Last week, Jiang Zhuoer, CEO of mining pool BTC.TOP announced that some of the largest bitcoin cash mining pools were preparing to soft fork the network to implement a “short-term donation plan” that would cut block rewards by 12.5 percent in order to fund network development.
Zhuoer stated that “Funding of infrastructure may often go overlooked or be underprioritized. The long-term effects of neglect on infrastructure have the potential to be damaging.” Zhuoer believes that these situations can be avoided by “providing an adequate level of stable funding, allowing Bitcoin Cash to thrive and succeed.”
The proposal received a lot of backlash from the community because this proposal threatens to orphan blocks that will not pay the new fee. Besides this, the said funds would be routed to a corporation, instead of a nonprofit foundation. The absence of any kind of voting procedure would mean that the owners of the company would have complete control over all Bitcoin Cash development.
Lack of agreement
Some of the major Bitcoin Cash mining pools like Antpool, BTC.com, ViaBTC, and Bitcoin.com, which represents 34.5% or a little more than a third of Bitcoin Cash’s total hash rate, were already in support of the proposed plan. But according to the latest reports, Roger Ver’s mining pool Bitcoin.com has decided to not support the proposal.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Bitcoin.com noted that developer funding is an important issue that needs to be addressed. A proper funding mechanism would boost BCH development. As per the post, due to a lack of agreement within the community, the organization has dropped the proposal. The post reads:
“We think it is clear that the existing proposal does not have enough support, and we will be working to come up with a plan that is profitable for all the relevant parties and which preserves the fundamental economics of Bitcoin Cash.”
Bitcoin.com believes that this controversial proposal could fuel a chain split that would be damaging for BCH and could be “compromising the foundational goals of Bitcoin Cash.” Elaborating on the various risks associated with the proposal, the post reads:
“Bitcoin.com will not risk a chain split or a change to the underlying economics. In order to do this, any proposal will need to have as many people of economic weight on-board as possible, including businesses, exchanges, miners, and Bitcoin Cash implementations.”
Threats from Miners
The news comes right after reports about an anonymous group of North American and European miners threatening to launch a new breakaway bitcoin cash blockchain in protest of the tax. The group claims to represent 42% of the current BCH hashrate – and says that number will rise before the May 15 deadline. The Read.Cash post titled, “A Response from an Opposing Mining Group”, stated:
“Assuming the proposal is not withdrawn, 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.”
The post also warned that if the mandatory tax imposition is not made voluntary, the anonymous miners would be prepared to start a hash war.
“We definitely plan to obtain more hashrate than the signatories can muster. The market will need to decide in the days following the fork. We hope the signatories will see the light and remove their “non-debate” clause,” the post claimed.
The event definitely highlighted the power of miners inside a Proof-of-Work based ecosystem. Following the post from Bitcoin.com, the anonymous group has decided to stand down at the moment claiming:
“We have taken notice of Bitcoin.com post here. We trust Bitcoin.com are going to be able to convince the rest of the signatories to severely amend the IFP. We are therefore standing down and will not start our competing pool for the time being and will continue to support the BCH pools instead.”