Three years in: A Bitcoin cash update from one of the founders
It has been more than 3 years since 1 August 2017, the day Bitcoin Cash was born. I know because I was there and part of the loosely knitted ‘team’ that launched the Bitcoin Cash project. Now, over time and after the events have unfolded, I am excited to give you an update on where we are now.
What is Bitcoin Cash about?
It’s no secret that I love Bitcoin Cash, so you will clearly get a positive, biased report. (Although I will also give you my thoughts on what we need to improve).
For those who are not familiar with the project, I would like to take a moment and briefly explain what Bitcoin Cash is, and where it comes from. It is probably one of the more misunderstood projects in space.
Bitcoin Cash was born out of a controversial fork with BTC, and this event was the culmination of 4 years of debate within the Bitcoin community on how to scale the network. The BTC side essentially chose not to scale the network in favor of high miners’ fees. Instead, the BCH side chose to scale the block chain to accommodate more users.
This was a legitimate disagreement and rupture of the Bitcoin community. Many people today are unaware of the true nature of that conflict, and many people are consciously or unconsciously misinformed about Bitcoin Cash.
“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” This is the title of the famous Bitcoin white paper. And that’s what Bitcoin Cash is all about. The main reason Bitcoin Cash came into being was to enable Bitcoin to continue as peer-to-peer cash. BTC no longer works reliably as cash due to congestion and high costs.
Although there are many interesting projects in the cryptosphere, I still believe that the killer use case for crypto is actually just money. Nothing is as compelling and humanitarian as sovereign money (i.e. “peer to peer cash”). This seems to have been forgotten because BTC’s transformation from electronic money to digital gold has changed the culture and the frame of mind in space.
Bitcoin Cash has overcome the fierce opposition
(but there is still room for improvement).
When Bitcoin Cash was born, it was seen as a legitimate threat to some in the BTC community. The maximalist culture really came to the fore when the most ardent BTC believers shouted that BCH was an attack on Bitcoin! It doesn’t matter that those same people said weeks earlier to the supporters of the big blocks that they should “bail out” if they didn’t like the direction of the project.
Strong efforts have been made (no doubt funded by some of them) to discredit and damage Bitcoin Cash’s reputation. Admittedly, many of those efforts have been successful, and BCH has earned an unfairly bad reputation in some circles, reflected in a depressed price.
BCH is routinely blacklisted as one of the largest crypto news sites. (Unless, of course, it is potentially negative news about BCH). It is under constant attack on social media. It has had exchanges that deliberately assign confusing or inferior ticker symbols (e.g. BCHABC or BAB or even bCash instead of BCH).
And yet Bitcoin Cash is moving forward. Three years later, we’re still here, stronger than ever, spreading peer-to-peer cash around the world.
Admittedly, overall, its price has performed poorly during the bear market, and now returns to the $300 price it started out with. To be honest, there are valid reasons. The most obvious is the daily transaction volume on BCH, which has been disappointing. Bitcoin Cash needs to see an increase in volume if it wants to win. Another reason has was the bad lead – (although there has been a recent change of guards that I’ll get later!)
BCH is still a top coin per market capitalization. It inherited everything that made Bitcoin great: a fixed offering, a proven and robust consensus algorithm, a fair Proof-of-Work distribution that stems from the origination block, and of course: fast, cheap, and reliable transactions. Bitcoin Cash will continue to focus on the peer-to-peer cash use case, but will also become a well-rounded currency with advances in privacy, tokens, smart contracts, and more.
There has been an explosion of interest and development within Bitcoin Cash over the past 3 years. Here are the highlights:
Here are just 20 of the many exciting developments taking place in Bitcoin Cash
CashFusion. The most advanced coinjoin protocol ever developed. Offering both privacy and fungibility, CashFusion is a fully decentralized and trustless protocol that works on the wallet layer. By leaving the basic protocol untouched, it also avoids certain regulatory risks.
Simple General Ledger coins. There is a complete coin system on Bitcoin Cash. From stable coins (Tether, USHC), to social tokens (spice), NFT’s and much more. All at low cost.
Scale up. Independent teams enable thousands of transactions per second on multiple node deployments. For example, Flowee (just one of several node projects) was benchmarked last week to synchronize with 11000 transactions per second. There is a scaling test net (Scalenet) that is full of 250MB blocks.
CheckDataSig. A protocol change to include external data signatures in a transaction. This makes it possible for oracles, which have a multitude of use cases, to function together with other possibilities.
Schnorr Signatures. A long sought-after goal of the Bitcoin project in general, BCH is the first to implement it. They enable more private transactions with multiple signatures, along with batch-signature validation and other benefits.
Covenants. A technical innovation that allows the Bitcoin script to apply limitations to what the output can do. This enables smart contracts such as AnyHedge and the Patronage Last Will.
Merchant Adoption. According to map.bitcoin.com, 7,500 + merchants accept BCH as payment. Some are big brands like the Burger King chain in Slovenia. BCH enthusiasts continue to expand adoption. A group called Satoshi’s Angels has raised money at the community and has launched a global merchant adoption campaign. This is just one of many campaigns.
Bitcoin Cash Meetups. More than 90 BCH meetups have been launched around the world with the BCH meetup support desk open 7 days a week and run by BCH enthusiasts. Active meetups in some cities such as Tokyo and Bangkok host the meetups on a weekly basis and support the BCH ecosystem by doing business with the merchants who accept BCH and by attracting new members.
Local.Bitcoin.com. Buy or sell Bitcoin Cash with any payment method. Trade peer-to-peer without KYC/AML. Supported by a blind escrow contract on Bitcoin Cash.
Business adoption. In addition to the support of the largest companies in the industry (Coinbase, Bitpay), Paypal recently announced the addition of Bitcoin Cash to their platform along with other major cryptocurrencies. There is increasing demand in the Grayscale Bitcoin Cash Trust.
Smart contract languages. Bitcoin Script is notorious for its obscure stack-oriented structure, which makes it difficult to work with. High-level programming languages such as Spedn and Cashscript are now available and allow developers to innovate without permission.
Wallet. Save 5-40% on Amazon with Bitcoin Cash. Other discount programs as well.
Bitcoin Cash Protocol Specification. A huge and important step in professionalizing both protocol and application development.
ASSERT DAA. This difficulty adjustment algorithm keeps block times stable and minimizes oscillations in the multichain SHA-256 ecosystem.
Flipstarter – A great crowdfunding tool. Submit funds to a smart contract that will not be released until the target amount has been committed.
Decentralized development. We recently demonstrated that no one is in charge of Bitcoin Cash, not even the developers. Six independent node teams work together in a distributed way.
BCH Powered Websites – With low fees and fast, reliable transactions, BCH provides a growing ecosystem of valuable websites such as EatBCH, a Bitcoin Cash driven charity that feeds people in Venezuela and Southern Sudan, or Venezuelan employees, a freelance marketplace specializing in crypto payments in the Venezuelan market.
Read.Cash – a platform for publishing content with a built-in tip in Bitcoin Cash. It has thousands of contributors and articles and continues to grow.
Defi on Bitcoin Cash – The AnyHedge protocol makes synthetic derivatives possible and allows for the creation of new markets so that users can instantly take a position on any asset with a price. We have harnessed the power of smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash to usher in a new era of trustless and non-custodial trading.
Token Extensions – In addition to the rich SLP ecosystem, more innovations continue to take place. For example, a dividend tool that allows you to pay mints. Imagine the possibilities. A “post office” protocol that allows you to send and receive tokens without having to pay BCH “gas”. Atomic swaps for tokens. Coins for miners. The permissionless innovation never seems to stop.
What’s going on with Al de Vork?
In addition to BCH forking away from BTC (due to the high cost and congestion of BTC), there were 2 other large forks from Bitcoin Cash since 2017.
In 2018, a business conglomerate comprised of nChain, Coingeek, and others attempted to gain control of the Bitcoin Cash network in an effort to become the new leaders in the development of the Bitcoin Cash protocol. These people gave a false reasoning for their technical decisions, particularly their opposition to protocol improvements previously agreed upon. In addition, their de facto thought leader, Craig Wright, was exposed to the plagiarism of several academic papers. Eventually they failed and were forced off the network and onto their own block chain (BSV).
In 2020 another fork came into the air. Surprisingly, the attacker was none other than Amaury Sechet, the developer who kept BCH away from BTC to begin with! But the pattern was similar in that he was trying to gain control of Bitcoin Cash without the consensus of the community. As a result, miners and others in the community decided to use alternative software, and forced them off the network to their own chain (BCHA).
Fortunately, this latest fork was not nearly as damaging as the first one in terms of price. In fact, BCH pumped heavily about a week after starting up the lead development team. What’s remarkable about the 2020 fork is that it is one of the few cases in the entire history of cryptocurrency in which a lead development team was ousted.
I think this last fork is pretty bullish for Bitcoin Cash. It shows in practice that protocol development can actually be done in a decentralized manner, and that no person or group can control Bitcoin Cash.
The future is bright
Bitcoin Cash has maintained its multi-billion dollar market ceiling for a number of years and is still there. It is a flagship of the cryptocrisis with solid foundations.
I have nothing but praise for the Bitcoin Cash community. We are focused on using Bitcoin as money – as peer-to-peer cash. The clarity of our vision keeps us on track. Bitcoin Cash is stronger now than it was three years ago, and we continue to learn, build, grow, and evolve.
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Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons
Published on Tue, 08 Dec 2020 17:30:15 +0000