"It's a scam!"
"It's not the real Bitcoin!"
"They're trying to appropriate the Bitcoin name!"
"Your crypto is SAFU on the exchanges!"
"Higher fees means better security!"
"It's just another altcoin!"
"Digital gold is Bitcoin's use-case!"
These were the lies fed to me when I first entered the crypto sphere. At first I believed them. Why wouldn't I? The price of Bitcoin BTC is far higher than the price of Bitcoin Cash. Almost all of the exchanges are based around BTC and USD. Even now, on Binance.us, if you want to trade, say Nano for BCH, you can't just do a direct trade. You have to first trade the Nano for BTC or USD and then trade the BTC or USD for BCH. This is a recurring theme in many other exchanges as well. Also, most everyone refers to BTC as just "Bitcoin", obviously because it is the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies and was the original Bitcoin from the start.
Like everything else, BTC has changed. Bitcoin BTC maximalists will vehemently deny this and even spend their time trolling Bitcoin Cash communities with misinformation, overt lies, and harassment. They do this because they are scared. You see, when BTC changed, it was essentially captured. When the Bitcoin BTC maximalists succeeded in their capture of BTC, they forever doomed it to slow transactions, high fees, and inaccessibility. This capture, along with it's already-existing dominance in the crypto sphere, turned it into a cash cow for them to pump and dump at will. They won't admit to this, though. They would rather have you think that BTC is the same Bitcoin that Satoshi Nakamoto dreamt-up and detailed in his original whitepaper. They are deathly afraid of the general public waking up to truth, causing the value of their stockpiles of unusable BTC to plummet.
But the truth is that it isn't anywhere close to what it used to be. This issue can quickly be put to rest by reading the very first sentence in the original Bitcoin whitepaper:
"A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution."
Let's break it down:
One might argue that Bitcoin BTC is peer-to-peer. And they'd be right. It is very much possible to send BTC from one person to another without the use of a middleman. But is it practical? According to YCharts.com, as of my writing this article, the average cost per BTC transaction is a whopping $191.40! Granted, this is on the extreme spectrum of transaction costs over time, and it is possible to transact BTC without spending that much, but given that the average is so high, combined with how slow the transactions are (from a minimum 10 minutes to multiple days depending on the fee paid) it's safe to surmise that the majority of BTC transactions taking place today are extremely high-price transactions. Would you spend $191.40 to spend $5.00 on a caramel macchiato? The average person most likely wouldn't! Now think about this: For the transaction to be purely peer-to-peer, the buyer would have to first obtain BTC (usually from an exchange). That includes transferring the BTC from their exchange of choice to their preferred wallet. Only THEN can they use it in a peer-to-peer transaction, making the average peer-to-peer BTC transaction cost $382.80 when the withdrawal from an exchange is included!
So what has been the solution of the BTC maximalists? Transaction fees are insanely high, and if they want true peer-to-peer transactions, their already outrageous transaction fees get doubled. How would they use it to buy that $5 caramel macchiato in a peer-to-peer transaction? The answer is they DON'T. What the BTC maximalist won't tell you is they normally opt to keep most or even all of their BTC on an exchange, AKA "...a financial institution." Why wouldn't they? How is it practical to spend $191.40 to withdraw $5? We all know the simple answer to that question. It isn't.
Fees aside, let's talk about the use of the word "...cash..." in the whitepaper. What is the purpose of cash? It's money that you have on-hand, ready to spend when needed. The average BTC transaction (the ones that cost $191.40) takes 10 minutes to process. 10 minutes is not fast enough to complete an everyday transaction, such as purchasing that caramel macchiato. Even if you already withdrew the BTC from your exchange, waiting 10 minutes for your transaction to process before the barista starts working on your drink is simply not practical. You'd be holding up the line, clogging their point-of-sale system. If you happened to pay less for your transaction, it could take DAYS for it to complete. Due to its slow transactions alone, BTC is not cash. The high fees only exacerbate the issue.
So if BTC isn't Bitcoin, and it was the original Bitcoin, does that mean Bitcoin has ceased to exist? Thankfully, no. Bitcoin Cash was hard-forked directly from BTC as a pre-emptive strike against those who would end up capturing BTC and calling it things like "Store-of-value" and "digital gold", straying as far away from "...purely peer-to-peer version of...cash...without... a financial institution." as possible. While the current average cost per transaction of BTC is $191.40, the average cost per transaction of BCH is 1/3 of a penny, or 58,000x less than BTC! As far as speed goes, blocks are created for BCH at the same rate as BTC, which is ten minutes per block. However, given that each BCH transaction is guaranteed to confirm within ten minutes, as opposed to multiple days in the case of BTC, the initiation of BCH transactions are generally accepted as confirmations by those who accept BCH. Think about it: Would you be more wary about money that confirms in 10 minutes every time? Or would a transaction that could take hours, days, weeks, or even months to confirm worry you more?
Because Bitcoin Cash is practical to use as cash in both terms of fees and speed, there is no reason to keep your BCH on an exchange, and thus it fits the definition of Bitcoin. The fact that it was hard-forked from what was the original Bitcoin only strengthens this fact. Bitcoin Cash has the name, the history, and most-importantly, the utility.
It has become standard practice to refer to BTC as "Bitcoin" and BCH as "Bitcoin Cash". This is likely due to the fact that BTC came first and was indeed Bitcoin for a period of time. But once it was captured and hard-forked, the torch was passed to Bitcoin Cash. Between BTC and BCH, only one can pass the test of the very first sentence in the original Bitcoin whitepaper, and that is BCH. BCH is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is BCH. They are one and the same.
When we speak of BTC, we need to stop just saying, "Bitcoin". We can use its ticker, BTC, for sure. But if we must include the Bitcoin name when referring to BTC, the least we could do is specify that we are talking about BTC and not BCH by saying "Bitcoin BTC" or "Bitcoin Core". It did, after all, once represent the true Bitcoin, so dropping the Bitcoin name entirely might not be respectful to its history as a stepping-stone to BCH. But that's all BTC is. And while the BTC maximalists collect their gold stepping stones and store them on exchanges, sitting on it like Smaug, we over here in the BCH community are making real progress and using real cash. We are using REAL BITCOIN!