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The IFP was actually brilliant until developers made it about themselves

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Avatar for pindleskin
Written by   2
2 years ago

The last few days have put the final nail in IFP's coffin. The best path forward for the community is for its proponents (such as myself) to make peace with the fact that it is not happening. Then we need to quickly reunite.

Why the community failed to understand the plan

I am writing this with great pain, as I do believe that the initial negative response was exaggerated. Calling the IFP a "tax" did not do it justice.

A plan to subsidize work that is beneficial for BCH with money which is taken by miners on opposing chains was nothing short of brilliant. Equating it with the way governments extract money from law-abiding citizens under threat of violence is an incorrect, knee-jerk reaction. I'd go as far as saying that being opposed to "taxing" your enemy amidst warfare when the opportunity arises is completely irrational.

And yet, every single argument against the IFP seemed to ignore the fact that BCH is indeed in the middle of a battle - against BTC, against BSV, against governments and unfortunately - against time. We might not have many similar opportunities in the future, but we have to start actively looking for them. Because Jiang Zhuoer's plan is history, and because the current situation is not better in any way.

Why I think the plan has already failed

And I do believe the plan is history, because some of the most popular developers in the space have a hard time judging it from a strategic perspective. Not because they're stupid, but because they are clearly unable to look farther than a potential fat stack of cash.

This plan was never about them. It was about dedicated BCH miners and holders. Its goal was not to make developers rich, its goal was to alleviate some of the financial pressure put on the richest BCH holders, so their money can be invested somewhere else.

Developers are not leaders, nor should they get to be the decision makers. They are merely employees, and miners can (and should) fire them at will. Unfortunately, this is a notion I haven't seen being discussed since one particular scammer forked away 15 months ago. As grotesque of a figure he was, he did the best job at explaining this concept, and with his departure, it seemed forgotten for a while. I hope that these last few days would wake this community up for this reality.

Why the "no plan" situation is worse

It's very simple - quite frankly, apart from the financial reasons, which I believe are a strong enough argument themselves, there is also the centralization aspect.

It was hilarious seeing IFP opponents claim that the plan would increase centralization, when our current situation is basically "Roger pays for everything". Bitcoin Cash is dead in the water without Roger Ver. With the "real bitcoin" battle long lost, the only thing keeping BCH a top coin is the huge financial backing he provides. Without it, novel cryptocurrencies with fresher development and less baggage would have no trouble taking over.

One might claim that the network effect is still too strong for BCH to fail, but Roger Ver is the network effect. With him not around to continue investing and evangelizing, who knows how many of the companies he has a stake in would have caved in under Bitcoin maximalist pressure and dropped support for BCH? If only BitPay did so, this entire community would quickly dissolve.

Bitcoin Cash needs a way to make itself less reliant on one person - and I'm sure that one person sees things the same way. The IFP 1.0 was one way to do it - now we have to go back to the drawing board and quickly think of another.

Jiang Zhuoer's motives

To reiterate, the IFP will not go through. Perhaps blinded by recent hash battles between big egos, people seem to forget that rational thoughts can also influence decisions.

Jiang Zhuoer could be the biggest individual Bitcoin Cash holder in the world. His decision making is not based on a desire to force his will thanks to his massive hash power. It is based on the perfectly rational goal of increasing his own wealth.

A better funded development team was one way to achieve this. But there is absolutely no way he would risk another hash war fiasco. If there is anyone in this community whom I wouldn't suspect of having ulterior motives, it is Jiang. Because with every $2 that BCH drops, he becomes one million dollars poorer. That's quite the incentive to build Bitcoin Cash into the strongest cryptocurrency out there.

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Avatar for pindleskin
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2 years ago
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Comments

This is a pretty negative/pessimistic article. I disagree with the vast majority of it, particularly in light of the BCH Node announcement.

I do agree that BCH would have died without the outstanding support it has received from all the leading businesses in the Bitcoin ecosystem, such as Coinbase, BitPay, bitcoin.com, and blockchain.com. That sort of industrywide support is what enables BCH to have such a bright future — businesses recognize the value of global P2P electronic cash.

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2 years ago

I don't really agree with "devs making it about themselves", as they are not trying for the fun of it to get funded. It is in direct relationship to increasing the utility and value of BCH. If they Just wanted to get the money, they would have a much easier time working on something else and simply get money. They would even have the possibility to go a blockstream-like route, which they out of obvoius reasons don't want to do and rather go unfunded, than resorting to this bad solution. Even communicating this was used against ABC.

I don't see anyone abusing it, it was always also communicated this way. "If miners want to come up with a funding proposal, we the devs, will make sure it is build in our software. But we won't initiate this funding mechanism, the miners must signal their willingness".

I think they did exactly that. I don't see any abuse, the only thing I see is that the minor flaws couldn't be corrected at all, because people would rather reject everyting and everybody, instead of thinking a second about how to improve the proposal.

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2 years ago