Roger Ver disassociates himself (again) from BCH mining tax

The BCH mining tax reform has been controversial and sparked plenty of criticism from miners, and Roger Ver appears to be publicly taking a backseat to the controversy. The “infrastructure funding plan” would see miners donate a percentage of all block rewards to a vague new entity. Previously listed as one of the plan’s initial proposers, Ver has reiterated his stance on the mining tax proposal, saying neither he nor Bitcoin.com endorsed the controversial approach to spurring the development of the BCH ecosystem.

In a YouTube video, Ver addressed the original BCH Infrastructure Funding Plan (IFP), aka mining tax: “I didn’t sign this nor did I agree to have my name on it when it went out. Bitcoin.com didn’t sign it, it went out without our approval. There was a misunderstanding and lack of communication.”

Ver’s Bitcoin.com earlier released a statement saying it “will not go through with supporting any plan unless there is more agreement in the ecosystem such that the risk of a chain split is negligible.” The company Bitcoin.com urged transparency, flexibility, and unity, suggesting that a lack of ecosystem agreement risks a split in the chain, though they seem to be looking for ways to fund further development.

The statement ends with a call for more flexibility: “A permanent proposal would be in effect a carte blanche on development and would incentivize “development for development’s sake,” which would defeat the purpose of the fundraising […] to create fast, reliable, digital cash upon a stable, largely unchanging, economically rational Bitcoin protocol.”

In reaction to this, ABC developers proposed to reduce miner tax from 12.5% to 5% with the funds going to a list of selected whitelist projects. Ver, however, was not impressed with the reduction, declaring that the percentage was still arbitrary and suggested that more discussions need to be done. Moreover, miners could prompt the execution of the BCH miner tax proposal through BIP 9. Ver, attempting to dodge the inevitable blow back, said the aforementioned detail was a “recipe for bad things to happen,” and called for more consideration and thorough planning.

“It’s too controversial, too much fighting, and to much trouble, and basically not worth it at this point.  The community should figure out how to fund common public goods as they see fit,” he said. “I would like to see the business that are using Bitcoin Cash funding the infrastructure development for the protocols…paying the amount they feel is needed and appropriate.”

Roger Ver’s disassociation from the IFP calls into question why he did it, considering his company was one of the initial sponsors of the earlier draft. Perhaps he didn’t want to be the center of criticism from the Bitcoin community. Some of the objections appear to be centered on money as nodes oppose the tax on account of not receiving any proceeds from the IFP.

The potential for funds being routed to a possible corporation instead of a nonprofit foundation rang many alarm bells. The absence of any kind of voting procedure would mean that the owners of the company would have control over all BCH development, the community argued.  Some also levied concerns about Chinese government interference. 

ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet defended the proposal arguing that due to the nature of mining, it is not compulsory. However, he conceded that control of the funds is an important issue. Séchet is proposing a committee of people with a “proven track record” of supporting the project, which would include himself. He isn’t concerned with profitability issues for miners as the “tax” would directly affect the amount of revenue going to them.

In an AMA, Jiang Zhuoer gave vague answers to questions of governance, saying that those details “are under discussion.” But he reiterated that, even though the details may change, the mining tax will still be introduced. In its entirety, the IFP has caused division and controversies, as admitted by Ver, which has led to speculations of another hard fork.

CoinGeek sources say Ver has set up this classic “Good Guy/Bad Guy” scenario behind the scenes. His recent public posturing is designed to make him look like he is against the BCH mining tax, making him the “good guy,” and Jihan/Amaury/Jiang are for it, aka the “bad guys.” But in the end, Ver plans to accept the tax “reluctantly.”

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