Lopp believes in the need for progress on Bitcoin while being mindful of preserving its core principles.

He supports second layers like Lightning Network and encourages experimentation and innovation on other protocols as well.

Andrew Fenton

Based in Melbourne, Andrew Fenton is a journalist and editor covering cryptocurrency and blockchain. He has worked as a national entertainment writer for News Corp Australia, on SA Weekend as a film journalist, and at The Melbourne Weekly.

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