Brain Drain: Bitcoin Cash Dev Leaves for AVA and Has Choice Words for Community

TL;DR: The Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP) debate has settled a bit, but the real fallout might just be around the corner. Case in point: developer Tyler Smith recently announced joining the AVA project, leaving Bitcoin Cash, at least in part due to a perceived lack of seriousness by the community to fund protocol development. CoinSpice caught up with Smith for a quick interview to ask him about his decision. He did not mince words.  

Bitcoin Cash Dev Leaves for AVA

‘I’m excited to announce that I’ve recently joined @avalabsofficial,” Smith revealed to followers recently, “where I’ll be helping build out the first global-scale consensus system using Avalanche. There are many interesting problems in the crypto space and I look forward to tackling them alongside this excellent team!”

Tyler Smith isn’t flashy. You won’t find him too often mixing it up, getting in online shouting matches or trolling. Instead, he’s built a quiet body of work, from helping the Bitcoin Cash community better understand difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) issues, to representing the BCHD implementation during public developer meetings, and even assisting in scheduled network upgrades.

Over the past 2.5 years, the community has shown very little interest in funding development compared to BCH’s competitors, and the development that has happened has been consistently inefficient and filled with unnecessary drama.

In the foreseeable future, however, Smith won’t be working on Bitcoin Cash. At first glance, the IFP might seem little-to-nothing to do with his departure. CoinSpice tracked him down to ask more about moving to AVA, a project headed by the likes of Cornell University professor Emin Gün Sirer and known for its pioneering work on Avalanche.

For context, there is no mass exodus out of Bitcoin Cash by developers at the moment –though that does not take into context devs who might’ve been turned off from even looking into BCH. Smith serves as a warning, a mineshaft canary trying to tell the BCH community something about the importance of attracting and keeping engineering talent.

Interview with Tyler Smith

CoinSpice: For some reason, I thought you worked with reference implementation Bitcoin ABC.

Tyler Smith: I wasn’t with ABC. Most of my contributions were independent or with bchd, which is a mostly informal role. I won’t be making any large direct contributions to my previous BCH-related projects for the foreseeable future; I will be strongly focusing on AVA.

Why did you choose AVA?

I’ve been dedicating my work to building toward a truly scalable cryptocurrency and one of the primary components for that is a consensus algorithm capable of massive scale. Avalanche has the promise of achieving that and Ava Labs are the foremost experts. They have a team of amazing engineers dedicated to bringing this powerful new algorithm to production, and I want to help ensure it happens.

How does your decision meld/mix with the current debate about infrastructure funding for BCH?

Building a global-scale, permissionless, censorship-resistant, p2p cash is a massive undertaking and will require a lot of resources. Over the past 2.5 years, the community has shown very little interest in funding development compared to BCH’s competitors, and the development that has happened has been consistently inefficient and filled with unnecessary drama. As a result, the competitors are improving in leaps and bounds while the BCH community continues to stall itself with infighting. It’s not just a matter of funding, it’s about a culture that has no unified focus or desire for making the large, necessary, improvements happen. The BCH community rewards attention-seeking and theatrics more than achieving the goals of the system and working in such a culture is an unrewarding and constant uphill battle.

Will you continue working on BCH related projects?

My focus and work will be dedicated to building out AVA from now on. I’d love to experiment with incorporating BCH as a chain on the AVA network, but beyond that, I won’t have time time to work on BCH projects.

TIMELINE THUS FAR

Bitcoin Cash

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