TL;DR: Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet took to Medium recently for a rare blog post. His target was the OKCoin Fund, announced earlier this month, offering up to 1,000 BTC distributed to three different projects, including Bitcoin Cash-related (BCH) devs. Séchet characterized the fundraiser as misrepresenting itself and being a distraction, furthering a theme he’s been emphasizing for months. The community is somewhat divided: is he burning bridges or buttressing principles?
Bitcoin ABC Lead Developer Blasts OKCoin Fund
Our 1,000 BTC Pledge May Be Over, but OKCoin Remains Committed to the Growth of Ecosystem, the exchange posted on its site recently. It put a bookend on the Let’s Build Bitcoin Together! campaign, which wound up not meeting the “goal of donating the full 1,000 BTC,” however. Nevertheless, the exchange explained they “found comfort in contributing to the conversation of how to fund open-source development,” including releasing “educational content” and podcast interviews with various developers (none from Bitcoin Cash).
According to the exchange, Let’s Build Bitcoin Together! “structured the pledge so that each community vote would donate 0.02 BTC to the voter’s preferred project. The final results are as follows: Total Amount Raised: 0.94 BTC.” Bitcoin Cash devs earned 8 of 50 votes cast to split the eventual pledged amount, which was then to be spread between the BCH implementations of Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, and BCHD.
“We are grateful to everyone who participated. For those who did not and expressed frustration, we hear you. We understand that there were challenges and uneasy feelings,” the exchange lamented, vowing to do better. They might’ve been speaking indirectly to Séchet, who has since blasted the exchange’s seemingly goodwill effort.
Séchet recounted how members of his team were indeed contacted shortly before the formal campaign rollout, “saying that OKCoin wanted to launch a fundraiser to help fund the Bitcoin Cash infrastructure. After looking into the project, it was clear that OKCoin had misrepresented its intentions to the people who reached out to us.”
Thanks for voicing your thoughts on this…now, and not when we reached about it in August and September. Looking forward to seeing the great development that comes from the donations we already sent! https://t.co/e0yIkBFlrK
— OKCoin (@OKCoin) October 2, 2019
He noted the campaign was not directed at helping BCH per se, but rather a competition “for attracting attention to OKCoin.” He went on to insist the fundraiser was “extremely disruptive for the people actually doing the work,” calling the exchange “deceptive.” Ultimately, Séchet believes the entire push was a rouse to support a favored project, smuggling it in among more established brands in order to give the campaign and their pet coin an air of legitimacy, of being on-par.
He wasn’t done. “When it comes to BCH specifically,” Séchet sharpened, “OKCoin chose to separate the funds between BCHD, Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin Unlimited. While the first two have repeatedly shown their support for BCH, Bitcoin Unlimited has been detrimental to the project.” The Bitcoin ABC lead dev famously resigned from Bitcoin Unlimited in the Spring of this year, under a similar umbrella of protest along with two others sympathetic to ABC’s more militant stand against what it perceived as persistent attacks. A lawsuit, for example, was launched after the Bitcoin Cash Hash War, and Bitcoin Unlimited’s governance protocol seemed to imply they were at least agnostic to open source devs being harassed (they’ve since formally disavowed).
Burning Bridges, Exposing Bad Actors
For casual BCH observers, Séchet’s tone in recent months has grown strident, uncompromising. Those already predisposed to dislike Bitcoin Cash for whatever reason have seized upon his more biting and candid chatroom comments, screenshotting, and flinging each all over social media in something a spectator sport fashion. Séchet himself also recently addressed at the Bitcoin Cash City Conference what he considers a life-long BCH-specific problem, coddling personalities he termed “bad actors,” and how to deal with them in addition to those without real skin-in-the-game constantly chirping in his ear. Presumably, this is Séchet in blog form modeling his principles. Others feel the outspoken dev often credited with creating BCH is simply burning too many bridges, and here was a chance for more funding, rejected. Go figure.
Then again, it might be easier to understand such ire when a project so comparatively small by way of funding as BCH, having no billionaire backer bankrolling things, nor giant public companies funding numerable projects like BTC, … doesn’t receive a lion’s share of the campaign, no matter how democratic. In other words, what really was the campaign’s point? Pounding home Séchet’s contentions, BTC maximalist Jimmy Song was sure to thank the exchange in typical cup-over-runneth bravado, tweeting, “Shoutout to @OKCoin for their support of the ecosystem. Thanks to them, there are 6 scholarships for Programming Blockchain in SF,” his personal training course, “Prices go up in 6 days!” he crowed.
For his part, Bitcoin Unlimited’s Chief Scientist, the usually diplomatic Peter Rizun, was sure to show the exchange gratitude “for the very generous donation (~$9,000) to Bitcoin Unlimited! We are honored to have been selected. The funds will be put to use developing technology to allow bitcoin to scale to a global p2p electronic cash system that is useful to all people in the world.”
To assuage any doubt in the end, Séchet was keen to refocus where he believes attention should be at all times when it comes to BCH. “Bitcoin ABC and its team have created and maintained Bitcoin Cash’s infrastructure since its inception,” he stressed, “and we will continue to do so for as long as funding allows. We are highly committed to Bitcoin Cash’s future and its roadmap.” Ultimately, Séchet demanded, “Noisy campaigns like OKCoin’s are distracting from the real purpose and mission of Bitcoin Cash, to the sole benefit of OKCoin.”
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