Roger Ver on Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Update: Too Controversial, Not Worth it at This Point

TL;DR: Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman Roger Ver took to his company’s YouTube channel to “set the record straight” on influential mining pool BTC.TOP founder Jiang Zhuoer’s Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP) and its latest update by way of Bitcoin Cash reference node implementation, Bitcoin ABC (released February 15, 2020). 

Roger Ver on Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Update

From Tokyo, Japan, where Bitcoin.com has offices, Roger Ver, arguably the most visible proponent of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), released a formal response to a weeks-long BCH community debate on the IFP and its updates. Ver acknowledged having been “too quiet” on the issue previously, though his company made two statements on the matter, one seemingly in favor and another more cautious. Ver called Zhuoer’s IFP “clever” but ultimately “problematic.”

Let’s make something very clear. ABC has generated more than 1B in value for miners. If we wanted to implement something that goes 100% to [ABC], I still wouldn’t see a [problem] with it. It’s an extremely common business practice in every single [market] out there. You can be outraged by this, but we did way less than what I’d still consider ethical. And let’s be frank, if you don’t think people who provide value can charge for their [services], you’ll spend your life outraged and not very successful.

Amaury Séchet

He appears to have been personally and finally prompted by the latest update to Zhuoer’s IFP as put forward by Bitcoin ABC. Originally, back in late January, Zhuoer’s IFP carried Ver’s name and his company’s mining pool operation as signatories, which also included Jihan Wu of Bitmain and Haipo Yang of ViaBTC. Ver claimed during the video, posted February 16, 2020 in the West, to have not signed the IFP, and, in fact, that neither he nor Bitcoin.com was party to its being initially published. He was careful to not assign any maliciousness on behalf of Zhuoer’s intentions, and instead chalked it up to too many “timezones” and “languages.”

Ver then went on to blast the Bitcoin ABC (ABC) updated IFP version to be coded into its node ahead of the scheduled May 15, 2020 BCH upgrade. ABC is the reference implementation for BCH and carries, at the time of publication, the most nodes attached to it along with the coveted ticker, BCH, awarded and recognized by major cryptocurrency exchanges. Ver openly worried that the ABC IFP would create an attack vector, especially in terms of hash, as bad actors looking to destroy BCH could derail any such plan if not cause grave mischief overall due to Bitcoin Cash only having about 4% of the worldwide hash rate, he stressed.

Fantastic Discussions

The Bitcoin.com Executive Chairman also chastized the ABC IFP for whitelisting associated Bitcoin Cash projects in need of money as part of its criteria. Ver likened such under-funded projects to government programs that fail only to demand more funding. He insisted his company’s ability to monetize its products while providing public goods is a prime example of what can be done without an IFP, and offered to help ABC along those lines through voluntary funding platforms like Patreon.

He was also insistent his company would fund improvements to the protocol on a case-by-case basis, such as raising a notoriously controversial 25 transaction limit on BCH, but warned about protocol developers “having too much money,” which he believes causes them to work on increasingly exotic problems in order to justify still more funding. Ver praised non-protocol projects like Electron Cash, but, again, stressed his objection to having them funded through an IFP arrangement.

Ver then referenced a controversial statement made during a Telegram chat between miner Alexander Levin, CEO of AsicSeer, on record as opposing the IFP, and Bitcoin ABC lead developer, Amaury Séchet, who openly championed the proposal. Séchet responded to Levin about the ABC IFP’s prospects for being adopted, “Well, it’s in the hands of miners now. More options is strictly better than less options,” Séchet argued, immediately following up with a statement reposted all over social media: “Let’s make something very clear. ABC has generated more than 1B in value for miners. If we wanted to implement something that goes 100% to [ABC], I still wouldn’t see a [problem] with it. It’s an extremely common business practice in every single [market] out there. You can be outraged by this, but we did way less than what I’d still consider ethical. And let’s be frank, if you don’t think people who provide value can charge for their [services], you’ll spend your life outraged and not very successful,” Séchet insisted.

The Bitcoin.com head was careful to dampen outrage against Séchet, framing the ABC dev’s comments as contextual and making a point about monetization and profit rather than threatening to highjack the Bitcoin Cash project. Instead, Ver clarified Séchet’s ultimate import as that of ABC deserving a greater share of the IFP block reward redirection (which it will set as 5% total and only receive a portion) as a way of explaining ABC’s contribution to BCH and the ABC team’s value. Ver ended the video by thanking the Bitcoin Cash community for a “fantastic discussion,” and lauded moderators at the popular subreddit r/BTC for allowing free and open debate in contrast to censorship in the r/BITCOIN forum.

TIMELINE THUS FAR

Bitcoin Cash

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