Two Notable Bitcoin Cash Developers Announce Opposition to the IFP

TL;DR: Two notable Bitcoin Cash developers announced their opposition to the Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP). Jonald Fyookball, of Electron Cash and CashFusion, and independent dev Mark Lundeberg, instrumental in recent scheduled protocol upgrades, added their names to a growing chorus skeptical about the IFP and its updates.  

Two Notable Bitcoin Cash Developers Announce Opposition to the IFP

“Whenever there is a significant amount of community uproar,” Fyookball warned, “the risk of a fork is higher, and if this is the case, the miners should not activate the IFP, because the risks don’t justify the rewards to Bitcoin Cash as a whole. I still think the IFP can potentially be a good idea in theory if the conditions are right. Who knows, maybe things will look bright and sunny and completely different in 3 weeks. If the IFP cannot be activated now, it should be considered and debated under calmer conditions, with more time to plan.”

Latest Thoughts On Infrastructure Mining Plan is something like a dark night of the soul confession for Fyookball. He has a respected aura to him within the peer-to-peer electronic cash community, and that comes from years of toil, sweat, and being battle-tested. Fyookball is a thought-leader who lends immediate street cred: he can whip out philosophy justifying the direction Bitcoiners ought to consider while also heading one of the wonkiest wallet projects in all of crypto.

We didn’t even have a notion of ‘whitelist’ in the beginning. The fact there is now a short whitelist (which I did not create or approve of) and a common assumption that I am supporting this because I’ll profit from it is both false and damaging.

He was also among the first to support the IFP as originally authored by BTC.TOP mining pool CEO Jiang Zhuoer. Fyookball told CoinSpice in reaction then, “I think it’s a positive development. The community has been grappling with the problem of how to fund infrastructure for a long time and this could help in a huge way. The devil is in the details, so we’ll have to see how it plays out, but I’m optimistic. My favorite part is that the entire SHA-256 ecosystem (including BTC miners) pays for BCH infrastructure.”

His most recent sentiment, however, turned decidedly sour. “I was one of the key people who helped set the initial IFP proposals into motion,” he admitted. He changed, at least in part, by the notion of a “short whitelist” apparently not part of whatever draft of the IFP Fyookball helped devise. “We didn’t even have a notion of ‘whitelist’ in the beginning,” he snapped. “The fact there is now a short whitelist (which I did not create or approve of) and a common assumption that I am supporting this because I’ll profit from it is both false and damaging.”

A Line in the Sand is Crossed

Fyookball elaborated on his initial rationale for supporting the IFP, which included the need to support Bitcoin Cash reference implementation Bitcoin ABC and its development team, hoping such funding would in time help hire “superstars.” He also “resonated with the idea of supercharging our growth using money that would be mostly subsidized from the SHA-256 ecosystem and the concept of just doing a 6 month period.”

Painstakingly, he explained how much of the criticism levied against the IFP has been a Rorschach for critics’ feelings about Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet — an at times polarizing personality who has had rows with everyone from close members of Bitcoin ABC itself to well-known ambassadors such as Roger Ver of Bitcoin.com (who has also recently come out against the IFP).

Fyookball then turned to what he considered the most valid criticism of the IFP, noting it as “a line in the sand is crossed. Once the distribution of the coinbase is up for discussion,” he reasoned, “it can forever be a point of contention. Can you imagine if people voted to have more than 21M coins ‘just this one time?’ Some things are better left set in stone, and the whitepaper specifically states that [the coinbase award] ‘starts a new coin owned by the creator of the block.'”

It Just All Adds Up to a Heavy No

And while Fyookball is no stranger to contentious debate and mixing it up, the drama-phobic physicist turned indispensable developer Mark Lundeberg came from seemingly out of nowhere to offer his thoughts. Similar to Fyookball in the sense of earnestness and urgency, Lundeberg’s opposition to the IFP differed in getting straight to the point, no chaser.

“Regarding the Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Funding Plan,” he tweeted, “I am certain now that it should be scrapped immediately. Now that it has culminated, and I’ve happened to have a few days semi-offline to just sit down and think seriously about the many aspects, it just all adds up to a heavy No.”

He ended his pronouncement by insisting he was “off to bed, so don’t expect prompt replies, but this was keeping me awake and I had to say it.” The combination of Fyookball and Lundeberg is a real blow to IFP proponents due to their relative intellectual weight, closeness to Bitcoin ABC (which announced it would code an updated IFP into the scheduled Bitcoin Cash network upgrade for May 15, 2020), and respect throughout the P2P electronic cash ecosystem.

Importantly, neither man gave an ultimatum nor resorted to personal attacks with regard to stepping back from the IFP, and at least Fyookball left open the hope something like an IFP might eventually find its way to acceptance. What actual impact their opposition will have on the IFP moving forward is anyone’s guess at this point. In his updated IFP, Zhuoer acknowledged growing community opposition, but appeared to whittle down IFP’s future to a “hash vote” of miners — no mention of developers or influencers.

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