Are Miners Participating in Funding BCH Projects?

I think it’s a common knowledge that miners are considered as top stakeholders in the BCH ecosystem. Some even designed away for them to be able to vote on the future of the network.

it has been said that those miners will care about the feature of BCH and that they will help with it’s improvement as it will increase their profit on the long run.

After monitoring quite few number of Flipstarter campaign I haven’t noticed any significant public participation of miners in them. Are they participating? Are they aware of the campaigns that are out there to improve the network, build on it and increase adoption?

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Answering your question: No, I have never seen large miners significantly publicly invest into infrastructure of Bitcoin(Cash).

One exception is BitMain which had some influence over the survival of BCH.

Frew years ago, there also were some group supposedly representing large western miners claiming they are working in background to support BCH and big blocksizes, but AFAIR definitive proof they did anything never arrived.

So that’s it. Miners are not active investors in this ecosystem and they basically run the reference implementation not caring about details.

We are talking about “funding” here so I omit the politics as a lot of SHA256 miners seem to be quietly defending BCH from attacks and also not attacking it themselves.

So it’s not they are not doing anything at all, just not funding projects.

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To make a broader point, because I think it is relevant here, I am not aware of miners being deeply involved in BTC either. The only exception I know is poolin (pool, not really miner) which took taproot activation almost as a personal project. So I think what you are saying is true for the majority of miners on both BTC and BCH, at least when everything seems to be going smoothly. It would be great if they were more involved, but it’s just not the case.

Having said that, there has definitely been miner and pool support within BCH ecosystem at some key points:

  1. There was a ton of mining signaling going on during IFP issue that showed explicit support for no-IFP. For the most part that was done in cooperation, not led by miners though. I can dig up specific block searches if anyone wants to see.
  2. There was proactive support and guidance from some major OG miners for BCH to bypass IFP.
  3. You can see some direct miner funding support that was verified at the time (and I think likely some of the miners were anonymous) in the original flipstarters (e.g. BCHN’s flipstarter).
  4. At least one miner continued to support BCHN financially after the IFP issue. I’m not sure if that is still ongoing or not.
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I completely agree.

That said, it is important to say that the majority or even significant minority of miners never got involved politically into what is going on in either BTC or BCH.

Some exception to the rule is Bitmain, but that was long years ago and was quickly dropped by the miners once a leader (Adam Back) got them gathered behind closed doors and brainwashed them with propaganda or empty promises.

Miners are, in their mass, passive observers and profit makers in BTC/BCH ecosystem who just accept whatever is decided by the developers by running reference implementations that the developers provide.

Believing that Miners would get involved politically and started actually shaping this ecosystem with us en large is a pipe dream we are having since 2015. This never happened and will probably never happen.

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:100:
Except! It will happen in the future, assuming success of actual p2p money. Because that will involve massive network effect and they will become de facto politicians.

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Hmmm it should inevitably happen once Bitcoin Cash and some other cryptocurrencies are big enough to affect massive international trade and customs/taxes.

It has to. I cannot imagine governments not getting involved.

I have always disagreed with this assessment. I think it is based on a misunderstanding of the balance of power in Bitcoin Cash (and the original Bitcoin).

The basis seems to be that the miners are one of the few that are profit-making companies in our ecosystem. With an initial investment that they can lose. And this makes sense in today’s environment, but it won’t stay that way.

The amount of miners in an ecosystem will stay relatively small. Somewhere between 100 and 1000 (depends on how you count) and likely this will not significantly change in 10 years.
On the other hand we should expect a successful “money” to attract a good amount of business. From software solutions to companies like Emergence works for and naturally exchanges, point-of-sale systems etc etc etc. All of those companies will benefit from the growth of Bitcoin Cash. Their investment may not be some hardware but instead be man hours and company commitment.

While the growth of miners will stay relatively flat, the growth of infrastructure companies around Bitcoin Cash is going to grow exponentially as the coin itself grows exponentially in scale. And that means that the miners are going to be minority stakeholders on a long enough timescale.

This has always been the reason I was against the idea that miners should somehow have majority voting power, like the BMP suggested. While today they may be seen as the majority, when they no longer are the majority the balance should shift accordingly.

I think I recall twice that some miners (may be the same one) donated 1000BCH to BCHN. Those funds, as far as I know, still lift BCHN today as it takes some effort to spend such amounts :wink:

Just noticed a tweet from BMP creator:

The BMP did not succeed because Bitcoin miners and devs are not truly interested in decentralization ultimately. They are mediocre people who at the end of the day want control. Decentralization means building something you don’t control. Only Satoshi Nakamoto did that.

I’m surprised by Javier’s conclusion, I have no reason to believe that “miners want control”, as he writes. The comments on this topic seem to support that conclusion too as you expect a lot more involvement in decisions if they wanted control, no?

The BMP is at its core a tool to be used. Specifically aimed at communication. It is not the only way to communicate (on or off-chain) and people still mostly use what has worked for years already. Wechat, forums and maybe just a phone call.

The tool, the idea and the software don’t go away, as such I don’t think that it can be said to succeed or fail. Its just a tool, when its needed it can be used. Even 10 years from now.

Correct, however I believe it was never officially confirmed they were actually real miners.

They were probably miners, but that’s all.

With this kind of money I would suspect Jihan Wu or someone similar.

According to my information miners have generously funded devs and “infra” frequently in the past. In many ways. Discreetly, anonymously (where do you think the gigadonations come from?).

No other actor has ever contributed so much with so much silence. Although there are rare exceptions:

One miner spending almost $1 million on hashwar just to protect Bitcoin Cash from Calvin and CSW. Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/eq1g8f/partial_list_of_the_funds_spent_by_bitcoincom_to/

“Large blockers had allocated a budget of US$100 million to attack the smaller blockchain.”
Source: The Blocksize War – Chapter 12 – Bitcoin Unlimited | BitMEX Blog

Miners have funded entire projects like SmartBCH, face-to-face meetings, and they paid significant salaries to some developers in the past (curiously devs tend to never recognize this reality).

And… the initial IFP (good intention, bad communication) consisted of a initiative supported by the 4 major BCH miners willing to give 12.5% of coinbase for developers.

I don’t have time to calculate how much money this would be and how stupid was for the BCH community (not only Amaury) to react adversely to the last miners attempt (of many) to take the reins and stop the consecutive catastrophe (by fracture or osification) caused by central devs.

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I am sorry, this is not enough - this will not do.

When they do not communicate publicly, their voice doesn’t matter (because it doesn’t officially exist).

At this point of history we can only suspect that some big miner is covertly supporting BCH. But until they go out into the daylight and explain their stance publicly, all of this has very little effect.

If they did do this, they publicly stated “BCH is the working Bitcoin”, “it makes sense to only support big block Bitcoin” or something in these lines, the earthquake would happen, the whole market would shake out at least some of the bad actors.

But this is not going to happen, at least until countries are going to engage in Crypto wars directly, in my opinion.


BTW, this is the issue that also causes your BMP not to work. Because miners do not want to publicly participate in creation of this project, BMP makes no sense. BMP would only make sense if miners wanted to publicly support something via blockchain-based voting. But they also don’t.

Until big miners come out from the shadows and actually say what the hell is going on and what they REALLY think about useless BTC vs working BCH, this ecosystem will be stuck in a limbo.

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@JavierGonzalez
As others have mentioned and per my understanding too that it was just few personalities in the mining community like jihan wu of Bitmain (who I believe funded large portion of SmartBCH development) alongside Roger Ver. I think the balance sheet you shared is Roger’s. Also I see that few miners supported Australia BCH meeting from the banners displayed in representations.

Regarding the miners plan to give 12.5% included orphaning miners who doesn’t obey the rule. Which I think it has some aggressiveness toward smaller miners and Amaury the main beneficiary was a big factor in people resisting it too IMHO.

Maybe BCH leaders can sort their stuff and manage to create a multisig wallet for a start where miners can contribute and people can apply to the fund to complete their already created and partly funded flip-starter proposals.

Even people who contributed a lot may not be able to offered that for long.

I’ve noticed a discussion about funding in SBCH channel that I couldn’t find it’s start but you may got the idea:

This is a very large topic that needs thoughtful discussion and brainstorming, maybe agreeing to the minimal can get people united about an easy to implement plan that doesn’t require consensus change.

The miners official communication / voting: Bitcoin Signals — Nakamoto.observer
Aka The Nakamoto Consensus.

I agree. I already contributed by putting the “how” on the table. You should participate as BU did. Say something on-chain with HP. Low cost, zero risk.

It’s the miners business. Orphaning blocks is exactly how the consensus mechanism described in the whitepaper works. This is the only way Bitcoin can work and resolve disputes.
My research on non-accidental precedents: Bug + 51 blocks Reorg - Executive Hashpower — Nakamoto.observer

The truth is that Amaury understood fast that with IFPv2 he would lose “absolute control” and his head could be cut off easily and officially. Hence, his adverse reaction with IFPv3 and IFPv4. A takeover.

Amaury was so against the original IFP initiative of the miners that he caused a split against them.

But many still continue to see the IFP as a single event. A lot of political lack of knowledge here. Note the “Announced by” column. Amaury did a “takeover” on the miners’ initiative (well, central devs always do a takeover against miners).

Profit, but in what time preference?

In short-term that strategy sounds OK.
In long-term that strategy has worked like crap.

The miners who understood this are those who tried to signal and act politically. It is the only way.

Wake me up when the “votes” mean anything. So far the miners are running default software. They never switch, no matter the votes.

This is not Nakamoto Consensus from whitepaper. This is Twitter & Adam Back consensus.

Miners(majority) don’t care. They follow the herd. No thinking involved here.

We heave been having pipe dreams about this being “the only way” for 7 years now, since 2015.

It hasn’t worked and will (probably) never work. The only way miners make changes is via installing the default software and by following the crowd’s opinion on what software is considered the default at the moment.

Maybe something will change once Bitcoin(Cash) is big enough to affect whore countries and major international trade so governments will get directly involved, but it doesn’t look like anything will change before that.

Are we really having this discussion again? It’s like I have historical proof for everything I am saying and you have no proof whatsoever of anything you are saying.

Time to wake up, Neo.

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Two major conflicts where hashpower action was effective, decisive and successful:

  1. BCH-BSV: https://nakamoto.observer/executive_hashpower/4
  2. BCH-XEC: https://nakamoto.observer/executive_hashpower/6

In total, ~3.5% of SHA256 hashpower (significant minority) maximum took part in this. The rest of the miners just mined what gave them the most profit.

Thanks for proving my point, again.

To make the conversation clear.

Individual voluntary donations to the devs do not require any coordination. It is ok. Bad performance, caotic, but legit.

However, managing a common fund is a first level political challenge. Involving “decision making”, responsibilities and voting mechanism. Otherwise, it is well known that such a fund will end badly.

Your approach is wrong from the very beginning. “BCH leaders”. Who are they? Central devs who have replaced the previous central dev who replaced the previous central devs?

Who decides who is a BCH leader? What if those who are friends today are enemies tomorrow? What happens if a BCH leader becomes corrupt, which “coincidentally” has already happened? What happens if well-liked and well-spoken “leaders” are actually lousy managers and have to quit?

That’s why in this conversation you talk about the miners and I have been mentioned. Because a common fund is a 100% political problem. And I have experience in that.

People do not want to submit to a decentralized dispute resolution mechanism. Which coincidentally is Satoshi’s whole point. Ok. Good luck to you. But don’t cry for more money. You have received far more than your performance has shown.

Miners are not necessarily BCH stakeholders, they are now SHA-256 hardware “stakeholders”. It was not like that in the beginning but specialization and decoupling of roles happened naturally. BTC now pretty much ensures that they have a place to sell their hashes. If some miners happen to have conviction that BCH is worth spending extra time/money (other than just being plugged into a hash-balancer), then great for us, but giving a damn about BCH is not a prerequisite for being a SHA-256 miner and getting a ROI on SHA-256 hardware with BTC. If its a matter of technical survival (hash war), sure, we have enough of those who care about our survival as they have proven in the past, and stepping in in case of a hash war is within their competence and a logical thing to do given their position. But then we can ask ourselves - who paid for the hashes? Them, or did some business support their losses? Who is really the stakeholder in BCH survival? Nobody owes “us” any transparency, especially miners. We can appeal for it, but they can ignore our appeals without any consequence. Mining is something anonymous by design. They have full freedom to choose how and when they’ll communicate and spend their money, why should they pick your or my way?

If it’s a matter of economic survival (utility, adoption, market cap), that’s not their problem anymore because they have BTC. Economic survival is “our” problem now. If you think of miners as investors - guess what, investors don’t do a company’s work, they set a board and CEO does the work, and investors sit back and take the profits for risking their money, not doing our work for us. Who’s our CEO? We don’t have one, but we have a loose leadership that’s pushing developments forward. It was not miners who created BigInt and Introspection CHIPs. Stop looking at miners for anything other than hashes, and stop projecting your dreams of solving governance on them or them voting a crypto Steve Jobs into existence. There’s simply no incentive to get involved unless something threatens the market for SHA-256, and having BTC have its protocol locked as a feature and now being the darling of big tech and big finance - they can feel safe for a long while, so why would they get involved in directing a minority coin?

Is there a company where shareholders vote on every decision by the company? No, why do you think that is? Because being able to buy a share of something doesn’t make someone automatically competent to make decisions about that business. Shareholders elect a leader, and then he does all the work, unless he sucks, then shareholders get together to kick him out an place a new leader, or if shareholders are dumb then the company dies and is replaced by another. Smarter shareholders see the future more soon so naturally they dump the shares first, and let others dream about salvaging whatever is left of the company. That’s what’s happening with crypto, too, but the process is opaque. Only the money movement is transparent on the blockchain, but everything else is not.
What if you’re a majority shareholder in Microsoft and a minority shareholder in Blackberry? Would you give a damn about Blackberry when it’s few % of your portfolio?

We gotta take some market cap for miners to start caring, and they’re not the ones who’re gonna make it happen. It’s “us”.