Friday, October 9th, 2020, 36 days before the fork
The main argument against the IFP is that it gives Bitcoin ABC too much power.
Some are afraid that Amaury is going to use the new coinbase rule to turn himself into some tyrannical dictator destined to destroy BCH. Others believe he's going to be a parasite who works as little as possible while milking the IFP money for as long as he can.
Let's consider the second scenario for a moment, the one where Amaury's master plan is to enable the IFP so he can loaf around and do nothing with the rest of his life, or as long as he can collect that 8%.
This one is ridiculous on so many levels I'm not going to spend too much time refuting it. Amaury may be many things, but anyone who thinks he's a swindler or a grifter is likely one himself, or has some serious issues.
Now as far as the first scenario goes, the one where ABC becomes too centralizing a force, that's a little more understandable. The new coinbase rule will entrust Amaury with a lot of responsibility, but I personally think it's a level of trust that's been earned over the past three years.
For me, Amaury has earned this moment by showing his proof of work, and now it's up to the community to reveal whether we value people like him or not. Do we want to incentivize talented engineers to work on this project, or reject the IFP and demonstrate we are a community that only seeks ideologues who must tow the party line in order to be rewarded with handouts from a select few.
I'm not asking you to accept the IFP just because I think Amaury is deserving. I obviously can't read his mind, or see the future. But what I am asking is that you let go of your fear. I want you to see that Bitcoin Cash is resilient. It's battle tested. And even if Amaury was to show himself evil or incapable, there's little to be concerned with because we've seen how easy it was for someone to fork ABC's code and create a competing client.
As misguided as I think their efforts may be, I commend BCHN for their tenacity and spirit. I think they prove that this community is full of passionate people who are ready to step in if needed.
But at this time, I don't think BCHN, BU, Knuth, Verde, and so on are needed as anything more than a back-up implementation, and how many back-ups do you really need?
What I find frustrating is that so many in the BCH community seem to be unable to understand that ABC isn't forcing anyone here. The IFP is an invitation. They are asking people to follow them, to let them lead, but by no means are you required to do so. Think of it as if ABC is saying they are going to start walking in this direction, and it's up to you to decide if you want to go in the same direction as them.
I don't know if it's ignorance, or malice, that causes people to see the IFP as a tax, but let me attempt to put the matter to rest one last time. If a miner upgrades his software to run the newest ABC client on November 15th, he is making a conscious choice to have 8% of his coinbase reward diverted to an address under ABC's control. If he doesn't upgrade, he knows he's not going to jail, or going to be punished in any way. But if he does opt in, he is voluntarily choosing to mine on a chain that enables a fair mechanism for everyone to help pay for the roads. If a miner doesn't want to pay for the roads, it's fine because miners can leave and rejoin the network at will as was always intended.
For everyone who opposes ABC, I want you to realize that you're fighting against someone who holds no power over you. Amaury can't force anyone to do anything. It's not as if he has a standing army under his control, and there's no such thing as hashpower violence.
All Amaury wants is an opportunity.
I believe the IFP can be as symbolic as it is practical and send a strong signal to the wider crypto community that BCH is ready to grow up. I think it offers the right incentives to deliver the desired outcome of making BCH world money. And I also believe that even if the IFP were to prove itself unsuccessful, it can easily be removed should that become necessary.
Every six months miners have to upgrade their software if they run ABC. It's like having a regular semi-annual performance review to make sure progress is being made with the ultimate score being the price of the coin. If the price continues to go down, then the miners will leave, which is why the IFP will incentivize ABC to do everything they can to make sure the utility of the chain improves to help number go up.
So what are we so afraid of? Do we want to keep wandering around aimlessly waiting for a miracle? Or do we try the IFP and find out if it's exactly the kind of "needed rules and incentives" mentioned in the last sentence of the white paper.
I think it is, and I think if the majority of the community can come to a consensus that the IFP is worth trying, BCH will send its strongest market signal ever.
Given the state of the world and all the money being printed by governments, this might be our best and last shot at becoming world money. It's time to be bold, not cautious, and it's time to move fast, not slow things down.