Initially a fan of BTC (bitcoin core or just bitcoin), the refusal to increase the block size was unacceptable to Ver, and he then lent his voice towards BCH (bitcoin cash), a bitcoin hard fork. He has been trying to increase adoption for the coin so that eventually it will become bigger than BTC and reclaim the title of bitcoin. However, recent data suggests that adoption and usage are decreasing.
Disappointment for BCH
A blockchain analytics firm known as Chain Analysis has found that BCH payments slumped to USD 3.7 million in May from a high of USD 10.5 million in March. While the wider market is in a slump, BCH has lost 75% of value since December, more than most coins, and its market cap has lost more than 85%.
But what is more interesting than price metrics, is actual usage and adoption. According to Kim Grauer from Chain Analysis – “There are fewer users of Bitcoin Cash, fewer holders”. 56% of BCH is held by 67 wallets that are not on exchanges. This can be contrasted with BTC, where, at present, the top 100 addresses hold less than 17% of the total market cap, as per the open source privacy coin matrix. Chain Analysis also found that BCH has not achieved widespread retail adoption.
Bitcoin Jesus remains undeterred, tweeting on August 13th that – “the long-term price of a cryptocurrency is a function of its usefulness as a currency.” But the initial argument for BCH is now running thin with the Lightning Network (LN) operational, though it is still not user-friendly.
Bitcoin Jesus and LN
BCH proponents claim that block size increases were in line with Satoshi Nakamoto, which is true, and that their coin is the real bitcoin. It is claimed that there is no reason not to increase block size on the bitcoin core network. There are also some conspiratorial elements. Some assert that bitcoin core has been compromised and the LN will be regulated and taxed just like banks, or result in other unforeseen consequences. According to one Redditor Jerry Gallow–
“It is suspected by many that LN will promote moving funds away from miners to LN node operators, and consolidate those operators to larger ‘hubs’. If that turns out to be true, then LN could act as a Trojan horse of sorts and sabotage the security of layer 1 by incentivizing miners to become LN hubs as they transition to become more profitable.”
However, the fact is that LN is going to be the way forward for BTC, resulting in cheaper and faster transactions. LN now has more nodes than BCH. The cost and speed issue which BCH was largely marketed on initially can no longer be relied upon, and it is difficult to justify BCH right now. That being said, there is nothing wrong with having a number of different coins available to choose from, and BCH can be a good fallback if LN fails or becomes centralized. After all, there is a whole fiat financial world to take apart.
Some view Bitcoin Jesus as a savior, others as a scam artist who has betrayed the values of bitcoin. Ver is something of a renegade, spending ten months in prison for the unlicensed sale of explosives. His high school friend, Jesse Powell, is the CEO of Kraken, a cryptocurrency exchange known for being highly censorship resistant and unsympathetic towards government activities.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.