TL;DR: The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) reference client protocol development team, Bitcoin ABC (ABC), launched a fundraising continuation, setting the ultimate goal of $3.3 million to be raised by April of 2021. The revised 26-page extension includes a business plan, detailed budget, and timeline of deliverables.
Bitcoin ABC Launches $3.3 Million Fundraiser
The Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP) debuted in late January and was widely considered to be a deviation from the community’s understanding of how protocol development should be funded. Debate intensified as details of the IFP were released, revised, changed altogether, and then scrapped entirely by its author.
Protocol development is the unsexy part of cryptocurrency. It doesn’t get the buzz of snazzy wallet applications, privacy tools, and the like. It’s something akin to the roads on which all BCH users travel, take for granted, updated in the background. Like hapless drivers, few only notice roads until something goes wrong.
Bitcoin ABC, then, is the team serving as the maintainers of those roads, thoroughfares, byways. Most analysts consider ABC to be the main BCH reference client, used by influential mining pools and exchanges. When a problem arises, its team is urged to put out the fires, saying nothing of day-to-day operations and fixes. ABC was instrumental in the 2017 fork away from BTC, creating BCH, and has faithfully executed each scheduled upgrade since.
That costs money. Lots of money. The IFP was to address the gap, the difference between a vital part of the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem and the very real Tragedy of the Commons, public goods situation potentially unraveling the project at its roots. Most BCH enthusiasts agree something needs to be done in a sustainable way, but few can agree on what to do … except for trashing the IFP.
In the days and weeks since the IFP, something interesting happened rather organically. New ways of fundraising, holding closer to the traditional arrangements in which BCH projects were funded, arose in relation to protocol development.
ABC, for its part, pivoted as a result. The team hired George Donnelly as its Business Development Manager, and is now approaching the BCH community on a few levels: individual, small business, corporate, and even Flipstarter (an assurance-contract-based funding mechanism on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain). “Bitcoin ABC aims to raise USD $3.3 million, or about 14,500 BCH, to fund its operations through the end of April 2021. The team is offering several methods of funding, including: individual, small business and corporate sponsorships; funding buckets for specific development projects; and direct donations,” press materials explained.
Four Funding Options
That pivot means more ways for the BCH community to get involved. The ABC fundraiser gives four options, including Flipstarter. “Use Perks to make a recurring donation. Get your image and a link back on the BitcoinABC.org homepage,” the team revealed. “Use Buckets to signal your support for specific projects. Keep in mind that the order of development is dictated by technical needs and resource availability. Some things are best done before others to save time and money, and avoid unexpected problems. For Corporate Sponsorships, such as miners and other major Bitcoin Cash businesses, please schedule a presentation of the Bitcoin ABC business plan with George Donnelly.”
And though funds “are considered a donation to be used at the sole discretion of Bitcoin ABC,” those concerned with a particular protocol issue such as a “Mempool Overhaul” or to break from Bitcoin Core altogether, can now direct their resources accordingly. There’s even a “General Scaling” funding slot.
ABC is nearing half its goal, having already raised approximately $1.4 million. Perhaps most important is the ABC business plan. It’s the most comprehensive document today on the team behind the main Bitcoin Cash reference client, and includes insights as to where ABC might seek future funding. On page 17, under the section, “Potential Future Streams,” the business plan suggests “Bitcoin ABC might sell support agreements to miners,” for example, and even an eventual “Linux Foundation Model” as a sustainable option.
ABC left open the IFP, however. “If all else fails,” the business plan warns, “miners may be incentivized to implement an infrastructure funding plan that involves a mandatory percentage-based contribution of the Bitcoin Cash block reward to Bitcoin Cash development teams.” The team also stressed donations are “a key revenue source we aim to cultivate and support. But it is important to recognize that altruism is not a solid foundation on which to build censorship-resistant P2P value transfer for the world.”
TIMELINE THUS FAR
- 01222020 Infrastructure Funding Proposal
- 01222020 BCH devs react
- 01232020 Jiang Zhuoer AMA
- 01232020 Amaury Séchet addendum to IFP
- 01242020 Bitcoin.com releases statement in support of IFP
- 01242020 Jonald Fyookball’s position on the IFP
- 01252020 Justin Bons, Tobias Ruck suggest voting on IFP
- 01252020 Antony Zegers support of IFP
- 01262020 Early market reaction to IFP
- 01262020 Anon dev imaginary_username’s reaction to IFP
- 01262020 Peter Rizun’s reaction to IFP
- 01272020 Opposing Miners Group
- 01272020 BUIP143: Refuse the Coinbase Tax
- 01282020 Bitcoin Verde’s reaction to IFP
- 01282020 Bitcoin.com drops support for IFP
- 01282020 BCHD’s reaction to IFP
- 02012020 Jiang Zhuoer heavily amends IFP
- 02032020 Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Zcash’s Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn react to IFP
- 02072020 More Miners Voice Skepticism at Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Proposals
- 02102020 Giving Bitcoin Cash a Fighting Chance
- 02102020 imaginary_username Speaks: He’s Working to Build a Developer Funding Alternative
- 02122020 Lockdown: From Mainland China, Bitcoiner Talks Coronavirus and Fallout for Crypto
- 02152020 Flipstarter: BCH Voluntary Commons Funding
- 02152020 Bitcoin ABC Will Implement Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund of 5% During May 15, 2020 Upgrade
- 02162020 Roger Ver on Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Update: Too Controversial, Not Worth it at This Point
- 02162020 Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Funding Update: BTC.TOP Founder Proposes 2/3 Hash Voting Threshold
- 02172020 Bitcoin Cash IFP Author, Influential Mining CEO to Chinese Bitcoiners: Decentralization is Key
- 02192020 Two Notable Bitcoin Cash Developers Announce Opposition to the IFP
- 02202020 Bitcoin Cash Developers Fork ABC Reference Implementation Client, Create “BCH Node”
- 02212020 First Bitcoin Cash Developer Meeting After IFP Proposal
- 02272020 Bitcoin Cash Node v0.21.0 Formally Released
- 03012020 Wrapping Our Heads Around the Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash
- 03032020 Bitcoin Cash Node Team Releases General Roadmap Through November
- 03242020 Brain Drain: Bitcoin Cash Dev Leaves for AVA and Has Choice Words for Community
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