TL;DR: In response to the recently announced Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP), anonymous participants claimed to have formed a North American and European miners group in opposition. Arguing for the importance of development funding while insisting the IFP is flawed, they’re issuing an ultimatum which includes launching “a competing BCH pool to offer a voice to miners that disagree with the proposal” with a threat “to create our own chain after the fork” should their terms not be accepted.
Anonymous North American, European Bitcoin Cash Miner Group Forms
Insisting “we have our back against the wall” and fearing “retaliation from the four signatories of the” IFP as to why the protesters remain anonymous, a group of miners from North America and Europe claimed they “will start withdrawing our support for the signatory pools and move to other pools for the time being. We will in the short term launch a competing BCH pool to offer a voice to miners that disagree with the proposal,” the miner group stressed.
To apparently show a willingness to consider the main issue raised by the IFP, the new “Opposing Mining Group” also alluded to donating “1% of our income to development teams while offering a voice to our miners on how to donate it” during their protest actions. Only days ago, influential mining pool operation BTC.TOP and its founder, Jiang Zhuoer, proposed a soft fork to orphan blocks of miners who chose to not accept a temporary, six month 12.5% redirection of the Bitcoin Cash coinbase block reward. Some $6,000,000 was projected to be raised by the IFP and distributed to developers in an as-yet-detailed arrangement through a Hong Kong-based corporation.
“Assuming the proposal is not withdrawn,” the anonymous miner group concluded, “or modified to be acceptable, we will continue to mine up to the hard fork, which will create our own chain after the fork due to the consensus rule change introduced by the signatories. We definitely plan to obtain more hashrate than the signatories can muster. The market will need to decide in the days following the fork,” asking IFP backers “see the light and remove their ‘non-debate’ clause.”
We will Represent 2.5 exahash/s Come May 2020
The signatories are Zhuoer, Jihan Wu of Bitmain, Haipo Yang of ViaBTC, and Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com. Only Zhuoer and Ver have released public statements, including points of clarification by Ver’s company on the growing controversy. The “non-debate clause” was in the IFP’s initial draft and later removed. Zhuoer has since participated in a lengthy subreddit AMA, and Ver has openly praised what he’s characterized as “vigorous” debate within the Bitcoin Cash community without recourse to censorship. Neither Wu nor Yang have made public statements as of publication.
“We are a group of North American and European miners representing,” the group revealed, “at this point in time, 1.6 exahash/s. We will represent 2.5 exahash/s come May 2020 due to expansion amongst our companies,” numbers surely meaningful to the mining pools involved (the group was also careful to distinguish between pools and miners, arguing mining pools “are not miners”). “We are all customers of the signatory pools,” the opposition group explained. “No one in our group [is] actually using other pools as we preferred to support BCH proponents. It is totally unfair and unethical that our mining pools [use] our hashrate, after charging us a very significant fee to use their services, to force us into a tax.” IFP proponents have mostly argued the 12.5% redirection is not a tax but a service fee.
May is a significant month for a variety of reasons in the peer-to-peer electronic cash ecosystem. For Bitcoin Cash that means a scheduled upgrade combined with the IFP’s proposed start date, May 15th, 2020. It’s also around the time of BTC’s so-called Halvening of the block reward, a point the opposition group seized upon with regard to BCH’s own Halvening likely occurring weeks prior, causing the anonymous group to “worry about the viability of the currency.” Cryptocurrency speculative markets, if used as any kind of indication in digesting the IFP and its critics, appear at least temporarily bullish on the prospects of the Bitcoin Cash community’s ability in arriving at some sort of eventual agreement prior to the May deadline.
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