Thursday, January 23, 2020
There have been plenty of articles written on this subject already, so I'm going to try and keep this short and simple. Here are my thoughts:
These are mining pools proposing this plan, not actual miners. What if the individual miners leave to a BTC only pool? BCH could become extremely susceptible to 51% attacks. The counter to this is that miners won't leave because they don't actually lose 12.5% of their rewards but only .3%, and the majority of the loss will be felt by other sha256 chains. But I think that's a big assumption.
The plan seems to be written on the back of a napkin. We have no information on this proposed Hong Kong entity or how it will disperse the funds. Even if they did disperse funds appropriately, there are no guarantees that those receiving the funds will deliver.
I am worried about how this is going to be done on a technical level due to the 10-block checkpoints.
Devs are going to leave. We don't know to what degree, but it's obvious there are people who aren't happy with this plan and the community will shrink.
The devs that remain will finally get some meaningful funding assuming the price of BCH doesn't crater. Whether that will actually result in progress remains to be seen. Based on my informal survey of application devs I respect in the community, the majority seem to not be opposed to this plan.
The people who signed off on this plan are showing a strong commitment to BCH.
It's a way to deal with the "freeriders" problem and could also mitigate the issue with the high volatility of hash power that comes and goes on the BCH network.
The proposal is only for 6 months (though that could easily change) and these mining pool operators being direct competitors with one another will hopefully keep things honest.
Over the last day or so, I've read and thought about so many different aspects of this issue that I'm sure there's plenty of things I will forget to mention, but ultimately what matters to me is how the market is going to react. After all, we're not going to get peer-to-peer electronic cash with a coin that isn't worth anything.
I've scoured Twitter, Telegram, and Reddit for the past day to help me come up with my best guess regarding the situation, and the what's clear is that this is a complicated matter and there is no clear answer. Also, that this community is passionate about this project and cares deeply about seeing it succeed.
I've heard from people I admire and respect on both sides of this issue, which makes the decision that much harder. Obviously, nothing is certain in life, you can only place your bets based on the information at hand and hope you've bet right. And for the moment, I'm betting on Bitcoin Cash. I have to believe that the four powerful names that support this initiative know what they're doing, have the best interest of BCH in mind, and do have actual skin in the game. I would love to have more evidence on the last point, but knowing I will probably not be granted the ability to see their BCH holdings, I have to trust that this is indeed the case. The same goes for my impression of the Bitcoin ABC team, who will presumably benefit the most from this plan. I'm not a cryptography expert, or a computer scientist, or an economics professor, so I have to trust my best judgment on who I trust. Amaury and his team have given me no reason to doubt their abilities so far. That doesn't mean I will always feel this way. But for now, I want to give all the parties involved the benefit of the doubt. To those who say I'm an idiot, that I'm appealing to authority, I don't know what to say other than you have to draw the line somewhere. When my sons were born, I didn't question my wife's doctor on what's the best way to do this, I let her handle it.
The bottom line is, if this funding plan isn't implemented, BCH is still faced with its most talented developers having to work for free to move the network forward. It's debatable how long this can continue during this extended bear market. Some have argued that the mining pool operators should just donate funds out of their own pockets if they're so committed to seeing BCH succeed. I understand this argument, but for me it doesn't solve the freerider problem that leads to a tragedy of the commons. This potentially does.
Ultimately, only time will tell if this proves to be good or bad for Bitcoin Cash. This was a difficult decision as to whether I should continue to hodl or sell my BCH. As a user, that's my choice. Just as it's a miner's choice to mine BCH or not, and a dev's choice to work on BCH versus another project. If anything, I think those who choose to stay in this community will be even more committed than ever before. After two years of being obsessed with this project, of dedicating my time and energy into being a part of this community, I still believe BCH has the best chance of achieving the vision as stated in the title of the whitepaper. The amount of innovation that has happened since 2017 is remarkable, and I look forward to seeing even more.
I admit, yesterday I took coins out of cold storage and sent them to an exchange while I considered my options. So far, I've yet to sell.
Thanks for reading.