Babbitt Column | Scientific Research Expenditure Model and Coin Development Fund Optimization Plan

"Every time Amaury enters my field of view, I want money …" A big BCH currency holder complained to me on WeChat this time about the announcement of BCH developers on the recent (February 15, 2020, published on bitcoinabc.org) ) Published mining for mining to raise funds for the establishment and development of BCH foundation.

The development of encrypted digital currency started with the open source community. Until now, 11 years ago, the most important coins are still operating in the form of the open source community. The source of funds for the open source community has always been a major problem that plagued the development of the currency circle.

Difficulties in the development of the currency circle

It needs to be acknowledged that the current currency development projects led by the open source community have encountered bottlenecks in development funds. Developers are losing their motivation to work in the open source community.

In 2019, I checked the updated versions of the full node of BTC, BCH, and BSV, and checked what the developers have done for the Bitcoin ecosystem. The reality is that the three major Bitcoin branches have made no significant progress. The development of BCH is regarded as the most active among the three.

The main developer of BTC is the Bitcoin Core development team. The main source of funding now is that several important active Core developers are employed by Blockstream. Another source of funding is community donations. The specific annual consumption of development funds cannot be found, and the public community estimates that it is at the level of 10 million US dollars per year.

BTC's development funding has been scarce. Historically, the main sources of funding were non-profit organizations, donations from large companies and community donations. Gavin Andresen established the Bitcoin Foundation back in 2012, but spent his money in 2015. The MIT Media Lab set up a $ 900,000 Bitcoin Developer Fund in 2016, which is well-known, but the money and demand are really small.

Compared with the huge development expenditure of normal software projects, Bitcoin development funds are very scarce. The vast majority of developers are unpaid volunteers.

The main developer of BCH is the Bitcoin ABC development group, and the funding source is mainly from large company funding and community donations.

Since the birth of BCH in August 2017, major sources of development funds have been donated by large companies. Bitmain and Bitcoin.com have sponsored the funds, but I can't find the detailed amount and destination of the funds. Bitcoin.com's Rogver has promoted a million-dollar ecological fund, but the details of its use are unknown. okex once donated some coins to ABC, but was transferred to Electroncash developers by Amaury.

In 2019, Bitcoin.com led the establishment of the BCH Development Fund and soon raised 800BCH.

BCH's most important developer, Amaury, has publicly tweeted on Twitter several times that there is a lack of money for development and employees.

The development of BSV is basically completed by nChain. The BSV developers believe that the protocol only needs to be restored to the earliest bitcoin version 0.1, and development should be much simpler. The development strength of BSV is mainly concentrated on the application layer. It is the responsibility of each company. There is no issue of raising and spending on development funds of a public welfare nature.

Ethereum's development funds mainly come from public fundraising and the creation of the creation coin. Publicly raised $ 1840 in bitcoin (31591BTC). At the same time, it issued 6 million ETH to the Ethereum Foundation and 6 million ETH to the early stage. Developer.

At present, the Ethereum Foundation has limited financial resources, and V God once paid 1,000 ETH to developers. The development of Ethereum is also getting slower and slower.

The development of EOS is almost entirely from Block.one, which is different from decentralized open source communities such as Bitcoin. They have no shortage of development funds. EOS raised more than 4 billion US dollars. However, EOS lacks supervision and the transparency of fund utilization is poor.

The Litecoin Foundation has also repeatedly stated that it lacks money and development has been stagnant for a long time.

The more important reason for developers to lose momentum, or even directly lose out, is opportunity cost. Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot and co-founder of Ethereum. Gavin left Ethereum to work on Polkadot. So far, he has raised three publicly and raised more than 100 million US dollars. The first time was 485331 ETH; the second time was 306 276 ETH; the third time did not publish accurate figures, and everyone estimates that it is more than 60 million US dollars.

Developers are facing the temptation to contribute to the sour income of the open source community and the temptation of huge income from the coin issuance chain. The slow progress of blockchain technology is understandable.

On the other hand, large enterprises have begun to get involved in the encrypted digital currency and blockchain industries. Well-known are Libra of Facebook, DCEP of the People's Bank of China, Ant Blockchain of Ant Financial … Some of these companies and institutions have the money to crush the current open source community in the currency circle.

What about the currency circle? How can we motivate developers while maintaining decentralization and harmony?

Four models of scientific research expenditure

Incubation mode (or employment mode). During the European Renaissance, the aristocracy popularly sponsored the awesome. The most typical is that the Medici family has a large number of artists and scientists, including the famous Galileo.

During the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period of China, people with status and status fostered people with knowledge and skills, called doorkeepers. The aristocrats all have more visitors than any other. This has also created a rich and splendid culture in spring and autumn.

It feels that in the ancient times, rich people educating everyone and scientists was a way of showing off their wealth, and it is almost like driving a sports car today.

The mode of raising money is basically that the payer only looks at whether the person being raised is famous, basically there is no accountability mechanism, and there is no question of transparency of funds. Well-known celebrities who have been fostered are relatively independent. This nobleman does not raise me, so I will go to another house. In the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, door-to-door transfers were common.

Cultivation does not have a derogatory meaning, just for the sake of description.

At present, many developers in the currency industry are actually in a support mode. For example, the developers of BTC are employed by Blockstream, and the development of bsv is basically completed by the employees of nChain.

Reward Mode. In modern times, modern science has begun to develop. In the past few hundred years, which started about 300 years ago, a model of rewarding sponsored scientists was born. In the history of science, this was an important form of scientific research funding for large institutions such as the state. It first emerged from the French Academy of Sciences. In addition to the government, nobles will also release rewarded models.

The reward mode is that the government or aristocrats publish issues that they think are valuable. Scientists send solutions they think are right to the government or aristocracy. After the correct answer is selected, the bonus will be issued to the scientist.

In the era of great sailing, the British government offered a reward of 20,000 pounds for the first invention to determine the longitude on the sea. Newton, the greatest human scientist, was involved, but Newton did not win the prize, and the prize was taken by a man named John Harrison. There are still many mathematical problems waiting for the solver in a rewarding way, including the famous Goldbach conjecture.

The reward mode has many benefits. Questioners can only care about the problem itself, and do not need to participate in technical discussions, troublesome issues such as capital utilization. The problem solver can only care about the problem itself, any other money-making skills are useless, only the answer itself is important. Including the PPT professors who are currently funding the university, the application form for funding, and various meetings are not important. The competitive relationship between scientists also makes solving problems very efficient. There is no threshold for ability, anyone can participate, there is no need for the person who has the problem to have a reputation or status. It can be said that it is a scientific research funding distribution model with very low management costs.

The reward mode is also problematic. The biggest problem is that many problems cannot be solved by one person or a single group at all. What is needed is the emergence of human scientific accumulation. The second problem is that the author will receive a large number of answers, and screening the answers becomes a laborious task.

Prepayment model. To modern scientists, they are mainly employed by large enterprises and government units. The main form of disbursement of funds has been replaced by the advance payment model under the reporting system.

In the advance payment model, scientists became the main sponsors of the research. What scientists want to do, you first propose it yourself, how to do it, why you do it, how much it will cost, what effect it will have, and what value it will have. You first write me a PPT and ask the government or rich people to open Yes, come back for some money. The government or large enterprises will review the scientific research funding application materials of scientists, judge the feasibility and value, and then give money.

You can leave things out first, and pay you money first. This is the prepayment model.

This is not the same as the fostering mode and the reward mode. In these two modes, the problem is mainly raised by the government and the nobility. Now under the prepayment model, the originators of the problem are mainly scientists.

The advance payment model has many advantages, but of course also has disadvantages. The advantage is that it has found a way to solve scientific problems that can be replicated on a large scale, which is why it is the current mainstream scientific research funding method. Only scientists understand what scientific issues are valuable. The atomic bomb was created by scientists such as Oppenheimer and even found Einstein's signature support before mobilizing the US government to allocate funds. A large amount of low-level knowledge in modern society is completed based on the advance payment model. In the advance payment model, scientists can have money, less stress, and engage in scientific research with peace of mind.

But the shortcomings are also obvious, causing huge waste and academic corruption. Professors who can tell stories and write PPT can get money, but they do not necessarily do science. I have done two national 863 projects, and I cooperated with university professors to complete the development and utilization of low-concentration gas. The whole process made me think that some professors in China are really corrupt officials.

Nobel Prize mode. The Nobel Prize is a mechanism that everyone is familiar with. It is a mechanism in which the Nobel Prize Foundation actively selects people who have made significant contributions to humanity every year and gives huge bonuses. This is a variant of the reward mode.

The Nobel Prize-winning scientists have gained huge wealth and reputation at the same time. It is a huge force to promote the development of science, and it is also a huge force to popularize scientific issues. The Nobel Prize is to make scientists a star, and to make scientific issues the focus of ordinary people.

The benefits of the Nobel Prize are obvious, but the disadvantage is that it is not universal.

After talking about the payment mechanism of so many academic funds, let's take a look at the current solution for the development of the currency circle.

Incorrect posture of developers for money

Recently, seeing that the BCH community is actively solving the problem of lack of developer funds, Jiang Zhuoer has provided a highly influential solution, which is very controversial. Amaury provided implementation details that led to greater controversy.

The lack of development funds is a problem that needs to be solved urgently. The BCH community is actively facing it, which is good for the BCH ecology and the entire currency circle ecology.

When Jiang Zhuoer proposed his fundraising plan, I saw a Jiang Zhuoer issued a credible commitment to the entire BCH community. This is a noun in game theory. In the words commonly used by Chinese people, Jiang Zhuoer gave a vote to the community.

This vote includes two parts: 1 initiate a controversial proposal and force a donation; 2 bear the potential hash power to ensure that your proposal passes ("so my personal hash power will use a new name for mining (D.TOP ), Please do n’t be surprised when you see that this new mining pool accounts for a large proportion of computing power-Jiang Zhuoer ").

In order to join Liangshan, Lin Chong destroyed his own personnel by himself. He burned the government's frontier army forages, killed officials, and turned himself into a wanted man in the government. In the future, he can only stand on the side of Liangshan. This is Lin Chong's vote for Wang Renner.

Jiang Zhuoer gave his name to the ideal of solving BCH development funds by offending all SHA256 miners. In fact, among all SHA256 miners, Jiang Zhuoer does not occupy an absolute advantage. No matter how powerful it is, even if BTC.top is all his private computing power, it will only occupy less than 5% of the entire network. Other miners want to join forces to hang Jiang Zhuoer, it is feasible in strength.

After reading Jiang's article, I felt that lack of development funds is a problem that needs to be solved. After seeing that BTC, ETH, etc. were all caught in the dilemma of development funds, and powerful enemies such as Libra and DCEP joined the battle. BCH can't live better than life, and can't die. It's better to take a risk and find a way to raise money to see if there is a turnaround. So I judge Jiang Zhuoer's chess is worth the risk.

I admire Jiang Zhuoer's ability to make credible promises.

Subsequently, Amaury's article for Jiang Zhuoer published the implementation details on bitcoinabc.org. Amaury recommends clearly defining where to donate directly at the agreement level. ("Bitcoin ABC has been requested to implement this plan in the node software"). He provided the first batch of donation money collection projects.

Amaury's proposal is to adopt the "cultivation model" (it must be emphasized that I have no derogatory meaning and use the term "cultivation", just to describe the facts) to complete the raising of BCH development funds.

Amaury's proposal does not constitute a prepayment model as the proposal does not follow the rules necessary for the prepayment model. In the history of human scientific research, there are very mature cases. The advance payment model requires scientists to write the application materials. The application materials must at least explain what to do, how to do it, what is the value, how much money is required, and how is the money monitored? Etc. The most basic question. These issues are not self-evident in the development of BCH.

Amaury is a very individual developer. For example, he once refused an unconditional donation from Okex and ignored the bounty model initiated by Satoshi Dice. Satoshi Dice designated the BitcoinABC development team to cancel the BCH0 confirmation transaction for 25 consecutive times and offer a reward of 1,000 BCH. But Amaury, as the leader of ABC, did not appreciate it.

Jiang Zhuoer issued a credible promise, but it is unreasonable for Amaury to ask for the power of "cultivation mode" without a name. This will destroy Jiang's promise and make his promise in a dangerous situation. It was as if Lin Chong killed key members of the imperial court and surrendered to Liangshan. As a result, Song Jiang led the entire Liangshan to surrender to the imperial court. If I were Jiang Zhuoer, I would definitely not take Amaury's move.

The incubation model, or the unrestrained prepayment model, currently has no good precedent in the development of the currency circle. The most typical example is the EOS 4 billion + USD fundraising, which should have better development efficiency. The coin circle, including the founders of comos, has been one after another. After successful fundraising, it will not be long before the behavior of "decentralization and return to the community" appears, which are all examples of uncontrolled prepayment failure.

Facing the lack of funds for developers, is there a better mechanism?

Lack of funding for optimization

A reasonable, the development and use of coin development funds, it is best to consider the entire process of raising, issuing, using, monitoring and feedback. But this will make the entire funding plan inefficient and terrible, requiring multiple solutions to coexist.

Let's first summarize the advantages and disadvantages of the funding model

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The development of the currency circle already has a support (employment model), just like big companies such as Blockstream hire developers. There is also a prepayment model, just like EOS issues an ICO, financing first and then developing.

At present, the reward mode and the Nobel prize mode have not been popular in the currency circle.

Sources of funds, whether sponsored by large companies, fund-raising by non-profit companies, private donations, mining and mining, have mature solutions. At least there is willingness to contribute. More critically, the release, effectiveness, supervision and feedback of funds are difficult. If issues such as the effective use and supervision of funds can be resolved more effectively, the source of funds is relatively optimistic.

One optimization method is that the developer pays attention to the prepayment model, and first clarifies the development plan and the fund use plan, and forms a document that can be used to identify and monitor potential sources of funds. This requires developers to write off-the-job PPTs, etc., and may even be understood as abandonment and aggrieved. This is annoying.

Another optimization method is that the funding source pays attention to the reward mode and the Nobel prize mode.

However, the current development of BCH is basically controlled by ABC. As long as the reward mode is that ABC does not accept recruits, other people do not accept it. Satoshi Dice's attempt did not receive ABC's response, which made the BCH community miss a great success story.

But the reward mode is still worth exploring further. Shortening the BCH block time to 1 minute, avalanche algorithms, and sharding are all worth the high price reward.

The Nobel prize model is worth setting a precedent. The currency circle can set up a "Satoshi Nakamoto Award", copying the model of the Nobel Prize, and rewarding the best achievements of the currency circle.

For example, Jiang Zhuoer can set up the Jiang Zhuoer Award to reward the most significant agreement development achievements and the most important application development achievements of BCH over the years. For example, the Schnorr signature implementation in 2019 can be ratified, and it is worth giving an award to Amaury. The implementation of the SLP agreement also deserves a prize for Jonald. You can even recognise opcodes such as DSV in 2018.

Finally, I wish everyone happy to hold the currency, be less angry, and make more money. For a little bit of money in the hand, and all kinds of quarrels, the world is not worth it.

Author: Huang Shiliang

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