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What just happened to BCH?

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Avatar for Cain
Written by   607
2 months ago
Topics: Cryptocurrency

Friday, November 20th, 2020, 5 days after the fork

Let me start by saying that I don't presume to speak for anyone. I also don't consider myself an expert on anything, and I'm not a mind reader, or fortune teller either. I just love to write and share my thoughts, which lately is mostly about Bitcoin.

I feel like there's some confusion about what happened to the Bitcoin Cash network five days ago. People who haven't been closely following the "community" don't seem to understand the reasons why it happened, and what to expect moving forward. So let me try to explain.

The BCH mission has always been to become money for the world. Fast, cheap, and reliable payments that can be made without the need for a trusted third-party. BCH was supposed to bank the unbanked, replace the traditional financial system, and be the best money the world has ever seen. So why hasn't it?

Three years later and it feels like BCH is moving backwards. In other words, the project has stagnated. From my perspective this is because we were too busy bickering about nonsense and ignoring the real problems, all while assuming that things would just magically get better. Someone else will fix it and it'll all work itself out.

Even when we had someone amongst us who kept trying to get us to see we were completely lost, we turned a blind eye to reality and acted like paradise was just past the next hill. Meanwhile, this person constantly complained about the lack of funding for developers and that we were kidding ourselves if we thought we were going to find the way out of this mess without first figuring that shit out.

Frustrated by the situation, he even said he'd probably be better off shorting BCH and quitting the space altogether rather than continue wandering forever.

The person I'm talking about is of course Amaury Sechet, the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, and arguably the person most responsible for the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

I was one of the many people who thought why can't he just be more positive and be a leader who inspires rather than shitting on everything all the time? Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and finally stopped lurking and gave Amaury a piece of my mind. He promptly told me to fuck off.

Having never really interacted with him before, his reaction caught me by surprise. It gave me pause, and rather than take offense I wanted to understand. I asked him questions and little by little I began to sympathize with his frustration. I proposed ABC should put in the work to raise the necessary funds. Others in the channel started offering to help put a business plan together, to which Amaury seemed less than enthusiastic.

At that point I figured I'd tried. I couldn't help it if the guy just had bad leadership skills.

Then there was the Bitcoin.com fundraiser, and some drama following the fundraiser, followed by the Bitcoin Cash City conference in September that year.

That's where Amaury gave his presentation titled "Bitcoin Cash's Culture". I remember watching it that weekend and for the first time I understood what he'd been trying to say. In fact it was eye opening. It was like waking up and realizing you're in a burning building and the one guy telling us everything's on fire was the only sane one, not the people telling us everything's fine.

I listened to his talk and learned new terms like infrastructure decay, schelling points, and commitment strategies. His explanation for why BCH was only worth 3% of BTC made perfect sense, as did his answer for how to get out from under BTC's shadow.

Even as someone who isn't a developer, I thought it was such an important talk that I took it upon myself to spend several hours transcribing the entire presentation and putting it up as my 4th ever article on read.cash.

But despite Amaury telling everyone what needed to happen, his message fell upon deaf ears.

Fast forward a few months and Jiang Zhuoer, the CEO of BTC.TOP, announces the Infrastructure Funding Plan (IFP). It was proposed that 12.5% of the coinbase reward would go to infrastructure development for a six month trial period from May to November of 2020. There were three other signatories on the announcement: Jihan Wu, Haipo Yang, and Roger Ver.

Initially the reaction to the announcement was mixed. Some were excited, others weren't so sure. There were tons of questions, but ultimately people took offense to the way it was presented as not up for debate, as well as the mysterious Hong Kong corporation that was supposed to handle the funds.

Another version was rolled out a short time later as a kind of compromise, but by then everyone's mind seemed to be made up. It's a tax, they said, and taxes are evil. (It's not a tax, and if you still think it's a tax, I'm sorry but I can't help you.)

Eventually the four signatories all caved. Some even pulled a complete 180 and made Bitcoin ABC out to be the bad guys.

With the IFP now off the table, ABC put together a business plan and tried to raise money the way everyone had asked them to. They spent valuable time and resources creating a detailed plan on how much funding they would need, what those funds would be used for, and estimated delivery dates for each of their goals. Despite all that they raised only enough to barely survive another year. And there's a big difference between surviving and growing.

Then came the flipstarter campaigns. ABC humbly asked for help once more, and pretty much everyone turned their backs.

Bitcoin ABC had no moves left. They couldn't accomplish everything they wanted to accomplish without the necessary funding, so they took matters into their own hands and announced they were activating the IFP regardless.

Some vocal members of the community threw a fit. It's a tax! You can't do this to us! This isn't Bitcoin! they said.

People have argued the activation of the IFP breaks the social contract of BCH. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't, I'm not an expert on such things, but what I do know is I refuse to support a system where developers aren't allowed to earn a paycheck for their work, especially when the people paying them are doing so voluntarily.

As for diverting 8% of the coinbase reward to fund developers not being Bitcoin, I ask you to reread the last sentence of the white paper: "Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism."

To me the new coinbase rule falls under "any". Also, I'd like to point out that it's the last fucking sentence of the white paper. Trust me, Satoshi didn't just include that sentence for no reason. As someone who likes to write, I will say I probably scrutinize the final sentence of each article more than any other, and I doubt it was any different for him. Any needed rules and incentives, not some, any.

So while most BCH supporters have chosen to stick with BCH side of the split believing that things are going to get better because they've gotten rid of Bitcoin ABC, I will follow the team who I think has the best chance of preventing me from dying of starvation.

But like I said, I'm not an expert, I can't see the future, I'm just a guy who likes to write.

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Avatar for Cain
Written by   607
2 months ago
Topics: Cryptocurrency
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Comments

Despite all that they raised only enough to barely survive another year.

They raised ~55% of $3.3 million, so roughly $1.8million, according to https://fund.bitcoinabc.org/

I'm not saying it's not well-deserved, or that we should expect good talent for dirt-cheap, but if that is the cost of barely surviving, then I believe there is some inefficiencies here that needs to be addressed.

This is also more than all flipstarters that have ever succeeded so far, but for some reason the other node teams are all working to move forward and are happy and consider themselves funded. The counter-argument would be that they are not "world-class", but I don't think that's true.

There are certaintly developers on the other node teams that are not world-class, and I'm not world-class, but things like graphene with proper research papers and an excellent and working implementation doesn't come from random hippies in their garage, so to speak.

developers aren't allowed to earn a paycheck for their work

I think this is factually inaccurate - no one is blacklisting their receiving addresses or freezing their bank accounts - their ability to earn a paycheck is determined by them.

$ 0.51
2 months ago

I have learnt much to see your video. Thank you very much.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Interesting article, I'm spending lots of time researching crypto projects, and didn't know some of the things mentioned here.

Interesting that Amaury told you to fuck of, and now you are the main source of presenting his position. At least here on Read cash

Is it easy to make video interview with him? What do you think?

$ 0.00
2 months ago

What I've learned over these past few years is that there are many layers to crypto projects and it's generally pretty hard to get a complete picture of a situation without doing a ton of digging. I plan on continuing to write more articles to clarify my position. As for an interview with him, what do you mean? He has plenty of interviews he's done and I've actually written a lot about him as well as his interviews. Let me know if there's anything specific you're curious about and I'll try to answer.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I'm planning series of interviews with crypto tech leaders. You can check my youtube channel: Cryptotexty

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I watched some and subscribed. I'll keep an eye out for any upcoming videos.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Thanks! And I'll keep an eye on your new articles.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Well is hard to be an expert in such things. I'm here initially because I believe in satoshi's vision, so ill stick with it. Anything trying to risk that, I will look at it from afar (in this case 'coinbase rule').

$ 0.06
2 months ago

BCH is just fine and BCHN node team has done more scaling work than ABC has done for the last year. All with voluntary funding. ABC has done nothing but pissing off investors and other eco-system actors. Now ABC has their own taxcoin. Fine. Good riddance. I have already sold all BCHA I got from the fork.

$ 0.06
2 months ago

I'm probably one of the many people who have been confused about the fork with BCH. Maybe because I'm still so overwhelmed with all the "forked" crypto currencies and all, and I can't even absorb enough to just focuse on one thing. 😅

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I’m not really convinced BCHA is going to succeed. It’s adding additional confusion and uncertainty and ultimately waters down the Bitcoin Cash message.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

In other words, the project has stagnated.

Says a lot about Bitcoin ABC, the supposed reference implementation during that time.

$ 0.10
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2 months ago

Its not even true at all, BCH has grown substantially in many directions, we have more merchants, we have local.bitcoin.com, we have SLP tokens, BCH is being integrated by PayPal , we had multiple hackathons, flipstarter was created and has shown that community members are so generous to actually donate a lot of funds, also read.cash happened & memo is growing all the time, sooooo much has happened. So that he is claiming that it has stagnated clearly shows that his intentions are to manipulate with lies. The only way BCH has stagnated was: The DAA wasnt fixed by ABC, the UTXO limit issue wasnt addressed and ignored for a long time by ABC making memo.cash less usable for a very long period.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

I agree with you on these points, roundly speaking. There were more projects than just Memo affected by the UTXO chaining problem (most well known is SatoshiDice).

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2 months ago

I'm no expert too, and I'm just very new to the crypto world. your article shed a bit more light on things, been checking out the subreddit r/btc and to me as an outsider, it just looks like some civil war that's been going on forever. 😵

$ 0.01
2 months ago

Yeah I can imagine if you're new it must look like a dumpster fire. But with bcha we're trying to fix things.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

yeah dumpster fire indeed. 🔥 but like i always say, there's 2 side to every coin unless it's a die🎲 if i want to understand anything regarding BCHN and BCHA there's a lot to slog through 🤷‍♂️

$ 0.00
2 months ago

Reddit is not a place to get your insights from.

$ 0.00
2 months ago

i tend to keep an open mind, but guarded, of course, if in your opinion sir, reddit is not a place of insight, where then, should i be looking? youtube? LBRY? 😅👍

$ 0.00
2 months ago