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General Protocols' Bitcoin Cash Strategy: An Update
About half a year ago, we wrote A Peer-to-Peer Cash Strategy. In that document, we laid out our plans to develop tools for the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem, coupling the need for value stability in mass-adoption, the need for decentralized speculation, and the need for better tools in general.
A lot has happened since then. SmartBCH, an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) based sidechain built on BCH, is now growing at a breakneck pace, offering numerous smart contract features readily portable from some of the largest ecosystems out there. We at General Protocols have observed the development closely, and even built parts of its infrastructure by developing a well-known bridging service, hop.cash.
Even with all the excitement surrounding SmartBCH, we remain committed to pushing for success on mainchain BCH. Here is why.
General Protocols is a company founded, funded and staffed by lovers of permissionless money. Building a successful permissionless money is not an easy job:
It must remain accessible and affordable to everyone on the planet;
It must eventually fill all the usecases we expect money to fill, and perhaps facilitate new ones not imagined before;
It must not have any single points of failure whether technical, economic or development;
It must have the necessary qualities for a currency to thrive in some capacity, such as fungibility, privacy, stability and liquidity.
We have supported many efforts throughout the BCH ecosystem that contribute to these, and our own AnyHedge smart contract setup seeks to make various Bitcoin Cash usecases in commerce easier by marrying speculation and stability.
SmartBCH, the first sidechain on BCH, shares with the mainchain in its ambition for massive scaling, while differing in many other ways. It is account-based instead of UTXO-based, the language emphasizes Turing-completeness instead of performance, its consensus is partially stake based and subject to elections instead of pure proof-of-work. Most importantly, it allows access to a wealth of existing tools and developers that would be difficult to replicate on a relatively unfamiliar platform. We see this difference as a strength. BCH will thrive as a form of money moving between both chains with increasing frequency, flowing to where its usecases fit best, accruing value to holders, users and businesses alike.
While it has generated a lot of excitement, we believe SmartBCH complements instead of replaces mainchain BCH's role in becoming permissionless money. Mainchain remains superior, in our opinion, in terms of scalable architecture that serves everyone, as well as privacy, decentralized development and cash-like usecases that are all vital for our mission as a company. In terms of application development though, mainchain is indeed in a far less mature state than the EVM world. We intend to change that, and we will blaze the trail with tools for people to use.
One thing we realized running General Protocols over the years is the difficulty of running a business, or indeed any organization at all, on cryptocurrency. We cannot have a permissionless economy without an increasing number of organizations and businesses conducting business in the new monetary system.
Yet any organization wishing to operate on crypto faces many hurdles. Not only are monetary properties such as volatility and liquidity hurting their operations, they also lack many of the essential, mature services enjoyed by the fiat world such as accounting, easy exchange, and smooth, intuitive UI in accessing a variety of tools. Where these tools are available, they often come in custodial, privacy-destroying and often shockingly censorable forms.
At General Protocols, we believe things do not have to remain this way. Starting with BCH Bull and going beyond, we will develop more products that promote organization and business in a permissionless way. These tools may be more difficult to build than their custodial counterparts, but we believe the permissionless aspect will increasingly add value for users, as well as contribute to our competitiveness as a company.
As our strategy continues to be centered around proof-of-work, UTXO-based mainchain BCH, we look forward to a number of important consensus developments that can greatly enhance BCH's scripting and scaling properties. Native Introspection and 64-bit integer operations, slated to activate this May, already provide great value to our upcoming products as well as many other projects such as SmartBCH's SHA-Gate and Mathieu's smart contract version of the Flipstarter assurance contract. We currently watch with great interest some CHIPs aiming for 2023 activation that bring further important enhancements, and will support many of their efforts as they make their way through the CHIP process.
Here's to a great 2022 for BCH!
General Protocols Blog
This article forms part of the General Protocols Blog, a collection of cross-platform links showcasing our team's community activity, Bitcoin Cash projects, UTXO development, and general crypto musings.