Bitcoin Cash (BCH) might split again this weekend.
The Bitcoin ABC software client forked away from the Bitcoin protocol in mid-2017 to form a cryptocurrency of its own: Bitcoin Cash. Since then, Bitcoin Cash has deployed a backwards-incompatible hard fork upgrade every six months, requiring a network-wide upgrade across all Bitcoin Cash clients. While most of these upgrades have gone through relatively smoothly, a conflict within the Bitcoin Cash community in 2018 resulted in a split between Bitcoin Cash (the side that kept the original name) and Bitcoin SV.
Now, two years later (on November 15, 12:00 UTC, to be precise), another hard fork upgrade and another dispute within the Bitcoin Cash community could once again result in a coin-split.
What Is The Dispute? (And Between Who?)
At the heart of the dispute is an upgrade called the Infrastructure Funding Plan (IFP). The IFP would, as a protocol rule, enforce that 8 percent of every block reward — the coins earned by miners — is delegated to software projects working on Bitcoin Cash, like Bitcoin ABC.
According to the Bitcoin ABC team, the IFP — sometimes also referred to as the “miner tax” — would be designated through a new organization called the Global Network Council, consisting of major miners and holders of the cryptocurrency. The Global Network Council is scheduled to meet for the first time in January 2021, but beyond that, not very many specifics have been revealed about the selection of members or the procedure to distribute funds.
Bitcoin Cash Node — a software fork of Bitcoin ABC — is an initiative by various Bitcoin Cash developers and users who oppose the IFP, and have removed the upgrade from their source code.
There are a few different reasons the IFP is controversial. Some reject the upgrade on philosophical grounds, as they believe a “miner tax” is incompatible with Bitcoin Cash’s (or Bitcoin’s) philosophy and original design. If…