The controversial transfer of the miners to the developers is threatening to become part of the Bitcoin Cash protocol after all. The developers of the leading node software, Bitcoin ABC, have now written the levy into the code for the Hardfork on May 15.
It is as it is, or not. At Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the so-called “feature freeze” is actually intended to ensure that three months before the semi-annual hardfork, only those changes on which there is a consensus in the developer community are finalized. But when it comes to financing your own work, this rule no longer seems to apply. Bitcoin ABC, the leading node software from Bitcoin Cash, has packed a change that is so controversial that it should actually be a no-go, into the hardfork features for May 15 without consultation with the other development teams: the levy by which Miners are to be obligated to give a portion of the block reward to infrastructure developers.
The plan for the Miner levy or tax was proposed by a consortium of Bitcoin Cash-trusted Miners in late January. It was subsequently met with harsh criticism from the community, which is why Bitcoin.com announced shortly afterwards that it was no longer part of this plan. We assumed that the Miner tax was stillborn – but obviously we were wrong. The Bitcoin ABC team under Amaury Sechet is undauntedly sticking to the plan, which is primarily intended to finance their work.
According to the team’s website, they have “observed the community discussion closely and talked to Jiang Zhuoer and other miners. As a result of the feedback from the community, an updated “funding plan” is now available. It addresses several concerns that have been expressed in recent weeks. “Bitcoin ABC has been asked to implement this plan in the node software and will do so with the upcoming 0.21.0 version.
What has changed since the Chinese miners’ proposal? First of all, the plan will only be activated if the miners vote for it through GDP 9. Then the share of the miner reward per block that goes to the developers will no longer be 12.5 percent, but only 5 percent. This amount can go to several projects that are on a whitelist. This whitelist approves projects that meet the following requirements: they must provide an “infrastructure service” that is a public good and on which other projects can build, and they must release the software as open source under a license that is compatible with the rest of the BCH ecosystem. Preference is given to projects that need money. According to these criteria, Bitcoin ABC has developed a whitelist that approves a general fund, Bitcoin ABC, Electron Cash and BCHD.
The Bitcoin cash community is, to put it mildly, cautiously enthusiastic. Basically, almost everyone is strongly against it. One could also say that Amaury Sechet has overstimulated his hand and, as the “founder” of Bitcoin Cash, has now finally lost the last shreds of sympathy and goodwill that the community has shown him. Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin Unlimited seem ready to get serious about the opposition to the levy or tax and go all out, the Japanese miner SBI has already written a “No” in the Coinbase message, and a group of other miners have already announced earlier that they will not support the levy.
So if Bitcoin ABC and the Chinese Miners go through with the plan – at the moment it looks like they will – Bitcoin Cash is threatened with another split in May.