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Thoughts on BUIP166

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Avatar for BigBlockIfTrue
Written by   70
1 year ago

This is a response to BUIP166, a Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) proposal to launch a new cryptocurrency.

For BTC developers, there's Groestlcoin. Does the Groestlcoin economy have any significance? Does it really provide more value to BTC developers than a testnet? Previously, Litecoin activated SegWit before BTC, did that actually yield any helpful feedback or funding to BTC developers? Or are they just small competitors?

Let's consider a feature like OP_CHECKDATASIG, which originated from BU and was deployed to BCH mainnet in November 2018. To date, as far as I know, the only user of this feature with significant economic weight is Local.Bitcoin.com. Now imagine you instead deployed this to a separate blockchain that has a 10×-100× smaller economy. Do you really expect to get this real-world economy feedback and/or capital investments you're looking for? Furthermore, the final design deployed on BCH has technical differences from the original proposal from BU (for better or worse), so you'd end up with technical debt having to maintain two variants of the same thing.

There's basically two possible scenarios. The most likely scenario is that the new chain will not have any significant economy, and hence it fails to meet the stated objectives. The other, unlikely scenario is that there is a significant economy leading to fragmentation of network effect and a large conflict of interest for BU. Both outcomes are bad.

BU is free to do as it pleases, but I would recommend to BU members to give up the idea of having a testnet with a real economy - it's not going to happen - and instead set up testnets with experimental features and provide good infrastructure for those testsnets (nodes, explorers, wallets, other services, etc.).

As an aside, it can be useful to brainstorm about what BCH should look like if you would start it from scratch today, as it can offer guidance for how BCH's protocol should evolve over time. In particular I would love to see CHIPs for UTXO commitments and 2-minute blocks.

[This post on Reddit]

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Avatar for BigBlockIfTrue
Written by   70
1 year ago
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Both outcomes are bad.

Exactly

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