The crypto space is getting somewhat crowded with numerous projects vying for roughly the same market in which for the first time a global corporation, in many ways the antithesis of public blockchains, is now planning to enter.
Facebook was never loved by anyone from the first day it launched, but its simple design and its focus on doing one job and doing it well – connecting people – has made it a place where billions hang out, at least occasionally.
Their planned entrance into this space is dismissed by most cryptonians who think it a joke, but not by a former Facebook employee who now is the lead dev of Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
“With the recent FB announcement BCH could fail unless we learn from this and use what we learn in time. The window to act is closing so we need to step up. Join me as I do everything in my power to make Bitcoin Cash the Peer to Peer electronic cash we all say we believe in.”
So said Amaury Sechet this Saturday, further telling Trustnodes: “We can go on with what we have, but we can’t do the required work to make world money happen. We haven’t been able to do any serious work for the past 2 years, mostly low hanging fruits.”
Monetization of open source development remains an unsolved problem especially after the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission arguably refused to see the innovation and effectively asked this space to have a man with a red flag walk in front of a car as they did a century ago when cars were invented.
For BCH like cryptos, even that ICO model was not available, but money appears to be less of a problem than what we’d call focus and vision.
The Coin Forged in Fire
Bitcoin Cash is the rebel coin. Feisty, with attitude, angry, and with an incredibly radical idea: a people’s money that is actually used as money.
After years of fighting off what they see as a corporate backed delay of the use of crypto as money, they had to face a very skilled apparent con artist who was kicked off the BCH space in November.
“The past 2 years have been mostly dealing with crisis with the crowd that is now in BSV or BU. If this continues, BCH will be out-competed and fail,” Sechet says.
Litecoin just recently overtook Bitcoin Cash in market cap. Sechet however seems less focused on “competition” and more on actually achieving the so called Satoshi vision.
“We need to be hiring more people, and that requires money, but it’s only one part of the equation. The second part is more of a cultural shift. We need to project that we want 10x people and that we’ll treat them well.
Right now, the key opinion leaders do not seems to be able to differentiate between people who had foresight and demonstrated ability to execute and people who are just creating motion,” he says.
And there’s a lot of motion in BCH. That may lead people to leave, Sechet argues, so referring to the dead sea parable:
“It’s a phenomenon that happen in many tech companies, but really that’s also applicable to ecosystems.
The long story short is that there is a HUGE gap between highly productive people and average joe for intellectual tasks. I can’t put 25 physicists in a room and expect Einstein grade output. Only Einstein can do Einstein grade output. Same goes for communication. You can’t clone me 25 times and have the communication reach that Roger [Ver] has. Same goes for development.
The industry tends to call the devs on the top end of the spectrum 10x developers, even though the term is a bit of a misnomer, because this is not simply writting 10x more code.
10x dev are harder to retain than average Joe, because they have more options, for obvious reasons.
And the lower the proportion of 10x devs in an org, the more hellish it become to them, because everything start to rely on them. You get into a downward spiral.
It’s the dead sea effect.
The good leave first, making life more miserable for the remaining ones, who also end up leaving.
To attract them and have them stay you need to first be able to pay them (duh!) but also provide an environement where they can express their skills. You may know that I worked at facebook for several years. Even though the pay was good and all, I would say the best perk of working there was that everybody is on top of whatever they are doing. There is little bullshit to deal with compared to any other workplace I’ve experienced. You can focus on doing what you are good at doing.
The crypto ecosystem, including BCH, is the polar opposite. The amount of bullshit is off the chart.”
Asked whether he is tempted to go back to Facebook, he says “I have no plan to do so at this time,” with BCH in a way his baby.
It was Sechet who appeared to go against Bitmain in 2017 and decided to go ahead with the BCH fork regardless of what, back then, happens on the Bitcoin Core side.
There were of course plans and attempts to do so before that by others, but the timing was right and the code stood.
Arguably it would take quite a bit for him to leave, with the focus here more on attracting talent and actually getting BCH moving.
The Blockchain Trinity?
Some feared in 2015-16 that a lack of imminent bitcoin capacity may affect the value judgment of the public, but now with hindsight one can say the public can see right through everything and in that stern spirit shows it fully when given the freedom of choice.
Bitcoin roared, more loudly than ever after the BCH split, so showing it is in fact true no one can control the public blockchain.
With that settled, the focus is now on three paths. Dismissing of course any corporate coin which is like scanning a paper and calling it a website. Although Sechet doesn’t, so to that first:
“You might say we have an advantage because we are hard money and more decentralized, and this is true, but that’s not always enough. Netflix for instance imposed itself as the de facto content distribution mechanism, and not decentralized solutions.”
The real battleground in public blockchains, however, is not from the outside but within as the general public expects some sort of natively digital coin that is not controlled by anyone.
You can’t compete with code by scanning paper, but conceptually there’s hardly much difference between bitcoin, bch, or ethereum.
Just as there is a mountain of difference where it comes to the problem public blockchains currently face: reaching world level capacity.
In bitcoin, the Lightning Network can not possibly compete if there are solutions at the base layer. Yet they are moving.
Their approach is to compress as much as possible and effectively force developers to set up compression systems, in addition to sending any use case that can go to Lightning to do so, then focusing on other things.
They want to go slowly, in a very conservative way, and perhaps rightly so. They want to see if other projects can solve all these problems and if they do incorporate their approach, with the danger being such incorporation might be too late, or worse, they completely lose touch in dismissing such approaches.
Yet like USD has reserve status, so too bitcoin, but like others have lost reserve status, so can they. For USD to perhaps the Euro, while for bitcoin…
In ethereum they say they have solved all research problems that parallelize nodes so that adding more nodes actually adds more capacity.
Of course this is the “weeks not months” and the “year of action” space, so most outside of the bubble are just saying: maybe.
Yet the idea is very much common sense, and conceptually there’s hardly a reason why it shouldn’t work. If it does, then we have an evolution in blockchain technology. Whether it does, time will tell.
As tough as this cutting edge sharding is, BCH arguably has an even tougher task for this is kind of the option of what happens if it turns out eth sharding is no different to just increasing the blocksize.
With Facebook coin now, it has presumably become quite clear to Sechet and others that you can’t quite compete by having datacenter nodes.
Perhaps in 2015 if this space had moved fast, but now as we near a new decade, the first problem for BCH is actually having people that want to use it.
Bitcoin and ethereum have a scalability problem because they’re both at or near full capacity. As it stands, BCH has no scalability problem because almost no one is using it.
That’s partially why Sechet is saying the environment in Bitcoin Cash needs to be a lot more welcoming because demand for a certain network is of course not for granted.
Yet presuming there is such demand, Bitcoin Cash aims to satisfy it by increasing the amount of data that can be transferred under the assumption that demand will not progress above Moor’s Law or more clearly said above the advancement of internet speed, hardware storage and so on.
The arguments regarding that assumption are numerous in both directions with no one quite knowing since this is predicting the future.
Would, for example, such “vital” demand for cheap storage or faster connection lead to cheap storage or faster connection?
The Battles of Intellect
In the form of nature that mutates to see what works, so too blockchains, but just as some mutations die off, so too can some blockchains. Hence what Sechet thinks should be done for BCH:
“We need to start building infrastructure for real. Even though many articles have been written, little of the difficult scaling work has actually taken place.
That means we need to hire world class people right now. They’ll take several month before being up to speed, and this will take away from the time current people can put in, so there is way less time for that to happen than most immagine.
We need to foster an environment where these people can strive. If they have to jump from one crisis to another, then they won’t be able to do work on longer time scale, and this is absolutely required.”
Not rocket science, but then little is. The hard part is actually doing it. Whether BCH can, time will tell.