(What follows is my personal opinion and nothing more. This is not meant to be an official explanation of the GNC or intended to represent the views of other GNC members.)
The GNC, or Global Network Council, consists of a group of XEC holders who have cryptographically proven their holdings. The job of the GNC is essentially one of capital allocation. Each year approximately 13,140,000,000 of mined XEC falls under its stewardship to ensure the funds are used efficiently to maximize shareholder equity. Shareholders in this case being all eCash holders.
I have high hopes for the GNC because I see it as part of the next evolution of Bitcoin. While other chains like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash fund protocol and infrastructure development solely through donations and sponsorships, the eCash project has shifted away from that model in order to pay protocol and infrastructure developers right out of the block reward.
Just this past week we saw two more Bitcoin Core developers, Samuel Dobson and John Newberry, announce they would no longer be working on Bitcoin devleopment going forward. This follows the resignation of Jonas Schnelli back in October, as well as Bitcoin Core’s former lead maintainer Wladimir Van der Laan back in January of this year.
While none of these developers specifically blamed lack of funding as the reason for their departure, it’s not hard to read between the lines. And as noble as it may sound for highly sought after software engineers to work on Bitcoin as volunteers, I can’t help but see it as naive and unrealistic.
I believe the same logic applies to funding infrastructure. Because in order to have a healthy ecosystem, not only do you need people working on the core protocol but building useful infrastructure as well. Every cryptocurrency project needs reliable tools like software development kits, indexers, libraries, etc., if it hopes to gain significant adoption. Think of it like creating a new city but not investing in building proper roads, or an electrical grid, or sewage system.
This is where the GNC comes in. The new coinbase rule aims to solve the freerider problem that has plagued Bitcoin development in years past. By allocating a portion of the block rewards to fund infrastructure, the eCash network no longer has to rely on the generosity of a handful of donors who may or may not always have the best interest of the network in mind when choosing what projects to fund.
But the question is who gets to decide how this money is used? What is the most efficient method to allocate capital to increase shareholder equity?
I don’t expect the GNC to be perfect from the outset. There will be growing pains, and like everything else, it will need to be an iterative process. But I believe that limiting GNC membership to some of the largest stakeholders is one way of streamlining that process. I’m not interested in making the GNC about politics. I’m interested in making sure the GNC does the best job it can to help the eCash project achieve its goal of becoming digital cash for the world.
This isn’t to say that non-GNC members don’t matter. The reality is that there are many avenues to gaining influence. For example, by becoming a valuable contributor to the project over a long enough period of time, or pooling your coins with other like-minded individuals, or simply by becoming a leader in the community that others are willing to follow instead of just making a bunch of noise on social media.
So far the GNC has funded only one project, but I know that it’s just getting started. And while not every project will be a success, I want to believe that every project the GNC funds will get us one step closer to reaching the finish line.
If you think you can meaningfully contribute to the eCash ecosystem and want to seek funding for your project, make a brief proposal and submit it to email@example.com. In addition to describing what your project is about, please include additional details like how much funding you seek, how long you expect to work on the project, and how your project will benefit the XEC ecosystem.
I look forward to seeing your proposals in the future and witnessing the birth of a new era of open-source development.