The wheels of the Roger Ver-led PR machine continue to turn as Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) announced today that it will be supporting BCH in the imminent split between BCH and ABC.
The announcement is regarding the upcoming BCH network upgrade, currently set for November 15, which is expected to cause a split in the network. The key disagreement is over ABC’s implementation of the Infrastructure Funding Proposal, which would direct approximately 8% of block reward toward infrastructure development.
It was supposed to be a wait-and-see battle over where coin votes and hash power move following the split. Once again, BCH and Ver have made honest resolution all but impossible for the BCH vs ABC feud. Coinbase announced that it would categorically not be supporting ABC coins following the fork, only accepting BCH and potentially dooming any shot of ABC standing on its own merits—however questionable they ultimately be.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is expected to undergo a hard fork on November 15th, 2020. Prior to the fork, Coinbase will run BCHN nodes and expects that it will be the dominant chain post fork. (1/3)
— Coinbase Support (@CoinbaseSupport) November 5, 2020
It’s the same story we saw when BCH originally split from Bitcoin (BSV) in November of 2018. Roger Ver, ever the pseudo-digital asset statesman, attempts to characterize the disagreement as a rogue developer (in the present case, Amaury Sechet) as merely departing from the true BCH implementation, while pulling levers behind the scenes in order to attempt to make survival of the ‘splinter faction’ impossible.
Diverting part of the #BitcoinCash block reward to pay a single development team is a Soviet style central planner’s dream come true.
Please stop. pic.twitter.com/5H6EKDnDjc
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) August 31, 2020
It’s an audacious spin coming from a man governing the development of BCH and using his position at the nexus of powerful exchanges and other interest groups to force a competitor out of the market.
Ver tried and failed at this with Bitcoin. He coordinated with various exchanges—often those in which he has considerable investment—to delist BSV without reason in the hope that it would not be able to survive without incumbent support. Thankfully, the BSV feature set and status as the original Bitcoin spoke for itself and allowed it to weather the propaganda storm.
But in this case, the battle is between two knock-off forks of Bitcoin: there is no truth to cut through the noise and protect Sechet from the same kinds of attacks from Ver as BSV and Dr. Craig Wright faced—there is only the influence Ver has over major infrastructure players in the industry, something which Sechet cannot match. Coinbase is the first, but it won’t be the last.
While any asset which passes itself off as Bitcoin will meet the same end, it is a shame that we won’t be able to see the BCH vs ABC battle be won on the merits of each platform. Instead, it is yet another instance of an ideologue exerting far too much influence over the ecosystem, this time with the effect of forcing a competitor out of the market. And once again, the rest of us are deprived of the chance to see honest competition between two technology platforms, instead having Roger Ver’s preference forced on the community.
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