Bitcoin started from nothing. The block of genesis was extracted on January 3, 2009, and yes, the design was good and there was no double spending and the followers of Bitcoin became many. They used Bitcoin to buy a pizza and alpaca socks and drugs in Silk Road, and they told their friends to use Bitcoin, and they sent an email to eBay asking them to pay in Bitcoin, and they told their friends to send an email to eBay. They created long threads about Bitcoin in the eBay support forum, and it was good. There was a team, and it was Team Bitcoin.
But soon, Bitcoin received the attention of journalists, governments, Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and the network began to slow down. The Bitcoin team realized that if nothing was done, the network would become unbearably slow, with transactions that would take days or weeks to clear up. If users wanted their transactions to be settled faster, they would have to pay high priority fees, which would make Bitcoin impractical to use. This is how the scalability crisis began.
Two factions emerged: the big blockers and the small blockers, each armed with different solutions to the scalability crisis. Everyone hated the idea of splitting the Bitcoin Team, but each side believed in their rectitude and would not give up. On August 1, 2017, the big blockers separated. They duplicated the Bitcoin blockchain, the accounting book with the history of all transactions, and fathered a daughter, Bitcoin Cash. This was known as a "hard fork", and it meant that the two currencies would be divided forever, with the Bitcoin Cash transactions recorded in a separate book. All those who had Bitcoin on August 1 would be granted an equal amount of Bitcoin cash.
There was a team, and it was the Bitcoin Team
This was the beginning of the "civil war" of Bitcoin, and continues to this day. Subreddits in war. Wikipedia edit wars. The day of the innocents sent shockwaves through the cryptocurrency community with fake ads that Bitcoin's staunch supporters endorsed Bitcoin Cash.
In early April, a moderator at the Deconomy conference in Seoul asked: "Why does there have to be so much animosity between Bitcoin and Bitcoin [Cash]?" Roger Ver, defender of Bitcoin Cash, responded that the division had "diverted" the project and "that means that more babies die around the world because they have less economic freedom." His colleague panelist Samson Mow, a supporter of Bitcoin, was more measured, saying that the animosity comes from using the name Bitcoin, but is less distant on Twitter. where his tweets are full of digs in Bitcoin Cash. (Gavin Andresen, who served as the lead developer of Bitcoin after the disappearance of Satoshi Nakamoto, once called Mow a "toxic troll"). A week later, some members of the Bitcoin community cheered when Twitter briefly suspended the Bitcoin Cash-supporting Twitter account @Bitcoin. Possibly due to false reports of Bitcoin supporters.
Eight months have passed since the chain of blocks was separated, and there is no going back. So, why do the two parties still spend so much time insulting each other?
"The arguments have evolved over three or four years of bitter debate," said Andreas Antonopoulos, author of Mastering Bitcoin and Internet of Money. "The principles are real and it is important to preserve them, but much of the drama has nothing to do with the principles, much of this debate is now about hurt feelings, it's about bruised egos. They said you can not say, insults that were exchanged, and personalities and ego. "
Antonopoulos has tried to remain neutral in the Bitcoin-Bitcoin Cash debate, something for which he has been criticized. "If you do not take sides, then both parties accuse you of not being on their side," he said. "It's ridiculous."
"If you do not take sides, then both parties accuse you of not being on their side."
The only definitive difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is technical: Bitcoin Cash allows larger blocks or batches of transactions to pass through the network, which theoretically means it can process more transactions per second. Bitcoin is also concerned about increasing the volume of transactions, but its solution was to move some data from the Bitcoin block chain, therefore keeping the blocks in the chain of small blocks. This theoretically preserves the spirit of the Bitcoin experiment because small blocks make it cheaper for anyone to run a "node", which means that the network can be managed by a giant collective of small users instead of institutions like banks. .
In general, the Bitcoin Cash coalition favors the use of its currency as a means of exchange for trade. "The generic saying that Bitcoin Cash people like to say is: Can my grandmother be able to use it? & # 39; Cory, the presenter of the podcast The BCH Boys and organizer of the NYC Bitcoin Cash Meetup, who asked that only his first name be used, told me in an email.
By contrast, the Bitcoin coalition is generally friendlier to investors in cryptocurrencies and less concerned about daily payments. "Bitcoin is a stock shop, first and foremost," said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Trading, which brokered Bitcoin exchanges for institutions and large investors. "I do not think it's very useful now for payments, for a lot of reasons." He said his firm is reluctant to individual currencies, but that "the interest of investors in Bitcoin Cash has been basically non-existent in the last two months."
"If I look at the two currencies, on the Bitcoin side I see this huge focus on the price, a huge focus on the narrative of the 'store of value'," said Emin Gün Sirer, Cornell professor, co-director of the Initiative. for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts, and a supporter of Bitcoin Cash. "Value store" refers to an asset that does not depreciate.
"If you're looking at what's happening with Bitcoin Cash, they're not focused on the price," Sirer said. "They're focused on trying to get people to use this thing." If you look at the forums and so on, every day there is a new message. "On this tiny island I converted a small cabin [to accept Bitcoin Cash]but they are doing it from the ground, organically, from scratch".
There is another reason for the division: Craig Wright
There is one more reason for the split: Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin pseudonym who disappeared in 2011, but could never prove it. Wright is a supporter of Bitcoin Cash, repeating the slogan that "Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin." It has some followers in the Bitcoin Cash community, although other members of the movement consider it a responsibility and prefer not to talk about it. Sirer referred to Wright as "an interesting character with a history of fraud". "There are personal cults in each community," he said.
It is important to note that the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash communities are decentralized coalitions. Each side has its vocal defenders, but there are no central bodies or official spokespersons. Some Bitcoin advocates want Bitcoin to be a medium of exchange, while Bitcoin Cash has attracted its share of speculators. There are also users who support both.
The real question that Bitcoin Cash faces is whether people are really using it. Bitcoin Cash operates at less than a tenth of the Bitcoin price, and Bitcoin Cash's economy is still tiny compared to Bitcoin. Even so, the Bitcoin Cash economy is not small. According to Chainalysis, a research firm that analyzes the Bitcoin block chain and other cryptocurrencies, a $ 230 million Bitcoin Cash exchange was sent in March, a general measure of economic activity, while $ 2.62 billion was sent in Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Cash operates less than one tenth of the Bitcoin price
It is remarkable that Bitcoin Cash has been able to rebuild a large part of the Bitcoin infrastructure, including nodes, wallets and development teams, in such a short time. Mike Hearn, a prominent Bitcoin developer who proposed a Bitcoin Cash-like upgrade in 2014 and then resigned from the project after it failed, is skeptical of Bitcoin Cash. Still, he said on Reddit: "The speed with which Bitcoin Cash has recovered the infrastructure and rebuilt the community is impressive." In addition, merchants are eager to start using Bitcoin Cash, according to BitPay, which processes Bitcoin transactions for hundreds of thousands of merchants. including Microsoft and Newegg. In December 2017, merchants were alarmed when the Bitcoin network was overwhelmed by the activity and the fee for a single Bitcoin transaction increased. Bitcoin Cash, due to its greater transaction capacity, is theoretically resistant to this type of increase. BitPay began offering its customers the option of accepting cash payments from Bitcoin in addition to Bitcoin earlier this year. "Ninety percent of our big merchants have turned it on," said commercial director Sonny Singh.
Bitcoin Cash detractors like to call the cryptocurrency "Bcash", "Btrash" or simply a scam, while Bitcoin Cash advocates insist that its implementation is a purer form of Bitcoin. (A Bitcoin Cash conference that met in Tokyo in March was called "Satoshi's Vision"). "They have inferior technology, so they depend on censorship to try to stop the progress of the real Bitcoin," tweeted the billionaire Bitcoin Cash defender, Calvin Ayre.
Antonopoulos finds this type of aggravating internal struggle.
"The bottom line is that the world is dominated by closed, state-owned, manipulated, controlling and surveillance-based monopolistic currencies that pose a fundamental existential threat to democracy and freedom in the world," he said. "We are at a crossroads and the crossroads is not between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash."
There is a new slogan that has emerged, Antonopoulos said: BUIDL, a misspelling of "compilation".
"BUIDL something, anything, do your part, write code, write documentation, I do not care if it's Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin or anything else, it does not matter," he said. "They're getting distracted with all this shit."