Tuesday, December 8th, 2020
After having been a part of the Bitcoin Cash community for the better part of three years, I came to a realization that it's not about merchant adoption, or tipping your waiter or Uber driver BCH and thinking it's going to spread like wildfire until one day the entire world is using BCH on a daily basis.
I'm sorry, but I don't see it. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with trying to get merchants to accept your favorite crypto, or to host meet-ups to introduce it to others, but to me, that's not what's going to get us to the promised land.
Bitcoin took off first and foremost because of the technology. It wasn't because of voluntarists, ancaps, or libertarians. It was because for the first time in history, we had a means to transact with one another over the internet using this decentralized network that allowed you to avoid having to use a bank, or Paypal, or any other third party. Transactions were cheap, and private, and virtually instantaneous. And while communities formed around this new magical technology, the communities had nothing to do with its creation. They may have helped spread the word and onboard more people to the movement, but there would be no movement without the technology itself. Ask yourself this, when's the last time you found yourself using a new technology or service because of the community?
The main reason Bitcoin is so valuable today is because of all the people speculating on what it could be worth in the future. It's not a bad bet, even with all its flaws Bitcoin is proving to be far better at storing value than say the US Dollar.
But I think the store of value/digital gold meme can only take you so far. I think we're past the point of telling people what's possible and it's finally time to start showing them what's achievable. Over the past few years I feel like almost nothing has changed in this industry. BCH supporters continue to think all you need to do is onboard more people and businesses and eventually we're going to reach some tipping point. Basically, according to them, we haven't been shilling hard enough. They think what we need are more commercials. I think we need better tech.
I believe the reason this industry is still where it is today isn't because of poor marketing, it's because the tech is still lagging. As someone who probably used BCH more than just about anyone, I can tell you it still has a ton of limitations that would make it impossible to use if it were to suddenly go mainstream. And those limitations aren't going to be solved by slowing down the upgrade schedule, or refusing to pay developers what they're worth.
I'm putting my money on BCHA succeeding because I believe we finally have a project focused on solving the right problems. While others want to slow down, Bitcoin ABC is focused on ramping things up.
Recently it was reported that Bitmain ended their sponsorship of Bitcoin Core developers Jonas Schnelli and Jaoa Barbosa. I don't know what led to this decision, but I couldn't help wondering if it was because Bitmain no longer wanted to fund development while the rest of the industry benefited for free.
Historically, there has been no way for Bitcoin protocol developers to profit directly off the network they were helping to build. The coinbase reward was always reserved solely for the miners, but does that mean it was always intended to stay that way?
Just as many of us believe the 1 MB block size limit was a temporary measure put in place until it could be lifted, I believe the coinbase reward going 100% to the miners could be seen the same way, and that the new coinbase rule implemented by Bitcoin ABC was just waiting for the right moment to come along.
In BCHA, I feel like for the first time in the history of Bitcoin, we have the right incentives, to attract the right developers, to focus on the right problems.
Bitcoin took off for the same reason internet companies took off in the nineties. Because everyone saw the potential. But after the dot-com bubble burst, it was the companies that managed to solve actual problems that created real wealth. I think it's time for Bitcoin to enter the next phase, and my money's on BCHA leading the way.
I agree with the logic of this article about funding and the need for better development successes. I think scaling is all we really need to return to the Bitcoin path of 2017. User-friendly apps are needed and I believe they would get built much quicker if we could scale.
Anyway, BCH(N) does claim they are working on scaling just like BCHA says they are. So, time will tell which project will really solve scaling first. BCH(N) had great funding and volunteerism during the attacks on ABC, but I do not know if that positive energy will last now that the battle has ended.
I do like the reliable-funding model BCHA is trying to implement, but unless they get miner and community support it seems like they may lack the funding needed to do the development. I have not been following recent discussions so I may be unaware of their current funding levels or other support.
I still hope both projects get a chance to test their approaches. I consider the recent miner-attacks on BCHA to be attacks on BCH. I would guess the miner is anti-BCH and is likely to look for ways to harm BCH(N) if successful at destroying BCHA.