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How to save BCH from forking by forking BCH

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Written by   38
1 year ago

I like the idea of seasteading. The idea that you could solve all political problems by not solving them.  Simply up-anchor and move.  If the community is split, split the community.  There needn’t even be any animosity.  The whole thing can be an amicable, even mutually beneficial, arrangement.

You see where I’m going with this?

In all honesty, I don’t want BCH to fork.  That would be annoying. I use BCH regularly for online purchases.  I love it.  Having total control of your own money is not possible outside crypto.  Sure, you can hoard objects of value, but spending them is challenging.  A fork would make either or both coins less widely accepted and greatly diminish their value. At that point, some of us might be inclined to think that the whole thing is more trouble than it’s worth and just jump ship to another coin.

Fork-talk keeps cropping up (and yes, I realise the irony here).  Any disagreement, any misunderstanding, any ambiguous response or even any delay in response. FORK INCOMING!  No sooner has one issue been laid to rest than another pops-up. I won’t recap the grievances.  You already know them.  Besides, it will be something new next month.

All of which leads me to a regrettable conclusion. Vin Armani is right.

[Pause for sad refection]

I don’t know if Vin is a wise sage who understands cosmic cycles or he is just in all the right Telegram groups.  Maybe he is the infamous ‘controlled opposition’ or maybe he just understands people as well as code.  Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether the entire thing is orchestrated by the enemies or P2P cash or just the result of honest yet fundamental disagreements between well intentioned parties. Sure, drama is part and parcel of decentralisation, but it also deters would-be users, devs and entrepreneurs.  Forks solve the problem, but at a cost.  Eventually, you fork yourself into oblivion.

The solution… a forklet.

Note: I am using the term forklet instead of fork which implies a new or duplicated money supply, or sidechain which requires interoperability.  Interoperability would be great, but likely not easy, so I do not want to commit just to be shot down for technical reasons.

Like two beasties occupying the same rung in an ecosystem, two nearly identical coins might find themselves in competition.  Competition is in general a good thing, but when the real competition is fiat, it’s a distraction.  A straight fork will benefit no-one but exchanges (and maybe Calvin).  So let’s not do that. Instead let’s create something that complements BCH, but also liberates us from the problem of dev capture.

So what should we do?

Fork the code, not the chain. Forks damage a coin by halving the network effect and doubling the money supply.  Instead, let’s keep the money supply constant. One way to accomplish this is by burning BCH to create coinbase Edit: new coins on the new chain.  Miners of that chain would need to reference the main BCH chain too for this to work. Challenging, but doable.

  • To give community members more control over the fledgling forklet, it needs a new hashing algorithm. Something GPU friendly (remember, in the absence of block reward, mining would be for fees only).

  • Capitulate to a quantum of dev capture on BCH.  Yup, that’s a tough one to swallow.  But no point doing all this then continuing to fork-talk about BCH.  We will get our genuinely decentralised forklet.  We can still use a stable and widely accepted BCH chain to transact with.  Have our cake and eat it.

Imagine that the defining characteristic of the BCH community - incessant drama - could be channelled in such a way as to actually grow the ecosystem, not split it.

Power and profit coalesce.  This is as true in cryptocurrencies as it is in politics and society.  If you are fighting this trend then you are swimming against the tide. In fact when I finally accepted this was when I got interested in seasteading.  Decentralisation requires a continual breaking away.  A shedding of the old skin.  You have to keep moving forward. Keep evolving. 

Just don’t salt the earth behind you.

…hmm.  Maybe I am sounding too Vin Armani-ish so perhaps it’s time to stop…

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Written by   38
1 year ago
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I'm not sure I get it, how a forklet is different than a new coin? Considering that DAA is not only about coinbase but also block emission. So how does it gonna work and why is it better than a new coin?

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1 year ago

It would help if I used the right terminology. I meant 'new coins' not coinbase. Cheers. Will edit.

I was referencing Vin's notion that a fork is inevitable. Not the specifics of the current DAA drama.

The idea is that a fork of BCH would essentially double the supply of, hence diminish the value of, BCH. This is bad.

Conversely, if the New coin or a fork required x amount of BCH to be burned to release the same amount of new coins on the New chain (as a substitute for block reward) then the total supply of 21 mil BCH will remain undiluted, but the 'larping ancaps' among us will still get a new coin with new governance (or lack thereof;).

One scenario could be that you could send BCH to a specific burn address and include your wallet address for the new chain in OP_RETURN. New chain miners would monitor the BCH chain too and use this to release/create the equivalent coin and send to your address on the new chain (minus fee).

No additional money supply is created. Both chains benefit.

$ 0.50
1 year ago

Now I get it, I think it makes sense. However, the question is who is gonna be the second chain? considering that ABC is the only node not collaborating with other node developers I assume they would be happy to implement it?

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1 year ago

I still hold out some hope that if left alone all dev teams could reach a compromise. The problem might be segments of the community always pouring petrol on the fire. In fact I had hoped that if a small independent group of the community actually did something like I suggested it could act like the baby in a divorce and encourage mum and dad to stay together and work out their differences. The reasoning being that in the event of an actual fork then the forklet could attach itself to only one chain. If it consistently led to a significant amount of BCH being burned then it would be too valuable an asset for any group to abandon by fully forking BCH. It would give the noisy idealists the influence they crave alongside miners, devs and whales.

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1 year ago