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Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet about Bitcoin Cash hard fork

On world digital mining summit 2018 we got to meet one of the speakers, Amouri Séchet, the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC. Here we offer the full interview with him:

- What is the primary goals of Bitcoin ABC?

- The primary goal is to provide a reliable implementation of Bitcoin Cash, and the goal for Bitcoin Cash is creating the good form of money that is not centrally controlled by anyone.

- Tell us more about your history with Bitcoin Cash.

- I am a network engineer to begin with, I work in many different countries. Few years ago I joined Facebook in Japan and then in the US, and I worked a lot on data access layer. In that time there was this scaling debate around Bitcoin and people weren’t agreeing on anything, and because of my experience with scaling problems, I decided to get involved, and so I wrote the first software for Bitcoin Cash.

- As I know there is a hard fork happening in November. Why did you decide on it and how will it be different?

- It’s been planned early on that there will be a hard fork happening every six months, and mostly what’s coming in November are features that will help scaling in the future. One of the big problems right now is that the currently Blokckchain technologies don’t scale well, and we want to be digital cash for the entire world.

- How are you planning on solving the scaling problem?

- Actually from all the Blockchains the Bitcoin Blockchain is one that was scaling the best. The problem that Bitcoin Core has at scaling are more social problems. For instance people are very opposed to hard forks, which makes things much more difficult, but not for technical reasons but for social reasons. Generally we try to change few stuff, mostly so that we can distribute the workload. For scaling the software, many companies like Facebook and Google have thousands and thousands of small servers, and each server does a small chunk of the work. For things to be able to scale that way, you need to be able to split the work in small chunks that are independent from each other. Each mash can receive a piece of the work, do that piece of the work and then the results are aggregated together. And right now there are few stuff in Bitcoin Cash that are quite challenging to split, and so we are changing a part of that in November. It actually won’t make a big difference for the user, they don’t have to upgrade the wallet or anything.

- Will splitting the Network be a problem and if so, how are you planning on resolving it?

- I don’t think it’s a big issue, anybody can split the Network anytime and if it weren’t so, Bitcoin Cash would not have been born. What is difficult is not forking, but making the fork valuable and creating a community around it and then growing it.

- Which one do you think is better, making a hard fork or 51% of the network agreeing on a change and that change taking place simultaneously on every software?

- Well we have the feature to fork right? People don’t have to agree on some change altogether, anyone can go on his own way. People are trying to get everyone agree on everything but in practice it’s very difficult, people never agree. Best option would be for most of the network participants to agree, but since that doesn’t happen often, it would be better to actually fork the network and then the people can see for themselves which one is better. There is this very famous talk about voice or exit, where they explain that any type of governments, for it to work you need to have to options: voice or exit. Voice is when something isn’t going the direction you like, you need to be able to talk to the people that make the decision and try to convince them in your idea. An example of that would be democracy, but they don’t have the exit option. They can’t say, ‘I don’t like what the government is doing, so I’m not going to pay taxes to the government’, because if you do that you go to jail. That means that you have the voice option, but not the exit option and the problem is that if people have only voice option then they don’t have the incentive to care about what you have to say, and if you only have an exit option then the whole stuff is fractured into many small groups, so it’s very opponent to have both options and all those new cryptocurrencies are bringing these two options in the circle of money which never existed before.

- What literature would you recommend from the economical aspect?

- I would advise “economics in one lesson”. It’s not a very detailed book, but it gives a very good idea of what kind of mindset you need to adopt to understand economic problems. Also Frédéric Bastiat is an economist from the 1800’s, and he’s written a lot about many very common fallacies that people believed about economics, and even though it’s very old, his work is still very relevant for today.

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