Monday, September 28th, 2020
Jihan Wu is easily one of the most fascinating figures in all of Bitcoin.
Two years after graduating from Peking University with a degree in economics and psychology, Wu first discovered Bitcoin in 2011. He was so impressed by the technology that he became the first person to translate the white paper into Chinese. Soon after he started China's first Bitcoin community site and raised money from family and friends to buy himself 900 Bitcoin.
Two years later, after some smaller forays into Bitcoin mining, he co-founded Bitmain, which in a few short years became the largest Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturing company in the world, making him a multi-billionaire in the process.
It's an astounding trajectory to say the least.
In addition to all of that, Wu is also perhaps one of the most important figures in all of Bitcoin Cash, the big block version of Bitcoin that forked away from BTC on August 1st, 2017. So it's hard not to wonder what he thinks of the current drama surrounding the activation of the Infrastructure Funding Proposal (IFP). He's been noticeably quiet since signing off on the initial IFP proposed by Jiang Zhouer in January 2020.
So what will Jihan do?
I have no idea, of course, but here is what I do know. Wu has supported a big block version of Bitcoin for a long time, and along with Amaury Sechet and Haipo Yang, was an essential figure in the creation of Bitcoin Cash. Based on his past history, I have to believe that he supports the Bitcoin Cash mission of making the greatest form of money the world has ever seen.
Given that he is in the business of manufacturing mining hardware, it makes sense he would support a project that strives to enable on-chain scaling, allowing for more transactions on the network and higher transaction fees as a result of the greater volume. While Lightning Network and Liquid are working to take power away from miners and in effect adding centralized gatekeepers to the network, Bitcoin Cash is striving to remove the existing bottlenecks so that every human on the planet will be able to make up to 50 transactions per day with the same low fees BCH has come to be known for.
With each halving of the block reward, it will become increasingly important that transaction volume and transaction fees goes up to replace that lost revenue.
BCH strives to be both an excellent store of value and a medium of exchange. The hard money properties of BCH are identical to those of BTC, but it has the added benefit of having fast and cheap transactions that will hopefully increase BCH's value proposition over time.
But in order to achieve the goal of becoming world money, there's still much work to be done, and the question facing all BCH stakeholders is whether that work should be entrusted to a proven team like Bitcoin ABC by paying them 8% of the block reward to go towards infrastructure development, or leaving the work to others who are willing to work for donations.
BCH is possibly Bitcoin's last chance to scale the network with big blocks the way Satoshi originally intended. With the world's economy facing an imminent crisis, there is possibly no time to lose to get the BCH infrastructure ready to present itself as a credible alternative and yet another split would only damage those chances.
As someone whose business could be dramatically impacted if Bitcoin Cash doesn't scale in time for the oncoming economic crisis, is Wu willing to simply let the market decide the fate of BCH? Or will he act as a market participant and use his influence to steer the project in the direction he favors?