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An incomplete history of the Bitcoin Cash's origin and the Minimum Viable Fork project

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Written by   9446
2 years ago

Reprinted with permission. Original post by Jonathan Toomim on Reddit.

A common meme is that Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, and Craig Wright are the ones responsible for the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

This is untrue. Those are figureheads who played a role in popularizing or (for Bitmain, allegedly) funding later development, but they played almost no part until Bitcoin Cash development was long since underway.

The Bitmain UAHF contingency plan blog post was made on 2017-06-14. This was the first event in Bitcoin Cash's history that reached a wide audience, but it came 15 months after work on what later became Bitcoin Cash began. The public decision to do a minority hard fork happened 2016-07-31, and was spearheaded by singularity87 and ftrader. ftrader did most of the initial development, which he had started back in March 2016. Even back then, the plan to fork before Segwit's activation was clear:

I want to fork before SegWit activates

Bitmain was merely joining their effort in 2017, not starting it.

Bitcoin Cash evolved out of the Minimum Viable Fork project that ftrader/Freetrader started in March 2016, and which was discussed in /r/btcfork and /r/btc. Freetrader blogged about it quite a bit. If you read through his posts, you can see his initial prototype was built on Bitcoin Classic. In Oct 2016, a MVF version based on Bitcoin Core was made. Development on MVF stalled during the latter half of 2016 when it seemed like Bitcoin Unlimited's emergent consensus proposal was likely to gain adoption, but heated up again in early 2017 when BU lost support after a few remote crash 0-day exploits were found and used against BU on March 15 and again in April. Freetrader restarted his MVF work on Bitcoin Unlimited in April. The first mention of Bitcoin ABC is from May 7, 2017. The ABC project was started by deadalnix, but with mostly the same goal as ftrader's work using Core as the base instead of BU or Classic. At that time, ABC was just Core 0.14 minus RBF and Segwit; it didn't yet have any blocksize changes. Deadalnix reached out to Freetrader and asked him if he wanted to help, which Freetrader did. Freetrader made the first prototype of Bitcoin ABC with a blocksize limit other than 1 MB on or before May 21, 2017, while still working in parallel on the Bitcoin Unlimited version of the MVF. Ftrader and deadalnix continued to work on Bitcoin ABC for a couple months before Bitmain even mentioned their support for the contingency plan, and their contingency plan was basically the same as what ftrader and singularity87 had proposed back in June 2016 (but with more refinements and details worked out) -- perform a minority hard fork from BTC before Segwit activates to increase the blocksize limit, and do so in a way that ensures as clean a split as possible.

Bitcoin ABC was announced to the public on July 1st, 2017, by ftrader and by deadalnix, about 2-3 months after deadalnix and ftrader began working on it, and 2 weeks after Bitmain announced its intent to support the UAHF.

On the date that BCH forked, there were four separate compatible full-node clients:

  1. Bitcoin ABC, developed mostly by Amaury Sechet/deadalnix and freetrader;

  2. Bitcoin Unlimited, developed by the BU team (Andrew Stone/thezerg, Peter Tchipper, Andrea Suisani/sickpig, Peter Rizun, freetrader, and a few others, and funded by anonymous donors in 2016 for their Emergent Consensus proposal);

  3. Bitcoin Classic, originally developed by Gavin Andresen with a little help from me, but extensively reworked by Tom Zander; and

  4. Bitcoin XT, developed initially by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, and later by Tom Harding/dgenr8 and dagurval

Of those developers, the only ones who received money while they were working on these clients were possibly deadalnix (alleged but unconfirmed to be paid by Bitmain), and Gavin (MIT Digital Currency Initiative). Everybody else was a volunteer. At the time, BU's funds only paid for conferences, travel expenses, and a $20,000 bug bounty; BU didn't start paying its developers until after the BCH hard fork.

A lot of Bitcoin Cash's early support came from Haipo Yang of ViaBTC. ViaBTC's exchange was the first to offer BCH trading pairs, and ViaBTC's pool was the first public pool to support BCH. I've also heard that Haipo Yang was the one who coined the name Bitcoin Cash -- can anyone confirm or deny this? ViaBTC played a significant role in BCH's deployment, far more than Roger Ver or Craig Wright, and had a comparable amount of influence to Bitmain. However, this was not obvious on the outside, because Haipo Yang is the kind of person who quietly builds things that work, instead of just being a prominent talking head like Craig Wright and Roger Ver are.

Roger himself actually didn't fully support Bitcoin Cash until after the fork. Initially, he had his hopes up for Segwit2x, as did I. His name was conspicuously missing in an Aug 1, 2017 article about who supports Bitcoin Cash. It was only after Segwit2x failed on Nov 8, 2017 that he started to support BCH.

Craig Wright on the other hand did praise the Bitcoin Cash initiative early on, probably largely because he hated Segwit for some reason. But he didn't do anything to help create BCH; he only spoke in favor of it. (I really wish he hadn't. His involvement in BCH fostered a lot of false beliefs among Bitcoin Cash's userbase, like the belief that selfish mining doesn't exist. We were only able to get rid of his crazed followers when BSV forked off. I'm very grateful that happened. But I digress.) Most people didn't take him seriously, but a modest minority bought his narrative hard. He was a pretty minor player at the time, and remained so until 2018.

These are the people who created Bitcoin Cash. It's easy to place all the credit/blame on the most vocal figureheads, but the marketing department does not create the product; they just sell it. If you weren't around during the product's development, it's hard to know who actually built the thing and who was just a bandwagon joiner. CSW and Roger just hopped on the bandwagon. Jihan Wu/Bitmain and Haipo Yang/ViaBTC joined the crew of the bandwagon and contributed substantially to its development and survival, but by the time they had joined the bandwagon was already in motion. The real instigators were the community members like ftrader, deadalnix, singularity87, the BU crew, the Electron Cash crew (Calin Culianu, kyuupichan, Jonald Fyookball, etc.) and the many others who contributed in various ways that I haven't documented.

For those of you who played a role or know of someone else who did but whom I didn't mention in this post, please make a comment below so we can all hear about it.

Written by Jonathan Toomim

Read the original discussion here.

All upvotes have been forwarded to Johathan.

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The real instigators were the community members like ftrader, deadalnix, singularity87, the BU crew, the Electron Cash crew (Calin Culianu, kyuupichan, Jonald Fyookball, etc.) and the many others who contributed in various ways that I haven't documented.

this article brings me so much clarity. thank you for bringing to read.cash.

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2 years ago

It's amazing how so many myths become so widespread in crypto.

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2 years ago

Thanks to Jonathan for writing it up and to you for giving it a home here. Decentralize all the things ;-)

I want to point out a comment made by Tom Zander in his reply to Jonathan's post, because it's an important point, and Bitcoin Cash developers are nowadays accused by BSVer's of surreptitiously introducing replay protection, which was not the case at all.

Tom describes the reasons well:

One of the points was replay protection, I'm sure there was some temptation to skip the replay protection because when SegWit was activated anyone could take those BTC transactions and steal those funds on BCH. We quickly realized that this would rightfully get the fork called a scam, and the final decision was when a big exchange made clear that they would only list the to-be-forked coin if it had replay protection.

It was sobering to see that when BSV was created without replay protection, some of the very exchanges who had been insisting on it for Bitcoin Cash's creation, suddenly had no qualms about allowing a fork which did not protect its users in that way. Fortunately other technical differences between BCH and BSV helped to ensure that there wasn't complete mayhem.

But it sure wasn't for lack of trying.

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2 years ago

Cool, that's a very interesting point! Thanks!

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2 years ago

(1 billion BCH ) yes posted this is my article.. i want to publish again any problem admin please dont mind and dont comment on article ..please

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2 years ago