In Bitcoin Cash we have started on the road towards a process of including network changes into our ecosystem. This process has, as its most visible component, the proposal. We named this a CHIP.
Outside of the CHIP there has not been written a process of how this chip would magically manage to get activated, and this is causing confusion in the marketplace.
It is time to start writing down a process.
The first goal is to learn from past mistakes, BCH has failed to be properly managed too many times and while it would be easy to point at some villain, there are lessons to be learned that we need to hear.
The most important lesson is that a project like BCH can not be held in the hands of one or even a few leaders. This always fails.
The second most important lesson is that coordination between self-elected proponents has repeatedly given massive results. People that think likewise and join forces to push for a change, or indeed against a change, have managed to succeed in doing so. Lesson learned: coordination and collaboration works.
After that fluffy goal lets get a little more specific.
Changes made from the successful chain we have today should only happen if the majority of the participants benefit from such a change.
This goal needs clarification that the participants of Bitcoin Cash are not limited to just software developers, or miners or even companies. The reason we called our movement “Network discussions” is because our goal is to include the entire network of Bitcoin Cash.
There are two core lessons to consider when considering a method.
any sufficiently detailed method moves the balance from well meaning volunteers to professional politicians. The financial system itself is a great example of this, but the law in most countries is as well.
As the Austrian economics say: less rules is better. They specifically say this about government, where the market is better suited than government.
The same concept applies on many levels. Take Peopleware, a 1987 book on the social side of software development by Tom DeMarco and Tim Lister.
The best manager is one that actively removes obstacles from the path of the worker.
Learning these lessons will give us a method of activating changes on the network that is based on people. Allowing people that have the incentive to put the work in to actually make a change is very much in line with what Satoshi started with the balance he put in the core of the Bitcoin whitepaper. That means that it is cheaper to work in favor of the system than to go against it.
We have no leaders.
It is so easy for a leader to have followers and gain power. Power attracts the wrong people and rejects the people we actually want to participate. No leaders.
Nobody gets to define “the rules”.
People love rules, it makes interactions easier. Unfortunately rules also restrict.
So because we are talking about people that work together in order to increase the value of the network, we simply say that there can not be a rule which is absolute. Any rule can be broken in the right situation. People will just have to respect each other. Interactions don’t follow rules, instead the core here is people working together.
Participants in the “Bitcoin Cash Network Discussions” facilitate.
As proposals for changes are made they need to be tended to as they grow from an idea in a chat room to something that is implemented in code and accepted by the network.
There are a lot of steps, there is a lot of talking and writing and naturally bridging cultures. We can not expect a brilliant researcher to do this, we can’t expect the business owner to listen to the rambling of a techy.
Facilitation is deliberately vague. This is people working together to create value and the best way that this is done is highly dependent on the skills of the people involved.
Acceptance of changes is a natural process.
The basic core concept here is that the acceptance of a change is defined by the network.
Much like the network decides which chain to mine. No rules, just incentives for individuals.
People have the incentive to participate in defining the direction of the network only if they feel equal to the others.
Changes are rejected until they are not
The basic premise is that any change-proposal is by default rejected until the push by the owner (with help of the network-discussion people) convinces enough of the network to say we accept it. This is generally done because there is more value accepting it than by rejecting it.
As an aside, this means there is no need for conflict resolution. This way you will make all the professional politicians put in the same amount of work as any other and their acceptance is based on merit, not power.
A Cash Improvement Proposal (CHIP) is a document that is beneficial to anyone that wants to make a change to the network. The main benefit is as a living document detailing the current state of the proposal, preferably with actual technical details.
The exact details of what goes into a CHIP is not detailed here other than to say that the document supports the process. It should help answer often asked questions and generally help people build consensus around (or against) a specific idea.