I just want to start off by saying I am utterly shocked at the events that have transpired over the past few weeks.
It is clear to me that there are irreconcilable differences between Bitcoin ABC and other parts of the Bitcoin Cash community. Differences of a technical nature, a cultural nature, and of personal nature. And I am not wanting to paint any single person as the bad guy.
Bitcoin ABC, who has a good relationship with many of the more relevant BCH miners, many exchanges, and many prominent individuals in other communities and an often under-reportedly large following of enthusiasts, wants to see properly funded and radical trend-breaking innovation on Bitcoin Cash. BCHD does too, to an extent, just more amicably. The other two big node teams, Bitcoin Unlimited and BCHN, want to only see innovation if absolutely necessary and if they feel they've been asked for their permission.
For example, Bitcoin ABC wants Avalanche preconsensus, Merklix based sharding, adaptive blocksize, and Mitra. Many of these are opposed by parties such as Bitcoin Unlimited and BCHN, who thinks that much of this is unnecessary and changes Bitcoin too much.
The problem with the conservative approach, however, is BCH is currently unable to scale past a few dozen megabytes per block, and has been unable to compete with the competition (i.e. Ethereum) in usecases and adoption. If nothing changes, then BCH absolutely has no future. And sorry, making your roadmap to just convince everyone that BCH is the Real Bitcoin™ and that all scaling will happen no-problem with Moore's Law, is a joke, and it hasent worked so far. Insanity is doing the same thing repeated times expecting a different result.
There is some damn bitter energy between allies of Bitcoin ABC, and allies of BCHN. Even if we could solve most of the problems facing BCH this very instant, that would still be unable to resolve this irreconcilable feud between Amaury and Ftrader, and they would still want to split the chain just to spite each other. And it takes two to tango, neither Amaury nor Ftrader is making moves towards making peace with each other, they are both far past the point of peaceful resolution, and want to fight it out until one or both sides of the debate meet their demise.
A week ago, Bitcoin ABC announced that they will be upgrading the DAA to a new algorithm this upcoming upgrade, called Grasberg. Its similar to the DAA proposed by Jonathan Toomim (ally of BCHN and BU) known as ASERT, and the only difference between the two is that Grasberg fixed historical drift. Because Bitcoin ABC did not credit Jonathan Toomim with the new development, and because there was no discussion had about Grasberg prior to the announcement, BCHN decided to become ballistic about this move, and brought back all the Anti-ABC rhetoric (which carried over from the time Bitcoin ABC coded up the IFP, requested by BTC.TOP CEO Jiang Zhuoer). The historical drift correction was demonized so far it was even compared to slavery reparations by Ftrader.
After a HUGE backlash and a staggering amount of the ecosystem deciding to jettison Bitcoin ABC, Amaury decided to walk back the Grasberg upgrade, and instead use ASERT. However, he is including something even more controversial, which is an 8% coinbase fee. This 8% coinbase fee is not the same thing as the IFP, because its not miner-activated and only goes to Bitcoin ABC, with no known veto mechanism.
I think Amaury has hurt feelings, is sick of the lack of progress in the BCH ecosystem, and is just doing what he thinks is necessary to move things forward. I think at this point he welcomes a contentious split, because it means he will no longer be prevented from doing the things necessary to complete the BCH roadmap. Can anyone really blame him? Honestly if I were in Amaury's position, I'd also see a split as preferable to compromise at this point, because compromising means nothing happens.
With the previous Grasberg announcement, i speculate that there is a ≤50% chance that Amaury legitimately thought it would not make people as mad as it did, and a ≥50% chance that Amaury is instigating conflict in order to either cause a split or bring something better (dev rewards) back on the table.
With this new ASERT + Dev Rewards announcement, I think that Amaury is finally starting to capitulate on any future hope of compromise, and is leaving his final deal on the table. Amaury is aware that most likely others will not take it, and I am speculating that Bitcoin ABC is fully ready to split off into their own chain, for the greater good.
At this point its pretty undeniable that a very large portion of the Bitcoin Cash community is backing BCHN, and the staggering part is how all the common BCH wallets are backing BCHN too. Exchanges are still running ABC however, and the miners still seem to mostly favor ABC over BCHN. Either way, this split looks like its going to be very nasty.
I am not sure if any exchanges are going to want to take a huge risk one way or another. I think the strongest chances sit with BCH turning into two smaller halves, with exchanges not immediately attributing the BCH name one way or another. For example, the two chains can be listed as Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Bitcoin Cash BCHN (BCHBCHN). Historically, the chain with the most accumulated POW gets crowned the winner by exchanges, however its still unclear if the miners plan on fighting a hashwar, and who would be on what side. Will Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com and Jihan Wu of Bitmain fight each other, for example?
Bitcoin.com is probably going to list BCHBCHN as BCH on their exchange, however there is also a chance that Coinex could pull this same power move in favor of ABC. If multiple exchanges start listing differing chains as BCH, then there will be huge customer fund loss, and likely lawsuits. This is like an extended game of chicken, where both sides of the debate take huge catastrophic losses every second a resolution is not made. If this happens, BCH might just outright die as a brand, and fall far from its current ranking.
There is also a chance that exchanges decide to side with BCHN, for a multitude of reasons. BCHBCHN sounds dumb and they might think it makes sense to condense it down to BCH, and they may decide to follow Roger Ver as he is seen as one of the biggest players and contributers in the BCH place.
All in all, i actually think BCHN has the greater chance of seizing the BCH name, but this is not final, as exchanges are going to do what they see best fit.
For starters, my primary allegiance rests with Avalanche, as they have the strongest tech. But as for my holdings in BCH, I plan on directing them in the chain with most the utility.
Assuming Bitcoin ABC becomes the minority chain, it will still have a lot going for it. Micropresident's Stamp wallet, Chris Troutner's fullstack.cash, Tobias Ruck's be.cash wallet, and a completed BCH roadmap stacked with Avalanche, powerful scaling technology, and powerful smart contract technology.
I fully plan on supporting the ABC version of Bitcoin Cash, as it will be the only version of the two that can scale in both throughput and new usecases. I will sell 100% of all of my BCHN version of Bitcoin Cash, and invest it into the ABC version. This is the tech and roadmap that I believe in, and I don't see a technical or economic future for the BCHN version. Failing to innovate and compete is digging your own grave.
Also out of the two versions of BCH, it sounds like Bitcoin ABC will become the more stable community, and BCHN will remain composed of many different actors in a perpetual state of butting heads. I speculate that within two years, BCHN and BU will be at each other's throats, and more, if not infinite, splits will occur on the BCHN version. New node teams may spontaneously form to protest each other, and BU will probably engage in its usual social media manipulation and spinning up fake nodes to look better. I still havent seen Peter Rizun and Ftrader in the same dev meeting collaborating in any way, and this will probably bite them in the ass later.
Again, I don't think that preaching to the world that you are The Real Bitcoin™ and that all technical and scaling problems are nonexistent or will just magically fix themselves over enough time is a viable roadmap, in fact i think it makes whoever says that look retarded. BCHN is reliving BSV's strategy but rebranding it.
As for my good crypto friends, if you have not done this already, I strongly reccommend diversifying your crypto holdings. I am holding onto Avalanche, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash ABC, in that order. Invest into utility, and invest into the competition. Avalanche is new but has cutting-edge tech, Ethereum is the industry standard in DEFI innovation, and Bitcoin Cash ABC is the last straw for seeing a "version of Bitcoin" fulfil Satoshi's Vision for a peer to peer electronic cash system, and may grow up to compete with ETH.
The future has not been written yet, but now is our time to make sure we are heading in a good direction.