Most of the arguments about this whole developer funding debacle seem to really miss the point. Then when a discussion starts to get close to the point, there are plenty of entities ready to sidetrack the discussion. Personally, I’ve been back and forth on the issue, and for what feels like good reason. However, every time I start to fall toward support, I’m fortunate enough to remember the one reason I shouldn’t: Centralization.
If one tries to be impartial, one may need to acknowledge that we don’t necessarily have any proof that The Bitcoin Foundation or Blockstream were created with malicious alternative motives. Even if there were proof, the fact of the matter is that any group can be infiltrated. Given this, it seems reasonable to assume that smaller more centralized groups would be easier to infiltrate. So, the big problem with these proposals is that the funding has to be managed by some entity, and I haven’t seen any discussion where the proposed entity is even close to being decentralized. I believe the suggestion that got the most traction involved a legal entity in a “neutral” territory, but legal entities are still bound by their territory’s laws, and territories can change ideals or even hands over time.
It occurs to me that one possible solution to this would be to control funding with smart contracts and control the smart contracts with a DAG. While that might be a lot better than anything else that I’ve seen proposed so far, it still has problems. For instance, while I won’t go so far as to call a DAG a pipe dream, I will say that they are probably an alpha concept at best, so deploying one for something so significant would be a risk to say the least. Also, depending on how the DAG was structured, it may still require trust, or it may open our beloved concept up to a new type of sybil attack.
I’m not saying there is no path forward with funding from coinbase rewards, but I do find myself wondering if we’re even looking at the right track when people argue that we need to compete with corporate entities. While one dream is to “prove BCH is the real Bitcoin” by “flippening” BTC as soon as possible, arguing that we live in a world with too much instant gratification isn’t without merit. Maybe there is no quick fix and the goals whitepaper set out to accomplish require being small for much longer. Maybe the people looking to make quick money should be investing in BTC because it works with the current economical environment or some other crypto because it actually has a specific non-currency utility that central entities were willing to fund (not because BCH shouldn’t have other utility, but because decentralization should be the priority). Maybe it is more important to prove that BCH consistently resists individual, corporate, and government attempts to control it over decades while allowing it to grow organically and prove itself. Phrases like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and “slow and steady wins the race” weren’t coined flippantly, and the initial choice to halve the coinbase reward over more than a lifetime doesn’t scream urgency.
None of this is to say that there aren't currently or won't ever be urgent issues that need addressed, but the concept of cryptocurrency has been unleashed and spread across the world like wildfire. What's the point in having BCH be nothing more than another competing cryptocurrency? Shouldn't it be more? Shouldn't it embody the non-technical ideals that lead to the creation of the whitepaper to begin with?