The Values of Bitcoin Cash, Or How To Lead The Revolution (Without The IFP)

18 355
Avatar for F.B.
Written by
  20
1 month ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash

I've spent the last two weeks thinking about the Infrastructure Funding Plan and reading every single article that was published here about it. Before I begin, I'd like to thank the entire community for being so vocal on this topic, it really shows that we care and that we're involved. I'd like to also thank @Jiang_Zhuoer_BTC.TOP_CEO because while it's clear not everyone agrees, putting forth a plan to fund development makes me extremely bullish for the future of Bitcoin Cash.

No, I don't think it's a power grab, and I respect the work and effort behind this, because it's not easy to get people who typically compete with one another to agree on something like this. I think that everyone involved is acting in good faith.

When the plan was announced, I was immediately very hyped because while I wasn't sure if I wholeheartedly supported the plan (yet?), the implications of miners banding together to fund development of the Bitcoin Cash protocol are huge. While a lot of people got offended at the Non-Debate Theory, it's a very powerful concept. None of the things that the Non-Debate Theory gave us were perfect, but they were *clear improvements* over status-quo. Bitcoin Cash wouldn't be alive today without the Non-Debate Theory, because we would still be arguing on what a safe blocksize increase is or what the perfect algorithm to calculate the perfect blocksize is. We would probably have a bigger chunk of the market share had we forked off from Bitcoin Core sooner. The Non-debate Theory is about iterating quickly; learning and improving on what works, and leaving what doesn't work behind. I think we would do well to not get offended by the Non-Debate Theory and even to embrace it.

I remain convinced that although flawed, the plan would work in injecting much-needed capital back into development. However, I don't think we should adopt the plan.

Being Idealistic

Before I explain why I have changed my mind, I do think that we're in the process of writing history, and that Bitcoin Cash has the best chance to dramatically change the world for the better. It will lift people out of poverty, empower them and restore some balance in this deeply inequal world. We're on the front-row seats of this revolution that will give the internet (revolution) a run for its money. And we definitely need money and talent to get there.

But I don't think we should do the IFP. Most of us are idealistic, and that's why we got involved with Bitcoin back in the day and it's why we're involved in Bitcoin Cash now. I think that we, not only have a shot at revolutionizing money, but also revolutionizing governance. I think we should show the entire world that Bitcoin Cash can, not only be self-sufficient, but thrive on voluntary contributions. If we call ourselves libertarians and voluntaryists, if we believe that taxation is theft; then we have to actually stand before our beliefs.

While the plan is clearly clever, it's not consistent with the vision of having decentralized governance (and governments) and it's not consistent with our values. If we need a road built in our town, we will go and build it, simply because we know that the benefits of having a road outweighs the cost of building that road. We will build it ourselves, we will not trick or coerce others to build or pay for it instead of us.

So I can hear you thinking "Well, donations haven't cut it so far, and we can't afford to lose developers." and you're absolutely right. Donations so far haven't been enough, because we shouldn't call them donations. Most of us (myself included, until recently) didn't realize the simple fact that *investing* a small portion of your position in BCH increases the likelihood that your BCH growing (more) significantly. I also realized that the "tragedy of the commons" doesn't apply in crypto simply because it is not a resource that can be depleted. The holders who aren't reinvesting a portion of their holdings are actually hurting their long-term returns.

How do we fix this?

We need to educate each other on the realities and governance goals of Bitcoin Cash. We need to cooperate on growth, and we need to create the technologies that will allow us to fulfill this vision.

Here is a very incomplete list of things that could help us:

  • Reviving Lighthouse (again!)

  • Bitcoin Cash based Patreon for content creators (or development teams!)

  • Using SLP tokens to crowdfund, and better visibility and accountability of the work devs are doing

I know that personally I will be much more involved with the community (both in terms of time and money) than I have in the past.

$ 734.25
$ 700.00 from @MarcDeMesel
$ 15.00 from @molecular
$ 5.00 from @quest
+ 14
Sponsors of F.B.
empty
empty
empty
Avatar for F.B.
Written by
  20
1 month ago
Topics: Bitcoin Cash
Enjoyed this article?  Earn Bitcoin Cash by sharing it! Explain
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.

Comments

If we call ourselves libertarians and voluntaryists ... we have to actually stand before our beliefs.

I am a voluntaryist and don't consider the IFP to be a violation of voluntaryist principles any more than the prohibition on double-spending or on expanding the total supply beyond 21M.

it's not consistent with the vision of having decentralized governance

I'm not sure convincing evidence can be shown for anything more than a "51% or exit" style of governance being within a Bitcoin vision.

we should show the entire world that Bitcoin Cash can ... thrive on voluntary contributions

Rather than the donations vs mandatory fees or voluntary vs coercive (strawman) dichotomy, let's focus on a market-based paradigm where payments are made for goods and services.

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Bitcoin Cash based Patreon for content creators (or development teams!)

We kind of have this :) https://read.cash/@Read.Cash/how-to-grow-the-bitcoin-cash-ecosystem-our-vision-part-2-d30a9c07

It's not hyper-successful though, but it's crawling up.

$ 0.00
1 month ago

$50'000 upvote is unheard of. Marc: Challenge accepted!

But seriously, this platform is awesome and you guys seem to have a really strong vision/roadmap and are developing really quickly. So thank you and good job.

When I was saying patreon I meant more of like a non-custodial commitment/fulfillment to spend x$ a month to your favorite content creator/developer(development team). A lot of people in the crypto community can afford to donate 5$ a month, and it adds a lot of predictability and flexibility for planning.

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Ok, maybe that article is waay too long :) Here's a shorter one: https://read.cash/@Read.Cash/get-sponsors-a2b66c10

$ 0.00
1 month ago

I'm confused. Did you read the article? It's about the sponsorships feature, not about upvotes. It's non-custodial, it's a commitment, there's a fullfillment. It's not an on-chain commitment, but an on-chain commitment is as easy to break as a proprietary one.

As an example, Tendo Pein (the developer of Spedn programming language) is sponsored via read.cash for about $90/month by emergent_reasons. And there are about 46 other sponsorships going on, though most of them are pretty small. (You can see that information by clicking the "Become a sponsor" button under that post)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

I skimmed it originally when you guys came out with the feature, re-read it as you linked it in the original comment, and then once more replying to this comment.

I originally only skimmed it because as an individual that doesn't have a product to advertise I didn't realize I could find use in this feature. Now that I understand, it's really cool, and does in-fact do what I thought we were missing; it just didn't seem obvious that "me as an individual" can pledge "5$ a month" to "my favorite content creator/developer" through sponsorships.

$ 0.10
1 month ago

Yep, exactly the point. It fits both the developers with a product, authors, open source developers - anyone, frankly.

$ 0.00
1 month ago

I really like your perspective on the IFP, particularly "Non-Debate Theory"..

Reviving Lighthouse (again!)

my understanding is that (Cash)Script still does NOT support the necessary features to make this viable; which is probably why it failed when it was originally release by Mike Hearn .. though, i'm not 100% clear on what exactly would need to be added to the protocol..

from what i've been able to digest of Script, in general, it works very well between 2 parties (and a possible arbiter), but anything with even small groups gets sloppy quickly..

however, they idea has been mentioned recently in this post on Reddit

Bitcoin Cash based Patreon for content creators (or development teams!)

same as above

Using SLP tokens to crowdfund, and better visibility and accountability of the work devs are doing

just read this today, "SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor Period for Crypto Token Sales" .. imo, if this goes live, we will INSTANTLY have a 2nd coming of the ICO boom of '17, just replacing ERC20 with SLP ;-)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Allow me to quote a large part of your article because it's so well-said and goes to the heart of the current situation:

I think we should show the entire world that Bitcoin Cash can, not only be self-sufficient, but thrive on voluntary contributions. If we call ourselves libertarians and voluntaryists, if we believe that taxation is theft; then we have to actually stand before our beliefs.

While the plan is clearly clever, it's not consistent with the vision of having decentralized governance (and governments) and it's not consistent with our values. If we need a road built in our town, we will go and build it, simply because we know that the benefits of having a road outweighs the cost of building that road. We will build it ourselves, we will not trick or coerce others to build or pay for it instead of us.

This really is the main reason the IFP is met with such opposition. Many seem to think that we we shouldn't sell our ideals even temporarily to "save the coin". I do, too: if BCH cannot survive with it's foundational ideals intact, then so be it. It's better to go down with the head up than to bend and warp just to stay alive. All those arguments along the lines of "but it's just a little bit of security we're giving up" or "it's temporary, we'll get it back" are suggesting exactly that.

I know that personally I will be much more involved with the community than I have in the past.

Same here. The IFP proposal has been a bit of a wakeup call for me. Before I thought it was fine to donate here and there and observe everyone building... now I feel a sense of needing to contribute more than just money.

Bitcoin Cash needs us now.

$ 5.63
1 month ago

Your article was one of the many that inspired me to write this, thanks :)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

that makes me happy :-)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

I have a feeling more words will be said about 'Non-Debate Theory' - it is at least a very poorly understood concept, but I also think the name itself is sooooo awful that it needs a complete rename if it is to find ANY acceptance.

On the funding of development by SLP tokens:

https://read.cash/@btcfork/btcfork-resumes-sale-of-cgtow-tokens-for-bch-dev-fundraising-5f5c86c1

better visibility and accountability

That's part of what the 100% permissionless U-DID funding system hopes to bring:

Thread: https://read.cash/forum/bitcoin-cash/discussion-of-u-did-protocol-version-1-things-99646888

Community: https://read.cash/c/u-did-development-b64a (contains the introductory post and will keep getting more material as things mature)

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Thanks for your comment. I agree about the "Non-Debate Theory" being a terrible name. I hadn't heard the term until now, but the concept exists and is most familiar to me through agile methodology; incremental and iterative development or "try fast, learn fast, fail cheap".

I noticed both initiatives (CGTOW and U-DID) before writing this, so thanks for your work. What concerns me with CGTOW is that while I know that you are not going to misappropriate the funds, the reality is that you could, and your intervention in honoring the distribution of the coins is a centralized point of failure (unless I'm missing something).

I'm still wrapping my head around U-DID. Let me see if I understand. You're essentially proposing a json format for people to broadcast their donation intents (via memo.cash). The second part would be building a website so that anyone can see how much money is pledged/donated to each of the developer teams? Are you looking for contributors to build the website?

I was also thinking, it would be easy(ish) to organize a lottery for donations using SLP, you give 10$, and a % go to developers (could also function like the U-DID format where you can specify who gets what) and a % go to the jackpot?

$ 0.25
1 month ago

About CGTOW: you're right, I'm a trusted party and a central point of failure in that. Use at own risk, though I think most people know I've been around since before BCH came into being, and a little longer on BTC before that ;-) Still, your concern is absolutely valid and needs to be pointed out. We want to construct decentralized systems, preferably.

About U-DID: essentially correct on those counts. I'm looking to describe (and also specify) the information flows and associated message formats, and then anyone can build websites that listen for U-DID messages (a finer point: these do not have to be via Memo protocol, I'm just using it because it's great to start working on it. But there could be other forms of on-chain transmission for U-DID data). I've got a diagram ready now, which I'll put in a separate post. It is sort of an overview of what I think U-DID v1 could comprise. There's a forum discussion thread for U-DID design, which I think may have some more points of discussion that you haven't read. Feel free to pitch in with ideas!

About the lottery idea: I saw a post the other day (Reddit, I think?) about someone starting to build a lottery. Not oriented toward development funding, but perhaps close to what you describe.

Thanks for the reply and giving my endeavors some time & thought, I always appreciate that.

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Thank you!

$ 0.00
1 month ago

Wow beautifully put. Thank you for writing this.

$ 0.51
1 month ago

<3

$ 0.00
1 month ago
About us Rules What is Bitcoin Cash? Roadmap Affiliate program Get sponsored Self-host
hello@read.cash (PGP key) Reddit