CoinGeek.com’s Becky Liggero sat down with Bitcoin ABC’s lead developer Amaury Sechet for an interesting conversation on how the community-based development work on Bitcoin Cash is currently being done.
Known in the programming community as “deadalnix”, Amaury Sechet has worked as a software engineer for prominent community platforms including Facebook. He has been involved with Bitcoin for a long time, having learned about it back in 2010, although it was merely a hobby for him at the time, noting that the network then seemed like it “took care of itself.”
“There was good people in charge and they were doing what seemed to be the right thing,” Sechet told CoinGeek.com.
Sechet’s fascination with social infrastructures and peer-to-peer communication systems led him to work and develop cryptocurrency applications. According to Sechet, his shift to working with Bitcoin Cash after initially being attracted to resolving software issues in the legacy Bitcoin (BTC) network was a decision based on what “the main point is” for cryptocurrencies, in relation to the Satoshi white paper.
“More recently, there have been a lot of tension about, you know, should the Bitcoin chain be something of a settlement system for high value payments or should be kind of like cash, you know, new version of cash,” Sechet said.
Before August 2017 hard fork, there was “very strong disagreement in the community,” and Sechet believed “digital cash” made more sense as an argument, eventually siding with the community that adhered with a block size upgrade to resolve scalability issues in the legacy chain, effectively creating what is now the Bitcoin Cash network. For Sechet, this argument made more sense and hence fulfilled the original direction of the Satoshi white paper because the document “clearly described a peer-to-peer cash system, and within the paper it talks about payment, about replacing cash and all of that.”
“It doesn’t talk about completing it with settlement layers,” he said, adding that “there is actually a lot of aspects that exist in Bitcoins that are not even described in the white paper.”
Although he is not against the other features placed within the legacy Bitcoin network, Sechet said the white paper’s main point is digital cash.
“Digital cash is, I think, the most important, like it’s the killer feature. It’s like the game-changing stuff that is in there,” according to Sechet.
Asked about the current direction for Bitcoin Cash that Bitcoin ABC is helping develop, Sechet said the team wants to work on the technology that will scale the network. Currently, six teams of developers are working independently to achieve this goal, but Sechet said there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.
“If you want everybody in the world to use it, we need to scale it by at least two orders of magnitude,” he said.
Sechet sees two aspects of development that the Bitcoin Cash network needs to become ready for the future: growing by two orders of magnitude and decreasing the confirmation time. According to Sechet, if a user wants a transaction to be validated, it should be ideally done in three seconds, giving the user a seamless payment or purchasing experience.
Sechet notes that for this to work out in the long-term, the community of Bitcoin Cash users and developers would “need to have a very high degree of confidence in the validation of a transaction within a few seconds.”
Reflecting on the need of the Bitcoin Cash development community to adjust its strategies, Sechet believes the community should change some of its practices, saying, “I think the community needs to become much more proactive. Right now many people in the community are acting in a reactive manner, it’s like ‘Oh there is a problem, we need to fix it’ right? And then you know, everybody jump in to try to fix that problem but there is an effect when you know everybody jump on the problem at the last minute, it tends to make the resolution of the problem slower.”
Unlike the BTC network which has only one “core” development team working on it, the Bitcoin Cash network has at least six decentralized development teams working together. Without a leader or a corporate entity mandating its decisions, proper coordination and communication may stand as a challenge to the leaderless Bitcoin Cash development community, which is mostly made up of passionate volunteers. To avoid this bottleneck, Sechet provides a lesson in software management: “get on with,” suggesting that whenever a problem like this arises, what people should do is focus on what they can contribute on their end, given their specializations, and “try to come up with a proposal for the next one.”
“Just being more proactive and less reactive would be, I think, a huge win,” he said.