Bitcoin Unlimited has lost its funding from nChain due to public comments critical of its chief scientist Craig Wright.
According to a post by Bitcoin Unlimited’s chief scientist Peter Rizun, blockchain research and development firm nChain has discontinued its funding of the Gigablock Testnet Initiative, a long-term scaling experiment conducted by Bitcoin Unlimited. This was due to Rizun’s public comments criticizing nChain’s chief scientist Craig Wright over his claims on the security of zero-confirmation transactions as well as allegations of plagiarism:
“nChain informed BU — after I tweeted about CSW’s errors with respect to 0-conf security — that they would be winding down their funding of the Gigablock Testnet over the next three months. Shortly after I tweeted proof of Craig Wright’s plagiarism, nChain informed us that they would be terminating the Gigablock agreement effective immediately.”
Rizun acknowledged that he knew the potential risks of criticizing the head of an organization that provided his project with funding, but decided to make a moral stand regardless:
“I apologize to all those at BU who are dissappointed by this news or with me. But I hope you can see things from my perspective: being unable to speak your mind and being forbidden from pointing out blatant fraud in the ecosystem because it puts your project’s funding at risk is a terrible feeling.”
Like most cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash has no self-funding mechanism, with 100% of new coins created reserved for miners. Developers and other parts of the ecosystem must therefore find outside sources of funding, some of which may not be completely independent and may come with strings attached.
Governance and funding issues caused the original Bitcoin split to begin with
The catalyst behind the original split between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and their respective communities was an inability to come to consensus over the issue of scaling, as well as control over Bitcoin’s development. The disagreement between the two main factions of the community resulted in a split into two separate coins and projects, however both camps still remain in bitter disagreement over which is the “true Bitcoin”:
No Bitcoin cash is bcash, it is a shitcoin and should be avoided at all cost. Bitcoin $BTC is the only real bitcoin.
— Fred Hayek (@FTFV) March 6, 2018
In its current iteration Bitcoin lacks a clear consensus mechanism, as do most similarly-constructed cryptocurrencies. While miners ultimately decide which version of the code to run, the ability to clearly answer specific questions regarding the network, as well as accurately gauge the sentiment of investors and everyday users, is distinctly lacking. Because of this, the question of “Which is the one true Bitcoin?” was never satisfactorily answered.
Dash’s self-funding and voting mechanism was designed to avoid these problems
The treasury system employed by Dash was designed specifically to guard against these sorts of issues with independent funding for development. Because of Dash’s unique setup, development is able to be funded directly by the network itself, rather than relying on outside funds for assistance. This differentiates Dash from decentralized networks as a true decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO. Because of its masternode voting mechanism, Dash is able to both establish a clear consensus on potentially controversial issues, as well as maintain its independence from outside actors.