The Cryptonomist had the chance to interview the Bitcoin ABC Developer Amaury Séchet to talk about Proof of Stake, decentralization and the new Bitcoin Cash funding proposal.
With the new proposals you are supporting put in place by the miners, is it fair to say that Bitcoin Cash no longer aims to resemble the code in Satoshi’s whitepaper?
To the contrary, this is remarkably consistent with how Satoshi describes the incentives to work in Bitcoin. Quoting:
“They vote with their CPU power, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism.”
Miners think an incentive is required for developers, and will “vote” the block that does provide this incentive by extending them, and reject those that do not by refusing to work on them.
The whitepaper is not a religious text, so I don’t think it would be a major problem to stray away from it if we end up to learn something new that satoshi couldn’t possibly have taken into account at the time. But in this specific case, it is very consistent with the whitepaper.
How do you think the priorities will be chosen regarding the developments of the Hong Kong company that will receive the 12.5 Bitcoin Cash mining reward?
The priority is to fund public goods. There are goods that benefit the ecosystem as a whole no matter if any participant paid for it or not. For instance, a specification is a public good. Once it is written, anyone can benefit from reading it, no matter if they paid for it or not.
Public goods tend to be difficult to fund because everybody expects everybody else to pay for it. This is a well known economic problem.
Were you ever tempted to leave the developments to focus on other blockchains?
Many crypto project tried to hire me. I have stuck with Bitcoin Cash because this is the one I think has the best value proposition at the moment.
However, if no solution is found to fund the commons, then it would be a sign that the community is not mature enough to take the required steps to be successful.
Which community of developers do you value the most in the entire ecosystem other than your own?
The BCHD and Electron Cash developers.
In your opinion, what is the purpose of decentralization and what minimum parameter would you choose when considering a secure blockchain in this respect?
Decentralization is important to the extent that if any party involved in the project goes rogue or is coerced into becoming nefarious, that party can be removed from the system and replaced by something else.
This ensures that the system remains voluntary. But decentralization is not the goal, it is just a mean to build a resilient system.
Proof of stake, what do you think about it?
I’m not sure this question makes a lot of sense, because there are numerous consensus system that use proof of stake. They do not work the same and all have very different properties.
There is one thing that PoW provides that PoS cannot, it is SPV style validation. To know what is the best chain in a PoS system, a client needs to either follow the whole history of the stakes to make sure they are valid, or trust an authority. With PoW, a client can simply decide to follow the chain of header with the most work and only validate the pieces that are of interest to that specific client.
Do you think there is a difference between privacy and anonymity? If so, which one?
Privacy is about people not knowing what you do. Anonymity is about people not knowing who you are. Both are important.
There are some tensions about Jiang Zhuoer’s proposal, do you think that a fork would pose a danger to BCH?
Tension is always a risk. On the other hand, doing nothing is in my opinion certainty to either fail or be co-opted in the future.
Would you entrust a DAO with BCH’s funding choices?
DAO tends to be very inefficient in how they disperse funds. See for instance Dash, which had at least an order of magnitude more money going into its infrastructure, and yet was not able to achieve the same level of success. And that is the best case scenario, when the construct is not open to abuse, like it was the case for the infamous ETH DAO that was hacked and resulted in a split between ETH and ETC.
This is due to 2 factors. First the decision making is not efficient and suffers from “design by committee”. Additionally, because of general unpredictability, the recipients of the funds have to operate with larger margins, which cause the funds to be used less efficiently.