Sidechain development company Blockstream has hired controversial Bitcoin commentator Samson Mow as its new Chief Strategy Officer. The company said he will focus on opening new offices in Canada and China.
Mow has a background in game development as well as digital currency. He is currently CEO at social gaming company Pixelmatic, which he founded in 2011. Additionally, he served as COO at BTCC (formerly BTC China) for two years until February 2017.
Mow has a degree in business administration from Simon Fraser University and regularly features as a speaker and panelist in industry conferences.
Mow Well-Known for Controversial Comments
However it’s Mow’s Twitter account that has made him most famous in the Bitcoin community. He describes himself as “Bitcoin Comedian” on some online profiles, and has a reputation for daily provocative tweets that mock industry figures and media.
In particular, Mow strongly opposes Bitcoin Unlimited and any challenge its proponents represent to Bitcoin Core and its developers’ vision for Bitcoin.
Knowing that SegWit2MB means no block size increase or Lightning for another year would you support it?
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) April 3, 2017
His tweets make him a regular feature on Bitcoin’s most popular Reddit forums, inviting cheers of support or howls of protest depending on the responder’s side.
He has repeatedly mocked former Core developer Gavin Andresen for believing Craig Wright’s claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto:
It's the day Gavin Andersen was bamboozled. Like CoinFest, ppl around the world will meet & talk about their experiences being bamboozled. https://t.co/S6ulyHlmHu
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) April 10, 2017
Another frequent Mow target is entrepreneur and Bitcoin Unlimited supporter Roger Ver. Ver proposed a face-to-face debate on Bitcoin scaling when Mow visited Tokyo recently, which drew the following response:
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) April 11, 2017
Mow offered to debate if the two switched and argued for the opposite sides, which left Ver bemused. In the end, their paths didn’t cross.
Mow is noticeably more softly-spoken in live interviews, though remains a strong supporter of SegWit and the BIP 148 user-activated soft fork. Given this advocacy, few were surprised when fellow Core supporters Blockstream offered him a role in their expansion.
His main claim is that supporters of “big blocks” and alternative protocols like BU simply don’t get how Bitcoin works. Of his tone, he said:
“If you don’t really understand it, or grok it, then it doesn’t really matter. So my strategy is just to have fun with it.”
Blockstream to Open New Offices Overseas
Blockstream CEO Adam Back said of the hire:
“As we accelerate and shift to the launch and marketing of our enterprise and consumer products, Samson will be undertaking a number of immediate strategic initiatives, including the establishment of Blockstream offices in China and Canada.”
Blockstream has also employed Bitcoin protocol contributors Greg Maxwell, Luke Dashjr and Pieter Wuille, among others. CEO Back is famous for inventing Hashcash, a proof-of-work anti-spam mechanism that Satoshi Nakamoto wrote was one of his inspirations for building Bitcoin.
Back also introduced the concept of “sidechains”, separate blockchains that settle on the main Bitcoin blockchain via a peg. Blockstream’s work is mainly sidechain development, particularly Lightning Networks, which are designed to handle small payments quickly.
Do you think this is a smart move for Blockstream? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Twitter, Pixelmatic