Why splitting your BCH coins IS a good idea in the long term
Recently, there has been a lot of debate around splitting coins in order to deal with the November fork of Bitcoin BCH. Many, such as Bitcoin.com, Mengerian, Jonald Fyookball, Mark Blundeberg, and others have been advocating for and working on tools to split the coins and implement replay protection between the different forked chains. On the other hand, others including Vin Armani, Ryan X. Charles, and Romain Pellerin are advocating for the opposite: not splitting coins.
Firstly, I think most, if not everyone, objectively agrees that not moving coins during the hashwar and waiting out the storm is actually the safest way to go about storing your funds. If you do nothing during the hashwar, you will be fine as long as you still have access to your private keys once everything settles down. The disagreements arise about what people should do if they want to transact during the hashwar.
The point/argument being made for not splitting coins is that if people transact differently among the different chains, they risk losing transaction history after the hashwar has ended (if it ends a particular way). So their solution is to not split the transactions, and with the help of tools such as chopsticks.cash, send/track/visualize transactions that happen and are relayed on the 6+ different nodes and the chains that might emerge as a result of the fork. That way, when the hashwar is over, the chains are more or less consistent and people dont’ loses funds that would have otherwise had their transaction history erased because of the inconsistencies between the different chains. If that is not the point/argument that you are making, please let me know where I misunderstood. This approach is safer and more risk averse when it comes to transactions being made during the hashwar. You stand to lose less (of transactions made during the hashwar) regardless what the outcome is.
I would like to praise the work chopsticks.cash has done to try to help deal with the hashwar in the least destructive way possible, as this is not an easy task to do. This statement goes out to many of the people on Reddit attacking Romain and coming up with “clean” and “clever” solutions that “could” solve the problem but may not be practical or easily implemented (or would need to be implemented by everyone to make sense).
If you are like Vin and “have no side in this”, then I think not splitting coins and using chopsticks.cash is the right approach for you. However, contrary to your point, Romain, about “coin splitters [being] built with a short vision in mind”, I think the opposite is actually true. I think advocating to not split coins is in fact the short-sighted approach. In the grand scheme of things, how much will the few transactions made during the hashwar really affect Bitcoin in the long term? If you think that these transactions are more important than the long term Bitcoin roadmap, then yes I can understand why replay protection probably isn’t so important to you. But even if you are living off of BCH solely, I still think it is selfish and short-sighted to choose the reliability of transactions during the hashwar over the long-term vision and roadmap of BCH. Also, CSW’s attacks that Ryan mentions about BSV stealing CDS transactions are not convincing at all, as is usually the case with CSW. And he makes it seem like if you get sent “poisonous” transactions and you include them in your next transactions, you lose all your funds, but instead you only get rewinded back to the point where the poisonous transaction was included and only affects funds received during the hashwar (but not in all cases of the hashwar outcome).
Replay protection chooses a side and undermines the validity of the other chains. If you implement replay protection and choose to run on the BCH network, you have chosen that side. You do not get to take cover on the BSV network (and give it validity) if the BCH network starts getting attacked and becomes unstable. You will be forced deal with and protect the BCH network. BCH will not die out as long as people want it. This was guaranteed when the mining difficulty was changed on BCH compared to BTC. It’s just a matter of how long people are willing to stand up for BCH against the attack instead of just surrendering and moving over to BSV.
I would rather be stuck with a network that’s unstable because of BSV/C&C attacks, and work on fixing it instead of just giving in and accepting BSV, because I believe in the long term vision for Bitcoin BCH and will not just give in to the wills of a malicious actor. Sustaining the attack will only make the network stronger than ever. Ultimately, it boils down to the same questions we were faced with last year: do you think the users have power in the system or do only miners have power? Does buying a specific amount of hashpower and a noisy/incompetent representative really give you the power to do whatever you want with the network? As we saw with the BCH/BTC split, users, developers, and exchanges do have power in the system, not just the miners.
Wallets, apps, and exchanges who implement replay protection and function on the BCH chain do not give any validity to the BSV chain. They have that power. If you don’t agree with their choice, you can do what you want, but you don’t get to use their service. Hash power alone does not give a chain validity. It is the whole ecosystem that gives the chain validity.
What if instead of the nonsense BSV changes proposed now, they wanted to for instance increase the amount of BCH in circulation to increase mining fees, would you still want your transactions replayed on both chains, or would you take a stand because you think that’s the right thing for Bitcoin?
It’s very disappointing to see people just give in because they’re scared of losing funds received during the hashwar. If the majority of the community surrenders to BSV and C&C and BSV “wins”, the bright future/vision I had for Bitcoin BCH will have died to me. I will take my resources elsewhere and I’m sure many other people will too.
Unlike Vin who does “not care which implementation wins”, I do. I do care and I will not give any validity to someone attacking the Bitcoin network to force their will onto others, and will do as much as I can as a user to stop that from happening.
I commend and applaud the actions of Bitcoin.com, Rick Falkvinge (anyone who hasn’t seen this video, please do), and others who are standing up for the community in these times of need. We need more brave actors like them in this space.
We should always try to take advantage of an opportunity that let’s us benefit in bad situation. In this situation, we have an opportunity to kick out a fraud/malicious actor from the community and network instead of submitting to their absurd wills. Let’s take this opportunity.