*timeline last updated 11/06*
What follows at the bottom is a six page long chronological overview of what happened in BCH in 2020 so far. To make it more digestible and fun to read I start with my narrating of the story.
My attempt was to remain as objective as possible and "let the facts speak for themselves" with everything sourced. I also link to many read.cash articles, the decision of which are the important ones to include is certainly not easy, I count on the rest of the community if I overlooked anything important.
The year started out relatively calm, with cashfusion in "the news" and an older ongoing controversy between Amaury and Roger Ver being worked out. Starting Jan 22nd all debate broke loose with the announcement of “Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash” by Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP. To illustrate this point 2 days later coinspice ran the title " Roger Ver Praises Vigorous Debate, [...]" and 6 days, less than a week, later Chris Pacia made a read.cash post titled "The 253rd "Thoughts on developer funding" Article" which might have been only a slight exaggeration or he might have been counting. Part of the reason of the tsunami was the lack of worked out details. By the time of Pacia's post a lot had changed: Both BU, Bitcoin Verde and a group of miners had made announcements not to go along with "the plan".
On feb 1st, the second version of the IFP was announced by Jiang Zhuoer in a post “BCH miner donation plan update”. Two weeks later on Feb 15th, the third iteration was announced by Bitcoin ABC which was to be activated by hashrate voting and on the same day Flipstarter was introduced, a sign of the search for alternative solutions. After a few more days and a few more people coming out more against the IFP (including Jonald Fyookball, Mark Lundeberg & Josh Ellithorpe), BCHN was announced on feb 20th with a formal release a week later. Also feb 27th, the DAA was brought back into the conversation by Jonathan Toomim with his " The BCH difficulty adjustment algorithm is broken. Here's how to fix it." video. By early march the IFP was effectively dead with its author Jiang Zhuoer vowing to vote against it. This became clear to everyone when ABC, a day later sudddenly shifted gears towards non-protocol, donation based funding: the IFP was dead. End march ABCs 2020 Business Plan was announced as a way to raise $3.3 million. With the IFP defeated, some of the conversation shifted back to the mempool chaining limit of 25 which was raised as an issue since mid 2019 and was still not addressed by Bitcoin ABC. Also after the defeat of the IFP, from mid april to mid may was the high time for voluntary funding with four node implementations and General Protocols, a BCH DeFi Startup succesfully raising funds.
By May 15th, the 6th HF network upgrade things had pretty much cooled down. The upgraded included nothing controversial and even saw a doubling in the unconfirmed transaction chain. During this downtime in early-June, the extremely popular site coinmarketcap, roughly two months after the aquisition by Binance, unexpectedly changed the Bitcoin Cash logo on its site to green. This initiative was later followed by the exchange Gemini, the portfolio app blockfolio and by the Coinmarketcap competitor coingecko. Mid-June things started to heat up again with the BCHN announcement to remove the "poison pill" or "automatic replay protection". 8th Jul Jonathan Toomim posted "BCH protocol upgrade proposal: Use ASERT as the new DAA" which promised the solution to the long dragging DAA problem. Jul 23th however an unexpected twist occurred when Amaury Séchet posted "Announcing the Grasberg DAA" an incompatible, alternative solution. This, again, sparked a ton of debate and discussion. Grasberg lasted just two weeks from Jul 23th to Aug 6th when ABC announced its plans for the november 2020 upgrade but it had succesfully united the opposition in the meanwhile. ABCs plan for november included dropping grasberg in favour of aserti3–2d and introducing IFPv4. The IFP which was declared dead after just over a month (Jan 22-Mar 5) is now back in full force.
A day later a joint statement from BCH Miners was released claiming "[BCHN] presently operate a majority of BCH hashrate." This claim seems to have been supported when the signaling for BCHN reached over 50% towards the end of August. Besides much community backlash on social media also vital infrastructure on BCH made their voice heard when two days after the announcement the SLP-Foundation released their joint statement. Other than these important metrics there was also a futures market launched by CoinFLEX which seems to signal overwhelming support for a future Bitcoin Cash without an IFP. Bitcoin.com, arguably the most important business in the BCH ecosystem also doubled down on their opposition to the IFP. Amidst all this flipstarter continued to demonstrate voluntary funding can fund common infrastructure with over 1 million USD reached in crowdfunding for over 12 different campaigns. Now, with the community extremely divided and partly incompatible code for the November 15th upgrade being publicly a split looks certain, even in the event that ABC would get majority hashrate despite current signals. Unlike in the November 2018 split almost two years ago, Roger Ver, probably BCH most influential spokesperson, has publicly said a split will happen. The divisiveness and fight for network effect is highlighted by Ver (and Bitcoin.com news) saying ABC is forking away from Bitcoin Cash and comparing the situation to a free airdrop to all BCH holders. Bitcoin ABC is framing the debate from their own angle saying its node implementation is the only software fully compatible with "the Bitcoin Cash protocol", whereas alternative node implementations would become "BCH-incompatible". On Sept 4th Bitcoin followed through with their promise towards the end of august and published its framework for the so-called "Global Network Council", their governance mechanism for the IFP. If anything it looks like both sides are doubling down with still roughly two months to go until the upgrade date.
With 10 days to go to the upgrade date notable companies like coinbase and binance came out with announcements on how they would handle the upcoming split. On the CoinEx and Coinflex futures markets the price of BCHABC traded at around 4% of the BCH price or roughly 10 dollars and even briefly dropped into single digit territory. On November 6th Bitcoin ABC came out unexpectedly with an announcement to support both chains which they referred to as "BCHA and BCHN" after the chainsplit.
The rest of the history is still being written but if p2p electronic cash is to succeed in any big regard it's very thinkable that these events will get into history books.
Important resources: coinspice IFP timeline & Compiled list of BCH Miner Dev Fund posts, articles, discussions
Dec 30th 2019 : “12/30/2019 - Update on Cash Fusion development” reddit post by jonald fyookball announcing cashfusion alpha is working already and the beta version is being worked on [source]
Dec 31st 2019: "A Tor-Integrated Cashfusion Build for Bitcoin Cash Is Coming"article by Bitcoin.com [source]
Jan 13th : “Do CoinJoins Really Require Equal Transaction Amounts for Privacy? Part One: CashFusion” article by BitcoinMagazine [source]
Jan 13th : “Clearing the Way for Cooperation” Read.cash article by Amaury Séchet [source] on the controversy with Roger Ver about the amount of donations over the years
Jan 22nd : “Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash” IFPv1 announced by Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP [source] IFPv1: 12.5% of BCH coinbase rewards which will last for 6 months through a Hong Kong-based corporation & to be activated on May 15th
Jan 22nd : ”Bitcoin Cash Developers React to Infrastructure Fund Announcement: Cautiously Optimistic” coinspice article including Amaury Séchet, Antony Zegers, Jonald Fyookball & Josh Ellithorpe [source]
Jan 23rd : Jiang Zhuoer reddit AMA [source] [coinspice article]
Jan 23rd : Vitalik weighs in with his take on twitter [source]
Jan 23rd :” On the infrastructure funding plan for Bitcoin Cash” article by Amaury Séchet [source] [coinspice article] in which he proposed to place control of the IFP key in his hands together with Jonald Fyookball and Antony Zegers. . A group of 7 to 12 miners, developers, and businessmen in total would get an advisory function.
Jan 24th : “Bitcoin.com's Clarifications on the Miner Development Fund“ which emphasizes, among other things, the temporary and reversible nature of the proposal [source] [coinspice article]
Jan 24th : “Little Known (But Important!) Facts About the Mining Plan” Read.cash article by Jonald Fyookball in which he defended the IFP and stressed its necessity and temporary nature.
Jan 25th : massive amounts of public debate as documented by coinspice [coinspice article] with Justin Bons, Tobias Ruck and Antony Zegers explaining their take on it.
Jan 26th : public debate continues: “Assessment and proposal re: the Bitcoin Cash infrastructure funding situation” Read.cash article by imaginary_username [source] which was noteworthy in part because the post earned over Earns $1,000+ in BCH [coinspice article] and “The Best Of Intentions: The Dev Tax Is Intended to Benefit Investors But Will Corrupt Us Instead” by Peter Rizun [source]
Jan 27th : “We are a group of miners opposing the BTC.TOP proposal, here's why” article on Read.cash [source] [reddit announcement]
Jan 27th : Bitcoin Unlimited's BUIP 143: Refuse the Coinbase Tax [source][reddit announcement]
Jan 28th : “Bitcoin Verde's Response to the Miner Sponsored Development Fund” read.cash article by Josh Green in which he explains “Bitcoin Verde will not be implementing any node validation that enforces new coinbase rules.” [source]
Jan 28th : “Update on Developer Funding” read.cash article from Bitcoin.com [source] in which they state “As it stands now, Bitcoin.com will not go through with supporting any plan unless there is more agreement in the ecosystem such that the risk of a chain split is negligible.” And that “any funding proposal must be temporary and reversible.” This announcement from bitcoin.com and their mining pool lead the anonymous opposition miners to stand down. [source]
Jan 28th : The 253rd "Thoughts on developer funding" Article – by Chris Pacia, to tackle the “serious misconceptions in the community about how software development works”. He ends on a note of support for the IFP because of lack of realistic alternatives. [source]
Feb 1st: “BCH miner donation plan update” IFPv2 announced by Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP [source] Which changes the donation mechanism so miners directly send part of their coinbase to the projects they wants to donate to. It would be activated with hashrate voting over a 3-month period with a 2/3 in favour requirement. The proposal also introduces a pilot period and a no donation option, Jiang Zhuoer also says he regards 12.% as too much.
Feb 7th: Group of BCH miners led by AsicSeer voice scepticism about the IFP during a reddit AMA [source]
Feb 15th: “On the Miner Infrastructure Funding Plan” article by Bitcoin ABC [source] In which they announce they will implement IFPv3 in their upcoming 0.21.0 release. This version has amount reduced to 5% of block reward and will go in effect with BIP 9 hashratevoting and a whitelist with different projects.
Feb 15th : “Introducing Flipstarter” [source]
Feb 16th :” Bitcoin.com’s stance on the recent block reward diversion proposals” video by Roger Ver on the Bitcoin.com Official Channel. [source] > Ver called Zhuoer’s IFP “clever” but ultimately “problematic.” [coinspice article]
Feb 16th :” BCH miner donation plan update again” read.cash article by Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP [source] In which he briefly outlines the details of IFPv3
Feb 17th : “Latest Thoughts On Infrastructure Mining Plan” post by Jonald Fyookball [source]
Feb 17th : “Regarding the Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Funding Plan, I am certain now that it should be scrapped immediately.” tweet by Mark Lundeberg [source]
Feb 19th : “Thoughts on the IFP - A Dev Perspective“ read.cash article by Josh Ellithorpe [source]
Feb 20th : “Bitcoin Cash Node” post announcing the new node implementation [source]
Feb 20th : First “Bitcoin Cash Developer Meeting” After IFP Proposal [source]
Feb 24th : “Flipstarter 500k, 6 independent campaigns” post announcing the goal to “fund the BCH ecosystem with 6 independent campaigns and an overall 500,000 USD target” [source]
Feb 27th : BCHN Formally Released [source]
Feb 27th : “The BCH difficulty adjustment algorithm is broken. Here's how to fix it.” Video by Jonathan Toomim [source]
Mar 3th :” Bitcoin Cash Node 2020: plans for May upgrade and beyond” post by BCHN [source]
Mar 4th :”Author of the Bitcoin Cash IFP [Jiang Zhuoer] Vows to Vote Against It, Using Personal Hash in Opposition” [source]
Mar 5th :Bitcoin ABC announces their 2020 Business Plan Fundraising for later in march [source]
Mar 15th : “EatBCH campaign funded! Next: node campaigns.” campaign funded after 11 hours [source]
Mar 30th : Bitcoin ABC 2020 Business Plan [source] $3.3 Million Fundraiser [source]
Apr 9th : “A Brief History of the Mempool Chaining Limit” Read.cash article by Peter Rizun [source]
Apr 17th : Five flipstarter node campaign launched. [source]
Apr 26th : BCHN flipstarter campaign successfully funded. [source]
Apr 27th : VERDE flipstarter campaign successfully funded. [source]
May 4th : KNUTH flipstarter campaign successfully funded. [source]
May 7th : “BCH DeFi Startup General Protocols Raises Over $1 mil“ [source]
May 8th : BCHD flipstarter campaign successfully funded. [source]
May 9th : Deadline for node campaigns, ABC flipstarter campaign not funded. [source]
May 14th : “With IFP Defeated, Bitcoin ABC, ViaBTC & CoinEX CEO Publicly Consider a Bitcoin Cash Foundation” [source]
May 15th : deadline for ABC fundraiser campaign, ends at 55% completed. [source]
May 15th : 6th HF network upgrade -> new opcode op_Reversebytes, increased of the chained transaction limit from 25 to 50, and the improved counting of signature operations using the new “Sigchecks” implementation [source] with the “Controversial Funding Plan Rejected by Miners” [source]
May 25th : “Announcing the SLP Foundation” [source]
Jun 9th : “Bitcoin Cash is now green on coinmarketcap.com” [source]
Jun 15st : “BCHN lead maintainer report 2020-06-15” announcement to remove the Automatic Replay Protection (a.k.a. the Poison Pill) from BCHN in november [source]
Jun 16st : “So [BCHN] is going to fork off from BCH at the next upgrade. Same old story. […]” tweeted Vin Armani [source]
Jun 21st : “Why Automatic Replay Protection Exists” post by Shammah Chancellor [source]
Jul 7th : “The Popular Stablecoin Tether Is Now Circulating on the Bitcoin Cash Network” [source]
Jul 8th : “BCH protocol upgrade proposal: Use ASERT as the new DAA” post by Jonathan Toomim [source]
Jul 18th : “$6M Worth of Tether on the Bitcoin Cash Chain Highlights the Benefits of SLP Tokens” [source]
Jul 23th : “Announcing the Grasberg DAA” post by Amaury Séchet[source]
Jul 24th : “Thoughts on Grasberg DAA” post by Mark Lundeberg [source]
Jul 29th : CashFusion security audit has been completed [source]
Jul 31st : Electron Cash 4.1.0 release with CashFusion support [source]
4th year, august 2020 – 2021
Aug 1st : “Bitcoin Cash: Scaling the Globe“ Online conference for ForkDay Celebration [source]
Aug 2nd : >“Is there going to be a fork between ABC and BCHN?” > “IMO it is very likely. If not in November, then next May.” – Amaury Séchet
Aug 3rd : “Dark secrets of the Grasberg DAA” post by Jonathan Toomim [source]
Aug 3rd : “Joint Statement On aserti3-2d Algorithm“ post by General Protocols, including Cryptophyl, Read.cash, Software Verde & SpinBCH [source]
Aug 3rd : Knuth announces they will be implementing aserti3-2d as DAA for november. [source]
Aug 3rd : Amaury rage quit from the developer call [source]
Aug 4th : “But why do people care about compensating for historical drift? Seems like a tiny problem and if it's causing this much social discord it seems not even worth bothering to try to fix.” Tweet by Vitalik [source]
Aug 5th : “Bitcoin Cash (BCH) November 2020 Upgrade statement” signed by BCHD, electron cash, VERDE, BU members, BCHN developers, Jonathan Toomim, Mark B. Lundeberg and many others [source]
Aug 5th : “BCHN FAQ on November 2020 Bitcoin Cash network upgrade” [source]
Aug 6th : “Bitcoin ABC’s plan for the November 2020 upgrade” [source] the announcement that they will drop Grasberg in favour of aserti3–2d (ASERT) and will also include FPv4 in which 8% of the blockreward goes to ABC as development funding.
Aug 7th : “Joint Statement from BCH Miners regarding Bitcoin ABC and the November 2020 BCH Upgrade.” Read.cash article by asicseer [source] stating “Over recent months, most miners and pools have switched to BCHN, and presently operate a majority of BCH hashrate.”
Aug 7th : “Simple Ledger Protocol's Joint Statement Regarding Bitcoin ABC on BCH's November 2020 Upgrade” read.cash post by the SLP-Foundation [source]
Aug 8th : CoinFLEX launched Bitcoin Cash Governance Futures for the IFP. [source]
Aug 9th : The mainnet.cash flipstarter is fully funded. [source]
Aug 10th : Flipstarter launched by Hayden Otto for Bitcoin Cash marketing. [source]
Aug 10th : “To Our Customers, Regarding the Bitcoin Cash Network Upgrade in November” Read.Cash post by Bitcoin.com [source]
Aug 13th : release ASERT DAA upgrade specification [source]
Aug 14th : The BCH Devcon III flipstarter is fully funded. [source]
Aug 17th : “Announcing Bitcoin Cash Node v22.0.0” read.cash post on the release of version 22.0.0. which implements the ASERT DAA for the november 15, 2020 network upgrade [source]
Aug 17th : The flipstarter to enable Mark Lundeberg to continue working on BCH is fully funded. [source]
Aug 17th : Flipstarter launched by Tobias Ruck to develop Mitra. [source]
Aug 18th : “Bitcoin.com Recommended Node Implementation for Bitcoin Cash prior to November 15th, 2020” Read.cash article in which they recommend BCHN [source]
Aug 18th : “Announcing Knuth v0.4.0” Read.cash article on the new release of knuth which includes the ASERT DAA for the november 15, 2020 network upgrade [source]
Aug 22nd : "12 Bitcoin Cash-Fueled Flipstarter Campaigns Raise $1 Million" bitcoin.com article [source]
Aug 24th : “Supporting Bitcoin Cash infrastructure” article by Bitcoin ABC in which they announce a plan for stakeholders to be actively involved in the design and implementation of the fund created by the coinbase rule. [source]
Aug 27th : “A New Era in Governance for Bitcoin Cash - Announcing the Global Network Council” article by Bitcoin ABC [source]
Sept 1st: "Bitcoin ABC and @deadalnix have announced that they are forking away from #BitcoinCash on Nov 15th. We wish them good luck with their new coin and thank them for the free airdrop to all BCH holders." tweet by Roger Ver [source]
Sept 1st: "Prepping for an Airdrop: Prominent BCH Community Members Bid Bitcoin ABC Devs Farewell" article by Bitcoin.com [source]
Sept 4th: “The Global Network Council framework” article by Bitcoin ABC [source]
Sept 14th: “Preparing businesses for a successful network upgrade” article by Bitcoin ABC [source]
Sept 24th: "Announcement on Preparations of Coming BCH Fork & Launch of Forked Coins Futures Markets" by CoinEx [source]
November 5th: coinbase [source] an bianance [source] annoucements regarding the Bitcoin Cash chainsplit
November 6th: CoinEx futures [source]