Shortly after the BTC.TOP Bitcoin Cash developer funding proposal was announced, and proclaimed as not open to discussion, it was faced with loud community backlash.
At first, both BTC.TOP CEO Jiang Zhuo’er who first published the announcement and Bitcoin.com, one of its cosigners, both declared that many fine details are still subject to discussion. The most heated debate topics were the lack of accountability mechanisms for the Hong Kong corporation that would distribute the funds, and the opaque manner in which the idea was internally discussed, only to be announced as final without any public discussion on it. The specific features that would be completed in exchange for the money were also never considered in detail.
In addition, the passionately libertarian / anarcho-capitalist core of the Bitcoin Cash community also appeared unwilling to consider any financial move that could be characterised as a “tax” – even one paid by its competitors/adversaries.
Some stronger arguments came from none other than actual potential beneficiaries of the funds – namely Peter Rizun, chief scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited, and Bitcoin Verde’s Joshua Green – both detailing the difference between “cooperation” and “collusion”.
However, proponents of the funding plan were quick to remind that Bitcoin Unlimited still holds a “war chest” worth millions of dollars – an amount that smaller node implementations such as BCHD do not have access to. The inability of the community to come up with an alternative funding plan could result in centralisation of power around Bitcoin Unlimited, which could end up being lucrative for them in the long run.
Overall, the end result of the proposal is more infighting. Alternative funding proposals are not nearly as popular as disdain for the current one, and disagreements once kept secret have been exposed to the public.
Earlier today, in an attempt to reunite the community and prevent a further split, Bitcoin.com backed away from their initial decision to support the plan. More miners are expected to follow.
That does leave room for alternative suggestions – something that was mostly absent throughout the past few days of heated discussion.
As outlined in the update by Bitcoin.com – there are lessons to be learned, and the incident could end up being the start of something constructive – namely debate including developers and miners on how to set funding goals and what can be expected in return. If any wisdom has been gained after years of community infighting and splits – it is that transparency is of utmost importance, and that unilateral decisions before agreement is reached do more harm than good.