TL;DR: Mere days ago, BTC.TOP founder Jiang Zhuoer announced the Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP), an ambitious and sweeping proposal to fund development. It set off a wave of debate, criticism, and reaction both within the peer-to-peer electronic cash community and throughout the ecosystem broadly. Zhuoer is back with a substantial revision: orphaning blocks talk is gone, as is mention of a Hong Kong corporation, and coinbase reward percentages have been drastically reduced, among other notable changes.
BTC.TOP Mining Pool Founder Offers New Infrastructure Funding Plan
What once appeared to be a done deal has turned into a community debate, involving miners, mining pools, businesses, developers, investors, and users. Zhuoer’s first attempt at an IFP led with a notorious “no debate” clause, widely misinterpreted the influential mining pool founder insisted, but is now a full-fledged discussion about how to best tackle the issue of funding critical infrastructure development for Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Gone are signatories such as Jihan Wu of Bitmain, Haipo Yang of ViaBTC, and Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com. The latest proposal is Zhuoer’s personal statement on the matter.
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
Zhuoer’s BCH Miner Donation Plan Update of January 31st, 2020 appears to return choice to miners in that they “will directly send part of their coinbase to the projects they [want] to donate,” he bolded for emphasis. “For example, miner X can direct n% of his coinbase to address of the project A, direct m% of his coinbase to the address of the project B,” Zhuoer stressed, as perhaps a way to mitigate against centralization. In its place, he suggested setting up a kind of “foundation” to handle funds collected in the future.
By his second enumerated point, Zhuoer hinted at a new name, “the BCH Miner Fund.” Words like “donations” were peppered throughout the update, which implied less coercive measures than the IFP’s contention of having to orphan blocks from uncooperative miners (such a mechanistic change isn’t completely clear, however). “Before the donation plan kicks off, the BCH Miner Fund will be established,” he again bolded, which might suggest a “donation plan” and BCH Miner Fund are two different processes.
BCH Black Hole Address
Nevertheless, “The Foundation will run for a pilot period to show the effect to the community, while the decision-making power of the Foundation will be [determined] by the votes of donors in proportion to their donated funds.” Voting is an entirely new idea not previously mentioned in the IFP. “Therefore, a sound competition mechanism has been established, all the projects (including more than one foundation) must work hard, ensure the full public disclosure and transparency of their business finance, in order to earn more support and donation from the community (miners and non-miners),” he insisted.
Previous worries about the IFP included the idea of artificial inflation created by a forced redirection of coinbase block rewards. On this point, Zhuoer revealed miners who do not wish to donate have “the right to send this part of coinbase to BCH Black Hole address to destroy these coins — this is in fact a donation to all BCH holders.”
With the BMP, miners can easily invite devs to participate voting with hashpower and finance them with hashpower.
— Javier González González (@JavierGonzalez) July 26, 2019
Interestingly, Zhuoer picked the vote idea back up later in the new proposal, calling it “Hashrate voting.” He suggesting using the work of Javier González and his Bitcoin Mining Parliament (BMP). Zhuoer noted, prior to the scheduled May 15th, 2020 BCH upgrade, “miners vote could be conducted and completed […] if 2/3 of the hashpower votes are in favor of the donation plan, then I hope that developers can include the donation plan (sending to project or sending to BCH Black Hole address) as part of the [protocol] upgrade,” which might count as Zhuoer’s potential nod to the IFP’s usage of an orphaning block-type arrangement after all (again, that part remains vague as of publication).
Critics of the IFP previously also complained of how Zhuoer and BTC.TOP stood to sacrifice little-to-nothing compared to that of actual miners (miners make up mining pools). Signaling his willingness to put real skin in the game, Zhuoer revealed he holds “3,500 P hashpower, and I can also influence almost 10,000P hashpower, so that the total hashpower amount will be sufficient,” and that he will indeed “allocate my personal hashpower to a new mining pool (D.TOP).”
He ultimately maintained the temporary status of any such plan when/if implemented, but dramatically dropped the coinbase percentage previously thought necessary in the IFP of 12.5%. “I believe by the middle or the end of 2020,” Zhuoer explained, “the 2-3% of the donation ratio is sufficient, the 1% probably be sufficient in 2021.” He ended by reiterating the need for sustainable, decentralized infrastructure funding, remarking, “I have been reading everyone’s opinion, for instance, this article was [published] on read.cash (rather than on medium.com). I hold a lot of BCH, and I hope the future of BCH is better,” and welcomed more community discussion going forward.
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