Wednesday, October 21st, 2020, 24 days before the fork
What am I trying to achieve with my numerous articles? That's a reasonable question. I guess the truth is a little of everything, but if I had to choose, I'd say what I hope to accomplish more than anything else is to influence BCH stakeholders to see that supporting both the IFP and Bitcoin ABC gives us the best opportunity of making Bitcoin Cash into world money.
The comment above goes on to suggest that if I think the IFP is so perfect, there's no need to convince anyone, but this is what so many people fail to understand.
I do believe in the IFP. I believe that funding infrastructure development through an on-chain incentive mechanism has the potential to be the rocket fuel BCH has been waiting for, but we also need the support of major stakeholders in order to make this work.
It's why I'm not worried that the new coinbase rule will give Bitcoin ABC too much power. This whole situation has only shown how the power is widely distributed across the ecosystem between developers, miners, holders, as well as the businesses building on top of Bitcoin Cash and the many merchants who accept it.
But for me the ultimate goal isn't for Bitcoin Cash to be as decentralized as possible. The goal is to turn Bitcoin Cash into a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that enables fast, cheap, and reliable payments that are censorship resistant, don't rely on third-parties, and can be used by every human on the planet.
As of today, Bitcoin Cash remains far from that goal, and if you take ABC out of the picture, I'd argue it will only take us even further away. Will the IFP centralize development? Perhaps to a degree. But does that matter so long as the mission is accomplished? For me the answer is no.
I know there's been a lot of animosity between the two camps, but imagine what could be accomplished if those of you who currently reject the IFP decided to give it a chance. Imagine how the market would react with all that uncertainty removed. You might argue the same thing would happen if ABC was the one to back down, but I see the two situations as being vastly different because with the latter, we will still be left with the same funding problems and nothing will have changed. We'll just be kicking the can down the road.
Once again I applaud BCHN for providing the community with an alternative mining implementation so quickly and demonstrating that it is indeed possible. But I think it would be hasty to simply hand over the reins to a team that has been around for less than a year.
This is why I think the best path forward would be to enable the IFP while still allowing people to experiment and invest in other projects through flipstarter campaigns or other funding mechanisms. That would give us the best of both worlds.
If a year later we see the progress made by ABC is lacking, why not reassess the situation then? We'd still have all the other node implementations to fall back on, at which point those teams will have hopefully matured and proven themselves in their own right.
The IFP doesn't lead to coin inflation as some might believe. It's merely a reallocation of funds whereby 8% of the coinbase reward goes to development in exchange for a little less security. If it doesn't work out, we can just as easily reallocate the funds back to the way things were.
I write because I can see what's possible. I write because I believe we are closer to achieving our mission than many realize, as well as being on the verge of disaster, but one that can be averted.
Let me paint two different scenarios that I see as equally realistic:
Scenario A: Major miners and stakeholders pledge their support for the IFP. The market reacts positively to the news since this removes much of the uncertainty surrounding BCH. ABC is properly funded for the first time and continues to hire skilled developers to tackle some of the long-awaited upgrades such as the removal of the chained-transaction limit, implementing an adaptive block size, and everything else on their roadmap to scale Bitcoin Cash and finally offer the world a real alternative to the traditional financial system.
Scenario B: The majority of miners and stakeholders favor BCHN. The chain splits in November causing even greater uncertainty. Exchanges limit deposits and withdrawals of BCH and the price tanks as a result. In the aftermath, ABC possibly moves on due to a lack of resources. A few months later BCHN is forced to do the same because the donations have dried up and there simply isn't enough manpower to get the job done.
I keep writing these articles because I want to avoid scenario B at all costs and believe that scenario A is a real possibility.
Let me finish with something I recently realized. That writing these articles isn't all that different from performing hash functions. In both cases all you're doing is trying different combinations until you find the one that fits. I have no idea if my work is futile. Maybe I'm no different from someone mining with a single S9 sitting in their garage, but what I do know is that I'll never find a block if I don't try, and the more people out there like me, the more secure the network is going to be.
As always, thanks for reading.
I think a lot of the no-IFP crowd has imagined just this, but they imagine that ABC becomes the next Blockstream.
What uncertainty? BCH has always been a major underdog to BTC, and the "IFP" changes nothing in regards to that. If you're implying the price is lower still due to the animosity, then perhaps ABC should have accepted the vote when the real IFP didn't pass in which case we wouldn't be here. If you're implying the market dropped because the real IFP didn't pass, then why aren't the available futures supporting the IFP coin?
The thing is, there are plenty of developers working on nodes other than ABC that have been working on nodes longer than BCH has existed. Further, from what I've read, there are developers associated with and/or contributing to BCHN who were previously associated with and/or contributing to ABC, if a person moved from one team to the other, then didn't that technically make two new teams? In that sense, the ABC team hasn't been around any longer. Then there are the other nodes that also may or may not have "new teams" but will be collaborating while ABC continues to try to go it alone (even if they chose to proceed without the IFP, there seemed to be a lot of suggestions that has been ABCs biggest flaw all along).
Because ABC has already successfully staked their ownership claim to the coin at that point and they aren't going to give up the IFP then, either?
Right, and since Lightning is going to take 18 months, we can go ahead and add 2MB blocks when we add segwit...
See, those two scenarios seem equally extreme to me. I suppose "equally realistic" technically means the same thing as "equally unrealistic," but the former seems meant to imply that either might happen in spite of the fact that neither one is likely to happen at all. In fact, if BCHN really were a "new team" then it seems odd to think they couldn't go a few years just like the original new team did from 2009 to 2012 before funding was even imagined.