Some Issues Regarding Bitcoin Cash Community’s Response to Scaling (Op-Ed)

INTRODUCTION

So, this thread was prompted in response to a thread of conversation that I saw between a core dev on the $BCH protocol and a few other users on Twitter and I felt compelled to write about it because I think that some people are taking the anti-Bitcoin Core philosophy to an extreme.

Before I go into the situation, I just want to make it known that I am not a “Bitcoin Core shill” or a “Blockstream supporter” or whatever other grouping/category you want to lump me in that you perceive to be anti-BCH. I firmly believe, ‘may the best tech win’, and that names don’t matter — utility does. I don’t care if Bilbo Baggins has the best blockchain, I’ll advocate for it.

NOW, IN ADDRESSING THE SITUATION:

On October 12th (about a week ago from the time of me posting), Bitcoin Cash Core dev, Jonathan Toomin, was commenting on a thread of conversation on Twitter re: $BCH scaling and block size.

The original tweet was made by @CalvinAyre , which you can find here: https://twitter.com/CalvinAyre/status/1048946841478414337

I’m not going to get into the Nakamoto Consensus write-up that Calvin Ayre did because that’s not the crux of what this post is about and I’m sure you all are more than familiar with the potential ‘hashing wars’, chaos and conflict, blah blah.

What troubled me however, was when the thread got derailed with this Twitter comment:

https://twitter.com/Adrian_Xt/status/1050834582222688256

In specific, the user stated, “The BCH network exists because of the market for sound money. We don’t need developers in control of anything on BCH.”

Now, yes, while this sounds good in theory, developers do need to be in ‘control’ to the extent that there must be individuals with the technical expertise that can be trusted to implement the wishes of the community whilst still considering the health of the protocol that their expertise lends them.

I don’t want to call anyone out here, but there are some folks that have put forth proposals that would seriously compromise the security of the chain itself. If developers simply went with the ‘will of the people’ and that will is predicated upon philosophies developed by ‘lay people’ (folks that may not have that deep of an understanding of code or blockchain), then $BCH will never reach the pinnacles that this community claims that it will reach.

The rest of the Twitter thread goes into the technical merits of CTOR, which I believe is healthy conversation and something that the community should have with the developers.

The qualm that CTOR is being implemented on the chain w/o the consent of the majority of the community while not being the most technically sound option (allegedly; not saying this is true) is a legitimate problem and issue that people can have if this is the case (I don’t want this to be derailed into politics; that’s another conversation).

I have no problem w that dissent.

However, what I do find troubling for the Bitcoin Cash protocol is the idea that developers should merely be puppets of the majority.

This seems to be conveyed in the notion that the core dev’s (Toomin in this case) opposition to the ideas by one facet of the community is akin to imposing a fascist like dictatorial control over the protocol itself.

Now, I understand the crux of this line of thinking and, I will concede, there is a very, very fine line between being a responsible, tempered dev and being a tyrant — but in this instance, I believe that Toomin, at the least, should be considered to be legitimate.

The difference between this situation and the Bitcoin Core block size debate (circa 2015) is that there is not an outright intolerance of opposing ideas (from this developer and other core developers), and there seems to be a general acceptance of a mixture of opposing views in terms of what way would be the best way forward for scalability.

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