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Understanding #noIFP

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Avatar for bomtom1
Written by   45
1 year ago

The following is a compilation of arguments against the infrastructure funding plan proposed by Bitcoin ABC.

I'm convinced that all known and relevant actors of our current community act in good faith to promote Bitcoin Cash as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system for the world. For the reading time of this article I invite you to assume the same. I've previously explained how a developer might arrive at a #proIFP stance. Here's what I conceive as strongest arguments against it.

Introducing a Single Point of Failure

Achieving Bitcoin's re-centralization back to a single lead implementation (after BitcoinXT had achieved majority vote, after Bitcoin Classic, Bitcoin Unlimited and BitcoinS2x) has previously led us down the wrong road. Even if it wouldn't have been for hostile intents initially, it definitely simplified the final hostile takeover.

Introducing a single point of failure either in development team or in funding address is a bad idea despite the relief it brings to governance.

Funding is not the Issue at Heart, it's Power

More than 13 kBCH (totaling roughly 4 M$) have been raised over the course of the IFP debate [1,2]. While Bitcoin ABC's flipstarter and their own funding campaign have not been completely filled, both together did raise about 8 kBCH. This is sufficient to start a professional software development team and continue a valuable discussion with the other implementation teams and stakeholders. Very likely it is this discussion which turned out too difficult to continue mutually.

That hints at the actual purpose of the upcoming split rather being leadership, i.e. governance, than the urgency for funding.

Diminishing Bitcoin Cash Hashrate

Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin's last hope. It shouldn't be put on the line lightly. It is currently barely surviving in terms of hash rate. While certain Bitcoin-Core chain miners have a stake in Bitcoin Cash's survival the risk of a 51%-attack persists. It would be a devastating PR event for Bitcoin Cash's security and value proposition.

Both resulting chains of the upcoming split will most likely stand even weaker than we do now united. As long as we don't find consensus on a new way of funding infrastructure development other than voluntarily, we simply cannot afford a change. While people claim this were a deadlock and energy is wasted on discussions, I highly disagree. This issue deserves even more thought given the stakes.

Wrecking Credible Neutrality

"The point is that the IFP proposal wrecks the credible neutrality of the BCH protocol" -Vitalik Buterin

As we have already realized the upcoming split is about governance of Bitcoin Cash. We should ensure that which ever governance mechanism is chosen in the long run is credibly neutral.

Any rush in this is unjustified.@BigBlockIfTrue and @ZakMcRofl have pointed to quite some flaws in the current draft of the fund's governance model:

Meme Warfaring

A meme competition by @micropresident paved the way for the debate to personal attacks and towards hostility [3]. While arguments are made the campaign itself were a mere response to hostility, I would yet have to see the particular post by the agent provocateur.

The degree to which Amaury Séchet and prominent advocates of the current IFP engage in the meme warfaring doesn't shed an appealing light on the future governance style of the IFP.

Diminishing Adoption, Diminishing Emergence

Money is a social construct. The more people join a particular currency the more it reduces friction, the more valuable it becomes. This is nowhere more true than in the cryptocurrency space where money is programmable: The more people join a particular currency the higher the likelyhood of emergence.

The Ethereum community is an excellent example for that. Inventive projects mutually enrich each other as they become increasingly interoperable. In Bitcoin Cash we just start to see emergence gain traction. The idea of @TobiasRuck's Be.Cash for example was only born from lucky coincidences (a student's wifi problems at the other end of the world) which were conceivable only because Bitcoin Cash had grown sufficiently large. It would be mean a setback in adoption and emergence in a critical moment.

Redefining who ownes new coinbases

In his article "The Best of Intentions: The Dev Tax Is Intended to Benefit Investors But Will Corrupt Us Instead" @PeterRizun explains how the change of the incentive structures of Bitcoin as layed out out in a previous IFP proposal is harmful on several levels. The main points remain:

  • It introduces trust in an otherwise trustless system.

  • It redefines ownership of the coinbase with legal implications.

  • It introduces fiscal policy in Bitcoin.

Once and for all

If successful the current IFP will give a considerable amount of money, i.e. power, to Bitcoin ABC. It is hard to imagine that any other node-implementation team could ever come close to challenge Bitcoin ABC's leadership claim ever (with considerably less funding than their competitor).

Based on historical evidence power tends to corrupt. Once implemented regulations are hard to ever shake off again.


Edits:

2020-09-09: Added a table of content, added section 'Redefining who ownes new coinbases', add last sentence to section 'Diminishing Adoption, Diminishing Emergence'


[1] https://fund.bitcoinabc.org/

[2] https://read.cash/@bomtom1/understanding-amaury-4c17f6d5#comment-a30248ff

[3] https://old.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/i0bkfx/readcash_founder_threatens_ban_permanent_fund/

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Avatar for bomtom1
Written by   45
1 year ago
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Comments

Introducing a Single Point of Failure

The fact that ABC can do this is evidence that it already existed.

Funding is not the Issue at Heart, it's Power

No, funding is the root of hte issue.

Diminishing Bitcoin Cash Hashrate

Nothing to do with the conversation

Wrecking Credible Neutrality

It doesn't wreck it, but it does move it up to the cryptocurrency market level.

Meme Warfaring

This is totally irrelevant to the debate.

Diminishing Adoption, Diminishing Emergence

Another orthogonal point.

Redefining who ownes new coinbases

Bitcoin cannot be owned. New Coinbases were never "owned." The definition of the mining reward has changed slightly.

Once and for all

There are thousands of cryptocurrencies. They're free to do their own thing. ABC launched Bitcoin Cash.

$ 0.50
1 year ago

Regarding your strongest points:

The fact that ABC can do this is evidence that it already existed.

Any node software can unilaterally implement prospective consensus changes or promote soft-forks. That's no evidence for anything as long as it hasn't succeeded.


No, funding is the root of hte issue.

Just stating the opposite of a claim doesn't give any substance. In the text I refer to considerable funding sufficient to start a professional software development team. I'd be honestly interested in understanding why 8 kBCH is not sufficient for that. This is at the core of the argument between the two camps. So if you don't mind supply some substance.


This is totally irrelevant to the debate.

Leadership style is totally relevant. It makes all the difference if you have Helle Thorning-Schmidt or Donald Trump ruling your society.

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1 year ago

The anti-BCH and anti-Bitcoin social engineering agents created the no-IFP movement to block BCH developer funding. They have many sophisticated arguments which use truth and lies mixed to fool our community into believing we should do things bad for BCH. An example:

Single Point of Failure

Introducing a single point of failure either in development team or in funding address is a bad idea despite the relief it brings to governance.

One false assumption debunked: The power to distribute funding from one funding source is not BCH governance. It sounds like ABC will be distributing the power into a council anyway.

Truth: ABC has too much power over development decision making. BCH governance has been basically ABC controlled since the beginning. It is not ideal and it is good to work to fix the problem.

The mistake the troll army hopes we will make: Dividing the community and splitting the coin because the troll army has weaponized this long standing concern instead of taking the time to use a smart way to fix the problem.

Most all of the no-IFP arguments are flawed like this. They sound appealing, especially if you assume bad intent by ABC or want to hate Amaury. Most all lead to mistakes in judgement inspired by emotional rage and other base instincts used against our community by anti-BCH social engineering teams.

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1 year ago

The anti-BCH and anti-Bitcoin social engineering agents created the no-IFP movement to block BCH developer funding.

Just to get this straight, so we're on the same page: Am I an anti-BCH and anti-Bitcoin social engineering agent?

Dividing the community and splitting the coin because the troll army has weaponized this long standing concern

You do see that there is only one party forcing a decision on this front in a rush and it is certainly not any troll army.

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1 year ago

I think I replied to this on r/BTC. I did not know you helped create the no-IFP movement. Even if you did, I can't tell if you are an agent of the darkside or just supporting them.

The need for funding is what is making further delays unwise. It appears the protest movement against the ABC method of getting the funding may be forcing the decision/fork in Nov.. I hope they don't. Of course, it is equally fair to blame either party in a game of "Chicken" like this. They are both responsible if they collide. I believe ABC has good intentions and I think many on the no-IFP side have good intentions as well. Those intentions will not make a fork any less damaging to BCH. If it does happen, hopefully one or both sides can repair the damage over time after.

$ 0.00
1 year ago

I did not know you helped create the no-IFP movement. Even if you did, I can't tell if you are an agent of the darkside or just supporting them.

I try my best to document the argument of both sides thus far

From the former article

As a lurking community member and as a software developer I find myself in the awkward position to consider [arguments of both sides] true

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1 year ago

I submit Peter Rizun's article, written in the context of the original IFP proposals earlier this year:

https://read.cash/@PeterRizun/the-best-of-intentions-the-dev-tax-is-intended-to-benefit-investors-but-will-corrupt-us-instead-deb0dd72

It points out a further regulatory aspect that IMO is not improved by the current IFP / global network council construct where ABC collects the block reward levies.

For all intents and purposes, we can just replace "Hong Kong corporation" in that article with "Bitcoin ABC" in the current "framework" incarnation [1].

It also makes another great point:

As long as the tokens have some market value, the scheme can reliably and continually transfer capital from investors to the colluding group members. In other words, the group in control of the scheme has their skin in a different game than the investors.

[1] https://blog.bitcoinabc.org/2020/09/04/the-global-network-council-framework/

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1 year ago

You and Mr Rizun use false assumptions of evil intent or inability to resist corruption as the basis of your arguments. This flaw in the base of the arguments destroys your conclusions legitimacy.

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1 year ago

Mr Rizun and myself are merely presenting the conflicts of interest such a scheme would bring, which even ABC developers have in the past acknowledged.

That ABC introduced the tax into the code can be taken as evidence that they are unable to resist corruption.

I'm not saying this intent is evil, not at all. It is just predictable human behavior.

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1 year ago

Good attempt to distract from my valid point.

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1 year ago

Thanks, I updated the article accordingly.

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1 year ago

This is too much of negative waves. Bitcoin Cash is set to continue without the IFP, and a new IFP branch may exist with a minuscule market support and therefore an according hashpower even minus 8% of that.

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1 year ago

Unfortunately the markets/exchanges will ultimately decide who wins and hashpower will (in the long run) just follow.

  • During the Bitcoin Core split markets already showed that they don't value community (long-term potential) as much as short-term benefit. If you limit the blocksize you artificially limit the amount of tx which can transfer coins to exchanges and with that you artificially limit the sell pressure. Price skyrockets eventually.
  • During the current split a similar craving for short-term benefit could also misguide the market. If Bitmain is willing to move 1 million BCH they can manipulate the relative price for a quite a while.

Ultimately it will therefore be the exchanges who decide this fight I believe. If one of the two branches is not even listed, this game cannot be played.

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1 year ago

If you limit the blocksize you artificially limit the amount of coins which can be transfered to exchanges

This is basically false. Also, if there is a split exchanges will list both. They make money from the trades.

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1 year ago

This is basically false.

Thx, fixed it. The point remains. Coins are transfered along with the price increase. At some point congestion is created.

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1 year ago