BUIP083: Andrew Clifford for President
Propeser: Andrew Clifford (@solex)
Submitted on: 2018-01-06
Status: passed


When I submitted my first
for this position in January 2016 its focus was on providing background
information. Bitcoin Unlimited was a new organization with the clear
goal of onchain scaling for Bitcoin, and a wide remit to achieve this,
under the direction of the membership.

The BU organization originally followed in the footsteps of XT and
Classic insofar as onchain scaling was concerned, but its members also
wanted to create an environment for other market-driven solutions to
flourish. The flagship example is emergent consensus for a variable
block-size limit. Hence, all I promised in that application was:

If elected President I will do all I can to advance Bitcoin Unlimited.
It is very much needed in the current climate, and I am sure this is
just the start of significant progress into a bright future.

Today, two questions immediately arise. How much has BU advanced? How
much of that is due to the actions by the its president? The answers to
both are highly subjective and contain a grey-scale of valid opinion.
Fortunately, the membership of BU are those most qualified to make such
an assessment.

What has been done is a matter of historical record, but this is
somewhat complex to interpret, due to the focus of BU’s technical and
scaling efforts pivoting from Bitcoin BTC and now being productive only
on Bitcoin Cash. The longer time goes on, the more “big-blockers”
re-weight their investment towards BCH, the more success can be measured
in seeing BTC play out to its end-game in the Core development “layer-1”
vision, while BCH continues the original “2008 white paper” vision. With
this context, the next two years for various areas can be considered.

Membership Decision-Making

The fundamental platform of BU’s philosophy is democratic governance to
try and avoid a future instance of dev capture, which has already
happened in Bitcoin BTC, causing massive damage to its growth. The main
priority of BU’s president is administrative, to carefully maintain the
organization’s governance structure. This structure relies upon BU
improvement processes (BUIPs).

The rate of BUIP creation is healthy. There have been
covering operational, membership and development matters. A minority
have been rejected by vote, while, of those successful, some have been
implemented and some await resources. Despite occasional complications,
it is correct to say that the BU membership’s collective will is
reflected in all passed BUIPs.

For 2018-19, my focus will be to continue this process, leveraging all
the hard-work expended by
@awemany on the voting
system, to ensure that BU remains a fully functioning global
organization with membership decision-making.

Ecosystem Outreach

Increasing BU’s full-node count remains a priority, and this means
winning hearts and minds across the Bitcoin ecosystem. This has been
done physically in meetings and conferences. Maintaining a consistent
presence on the organization’s own twitter
account keeps a high
profile, as this important social media, where many influential people
learn information. Maintaining a consistent technically-aware and
“politics-lite” message, for years, is a test of discipline, especially
in the face of non-stop, corporate funded troll attacks. The success of
outreach has been tempered by the public disinformation campaign against
BU’s name.

My support will continue for BU sponsorship of conferences,
particularly, helping Antony Zegers (Mengerian) with the Tokyo event in
March. Also, I support the idea of a conference in Vancouver, November
2018, in partnership with UBC. A BUIP will be raised for membership
consideration after Tokyo is completed.

Software Environment

Andrew Stone (theZerg) had the inspiration to create BU, taking concrete
action with help from like-minded participants of the GCBU thread. The
early goal of providing a serious implementation for Bitcoin BTC
provided focus for improvement, which has never diminished.
Unfortunately for BTC we failed to achieve onchain scaling there. Now,
the BU membership has rejected SegWit. As each month passes, it gets
harder to see how BU will re-engage with BTC other than continuing to
provide a compatible client so that users have a full-node non-segwit
wallet alternative to Core’s for accessing BTC funds.

My focus in 2018-19 will be ongoing admin support for the BU development
environment (Github and TravisCI) while helping to foster development in
general for Bitcoin Cash through regular communication with other
development teams and business stake-holders.

Organization: Change and Foundation

BU is regulated by its Articles of Federation, and all actions by the
president must comply with an accurate reading of the clauses. Changes
to the articles can only be done with a 66% majority. Although several
BUIPs have attempted to improve various clauses, none have achieved
critical mass to pass. Nevertheless, there is authorization in the
articles for official registration. This was exercised, in August 2015,
by registering a foundation in the Sate of Colorado. However, a
subsequent legal investigation into the process of obtaining 501©
non-profit status found that such grants by the IRS have in the last few
years been stalled for open-source software projects, particularly those
associated with cryptocurrency. The Colorado registration was closed in
October 2016. It is unfortunate that a dead-end happened, but again this
is due to the fast-changing environment caused by the black-swan event
which is cryptocurrency.

My priority is to complete a new official registration in a favourable
jurisdiction. At present the Isle of Man is the front-runner. After
this, we can engage in more formal academic partnerships, and better
manage funded projects to advance Bitcoin Cash.

Final Words

Continuation and improvement. My promise is to continue what we have
started with BU, improve all facets of its operation with the goal of
doing BU’s part to realise Satoshi’s 2008 white paper vision for the