People, at the individual level, experience frustration when their expectations are not met. Sometimes these expectations are reasonable, and sometimes they are not. Either way, it does not change the outcome, which is the feeling of frustration.
I see a lot of frustration being expressed by the BCH community. Their expectations are not being met.
From my perspective, it appears that most people in the community expect development to proceed with input from that community. They expect that changes will be debated, weighed on their merit, and integrated after some eloquent majority agrees the change is worthwhile.
This expectation is not being met, and frustration is the result. The reason these expectations are not being met, is because they do not reflect reality.
The reality is that a Bitcoin ecosystem functions through three opposing forces: Miners, Developers, and the Market (composed of exchanges, users, and merchants).
Amaury is the lead developer of ABC. 97% of miners run ABC software. Exchanges and businesses using BCH require reliable software that is ‘good enough’, which ABC provides. None of these relationships require input or direction from the ‘community’.
There is a cognitive dissonance playing itself out through the BCH ecosystem. On the one hand, the financial and business success of the cryptocurrency with the ticker ‘BCH’ requires that it stick to the roadmap, be reliable in its functionality (which requires reliable funding), and ultimately sticks to the narrative of ‘digital cash for the world’.
On the other hand, there is a vibrant community of anarchocapitalists, cypherpunks, libertarians, and freedom-loving ‘weirdos’ that want to hack and tinker with all that is possible with new cryptocurrency ideas. They are not willing to be dictated to. They are not willing to accept limitations or people with power. I love this community. I am part of it. I have many friends in the community. But this community is not necessary for the success of BCH.
There should be a symbiotic relationship between the community and the business forces. But that relationship is broken.
These are opposing ideals, trying to exist within a single ecosystem. This is the source of the cognitive dissonance, the source of unmet expectations, and the source of frustration.
The frustration will continue, it will build further, until some form of relief is found.
Now, the chance of miners capitulating and running something other than ABC software is pretty low. The chance of exchanges and merchants giving the BCH ticker symbol to something other than the current chain, is pretty low. And the chance of Amaury finding a better way to interface with the community is pretty low. And so the frustration will continue to build.
The only way out of this conundrum that I can see, is to create a new chain, and a new ticker for it. A new place for the community to have its expectations met. Because they will never have them met on the BCH chain.
The only thing holding the community back is the price and the ticker symbol. Many can not stomach the thought of building a new chain. They would rather fight over the existing ticker symbol than start something new.
And so, the fighting will probably continue for the foreseeable future. But from my perspective, the community will not win, and the fighting and frustration will continue, until enough members of that community create a new chain that embodies their ideals.
I wish I didn’t have to write these words. I wish this wasn’t the conclusion I was forced to draw. I wish we could restore the symbiotic relationship between ‘successful business’ and ‘happy community’. But as a pragmatic person trying to build a business in this space, I have to dispassionately assess the forces and landscape before me. Wishing doesn’t do any good.
I will continue to build on and support ABC. I think they produce reliable software, a foundation which enables me to solve business problems for my clients.
And if another chain was to emerge, I would support that too. FullStack.cash would actively build tools to support the growth of that new chain.