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Proposal on Bitcoin Cat’s Fork Experiment

A few days ago, I put forward an idea about Bitcoin Cat’s fork, which stirred a lot of discussion in the Chinese community. Bitcoin Cat is a fork coin based on Bitcoin Cash, and it is likely to be born on November 15. Now everything remains uncertain, or may be terminated at any time. This article is to provide more details on some of my current thoughts for full discussions with the community as enough consensus, if reached, can push Bitcoin Cat to go online. That would be a very interesting experiment.

I chose the word “cat” for the project because, for one hand, “cat” sounds similar to “cash”, and for the other, cat is a cute and common pet. I once raised a cat and named it Satoshi. Choosing the word “cat” as a name is quite interesting, making the project easy to remember, spread, and further attract the public attention. Dogecoin survived and has developed well in the fierce competition precisely because of its unique name. The crypto market already has Doge coin but no Cat coin, leaving a huge market opportunity for us.

In addition, BCC, the symbol of Bitcoin Cat, is of great memorable significance. In the first days after the birth of Bitcoin Cash, BCC was used as a symbol. Later, it was changed to BCH due to conflicts with existing projects. Now that BCH has gone for good and was abandoned by most exchanges, and CMC is not included, we may reuse that name.

If this fork is to be implemented, it will first inherit the original Bitcoin Cash chain in the November 15 fork of Bitcoin Cash. Then in the next year, we will make major adjustments and improvements at the governance and technical levels. A new hard fork will be carried out a year later, and then the agreement will remain stable afterwards. There will be no new hard fork unless necessary.

At the governance level, the most important is the establishment of a foundation. The necessity of a foundation has been verified in many cryptocurrency communities. It serves as a major source of funds for the community, and more importantly, it provides a good decision-making framework, which is exactly what Bitcoin Cash requires. As the initiator of the foundation, I will invite users with major contributions and influence in the possible fork of Bitcoin Cat to join the foundation and manage the funds through multi-signature together. For future development, people who provide substantial funds or make major contributions to the foundation can join it if they are voted. The foundation makes decisions with each member holding one vote, and the minority obeys the majority. The foundation will be registered as an entity and core assets such as the domain name will be transferred under its name to ensure that Bitcoin Cat is decentralized and no one can go against the will of the community.

In addition, we can create an online proposal and voting system where everyone can register an account and bind his or her Bitcoin Cat address by signing as a proof of the amount of Bitcoin Cat they hold. Users with a specific number of Bitcoin Cat can initiate a proposal, which can be a modification of the protocol, an application for funds, opinions or suggestions. Anyone can vote on the proposal. With one coin for one vote, the proposal that receives a majority of votes within the specified time will be passed.

Only proposals that pass both the public voting and foundation voting can be supported and implemented. Any modification of the protocol and use of the fund must go through this process for the sake of openness and transparency.

Another important issue is the standardization of the protocol. I once expressed an idea at the 2018 Bitcoin Cash conference in Bangkok that distinguishing the Bitcoin Cat protocol from the specific implementation through the standardization of the protocol is conducive to multiple implementations and competition with each other, thus ultimately leading to a more robust network. Many encrypted digital currencies, such as Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, are deeply tied to a certain development, which violates the spirit of decentralization. Protocol standardization has been reflected in many successful Internet protocols, and Ethereum 2.0 has developed under the standard protocol.

I think the block size should be as large as possible on the premise of decentralization. I do not support unlimited block size as too large blocks will make Bitcoin Cat less decentralized. That has been proven on EOS. The extremely high TPS as pursued in EOS requires nodes of high-quality hardware. As a result, the network tends to be centralized. Blockchain is a decentralized database with multiple copies, and its resources are destined to be limited. We can adjust the block size appropriately as future hardware and development require.

The block time should be minimized with the orphan block rate kept within an acceptable range to improve the transfer payment experience. According to my experience of operating the ViaBTC mining pool for many years, the latest block can be synchronized in 0.5 seconds across mining pools all over the world, so the block time can be shortened to 30 seconds or even less. That is to be further tested.

Bitcoin Cat should have its mining algorithm further modified to be more ASIC-friendly in the future. The Bitcoin mining algorithm, if used as always, or whatever kind of DAA algorithm cannot eliminate the hashrate tide. What’s worse, as a minority, such a algorithm risks being attacked, which has been proved by recent incidents that happened to ETC recently. It is thus imperative to change the mining algorithm to part of the majority in an attempt to increase miners’ cost for evildoing and thus improve network security.

Smart contracts matter. Basic script operations on Bitcoin are insufficient. We need to support smart contracts in modern programming languages to better support the development of decentralized financial protocols. As smart contracts on the main chain will greatly slow down its operation speed, we can adopt side chains. Similar to the conditions in Ethereum 2.0, we can run multiple side chains at the same time as needed, with the side chains connected with the main chain through cross-chain technology.

In addition, we can support many other long-awaited technical features of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash on Bitcoin Cat. All of these will be reflected in its standard protocol, realized on diversified clients, and further implemented in the hard fork one year later.

Funds in the foundation mainly come from donations, specifically, from ViaBTC and me, in the early days. But donations may not be capable of sustaining the foundation for too long, so we can implement an IFP-like plan to inject part of the mining output into it with the consent of the community.

I have another interesting idea: all UTXOs that have not been moved after the hard fork one year later are to be voided. Holders of these UTXOs may have lost their private keys or do not care about the Bitcoin Cat community, perhaps intending a sell-off, so we have every reason to invalidate them through hard forks. Most of the funds obtained in this way are allocated to miners for better network security, and a small part injected into the foundation to support development and community building. By doing so, we will not break the upper limit of 21 million Bitcoin while vitalizing the growth of the community.

As an independent entity, the foundation will keep active contact with the infrastructure of the crypto market such as exchanges and wallets, and vigorously encourage potential institutions and users to adopt Bitcoin Cat. It will also spare no effort to support full-node developers and developers of wallets and applications as well. Moreover, the foundation will play a major role, both physical and financial, in the construction of the community, and introduce systems such as community ambassadors to gather more consensus.

All of my ideas are listed as above, and may be adjusted. If you’re interested in this experiment, join me in Telegram for further communication.

Let’s make Bitcoin Great Again.

Written by

Founder and CEO of ViaBTC and CoinEx

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