Thanks to insufficient incentives, i.e. secure pay, adequately funding open-source software (OSS) development can be extremely difficult for any project community.
As a software-centric field, the blockchain arena is most certainly not immune to this dynamic. Toward the problem of OSS funding, various blockchain communities have recently and notably attempted various answers.
The Ethereum project has sprouted Gitcoin for instance, an increasingly popular grants dApp. The Zcash Founders’ Reward is another stab at sustainable OSS funding, though it’s not without its own controversies.
Now, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community is stepping up to its own dev funding plate, as one major mining group in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem has proposed an “Infrastructure Funding Plan” that would slot 12.5 percent of BCH block rewards over a six-month period to a Hong Kong firm focused on funding Bitcoin Cash infrastructure efforts.
BTC.TOP CEO Steps Forward
On January 22nd, Jiang Zhuoer, the chief executive officer of the biggest BCH mining pool, BTC.TOP, published a blog post outlining how his company and other like-minded miners had concluded that a so-called “short-term donation plan” to Bitcoin Cash development efforts was ideal:
“Therefore, various major BCH mining pools (BTC.TOP, Antpool, BTC.com, ViaBTC, Bitcoin.com) are preparing to implement a 6-month short-term donation plan. This plan aims to provide sufficient funds for BCH developers to accelerate the BCH development before the upcoming bull market in 2020–2021/22.”
That’s a message with some serious clout, considering BTC.TOP’s position in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem.
Yet how would the proposed funding accrue, though? According to Zhuoer’s napkin math, $6 million USD is a conservative estimate for the kind of funding that could be actualized for BCH dev initiatives through his plan:
“If we assume a current price of $300 per BCH, then donating 12.5% of the coinbase for a period of 180 days would total $6,075,000 (144 x 6.25 x 300 x 180 x 0.125). This plan provides a substantial sum that would have a positive impact on Bitcoin Cash and the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”
Indeed, $6 million for a half-year run of dedicated and concentrated BCH dev funding is a whole lot more than the current status quo can offer. Per Zhuoer, the new influx of money would back “development contributions to full node implementations as well as other critical infrastructure.”
If such advances can come to fruition, the market capitalization of Bitcoin Cash might be able to make a considerable climb, Zhuoer argued.
“I [think thus] that BCH will be doing better in the future, and the BCH/BTC price ratio will increase from the current 4% to 10%, 20%, 30%, or even higher,” Zhuoer said.
Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin Chimes In
In a Twitter thread on Zhuoer’s new comments, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin chimed in with some higher-level observations. At one point, Buterin argued:
“It’s worth noting the irony here: BCH, a chain that was born as a reaction to an ideology that claims that soft forks are the only legitimate way to make changes because they are ‘voluntary’ is…. making a controversial soft fork and insinuating that it’s voluntary.”
As Buterin added immediately thereafter, though:
“But at the same time one can also see this as a natural extension of existing BCH ideology … The idea here is that miners should be proposing different consensus rules and trying to enforce them by forking off non-compliant blocks, and this will naturally stabilize toward consensus rules that the majority is okay with.”
So this new bid for BCH dev funding is not altogether surprising, but it most definitely is an interesting milestone in the cryptoeconomy that stakeholders from several communities will be eyeing with interest.
If the funding campaign proves successful over the long-term, other projects will undoubtedly follow suit will similar efforts.