What follows is a recap of the webinar hosted by David R. Allen on February 16, 2020, featuring Antony Zegers, Joey King, and Pierre Knobel of Bitcoin ABC, along with Fullstack.cash founder Chris Troutner, and be.cash founder Tobias Ruck. An edited version of the livestream will be made available when it’s ready.
To kick things off, Antony Zegers pointed out a lot has happened since the BCHA chain went live in November, and that Bitcoin ABC (ABC) is now living in a new reality. As an example, prior to the fork ABC had been ramping up their team but were forced to readjust in order to be sustainable for the long term and better prepare for the future. It must also be acknowledged that as a result of the split in the ecosystem, ABC has been tasked with taking on additional duties such as building new BCHA wallets, explorers, and other infrastructure, in addition to their day job as full node developers. Or as Chris Troutner put it, “ABC is now a vertically integrated company.”
Regarding the upcoming rebrand, it was revealed that a professional firm that specializes in branding and marketing has been hired to put together the launch of the new name. Unfortunately they hit a few speed bumps causing some delays, but investors can rest assured that progress is being made in this area. Additionally, the firm that was hired isn’t just helping with a new name and logo but is putting together an ongoing marketing plan as well as communicating with exchanges and managing those relationships to ensure everyone uses a uniform ticker and logo for the coin. One thing I was happy to hear was that there’s even specific campaigns planned for the Chinese and Korean markets, and possibly other languages as well.
The next major topic of discussion involved Avalanche. The main takeaway was that they have a prototype that already works and is implemented in the code. Anyone can run a node today and manually connect to other nodes and run the avalanche protocol between each other. When asked if ABC still anticipates implementing Avalanche post-consensus by the end of March, the answer was that while it’s still possible, it’s not guaranteed. Basically a lot of thought must go into making sure it works properly. They need to ensure nodes can easily find peers, and that there are holders who are willing to stake their coins for the benefit of the network and help protect it against a certain amount of dishonest nodes. For avalanche to work properly, it has to have a lot of honest participants participating so someone with a lot of coins can’t mess with the system.
Pierre Knobel then revealed how he is working to enhance the Electrum ABC wallet so they can leverage it to make it as easy as possible for people to run avalanche on BCHA.
Here’s Chris Troutner’s summation of Avalanche on BCHA:
“A lot of people ask what wins int he case of a conflict, the avalanche protocol or proof of work. My understanding is that it’s avalanche. In a normal situation, proof of work just goes on like it always has. It’s only in these corner cases where you get 51% attacked […] that the avalanche post-consensus protocol would override what would otherwise be a valid proof of work block in order to keep everyone organized and working on the same chain.”
The way I think of it is that we’ve already seen something like avalanche post-consensus at work. Last year when the chain was being attacked by a single miner who mined empty block after empty block and used his hash power to orphan blocks from honest miners, all the stakeholders in the network, (the honest miners, the exchanges, the block explorers) simply orphaned the attacker’s chain and started mining on a new chain tip. Presumably this happened with direct communication between the honest actors, but imagine if the node software was built to do this automatically? That’s how I see avalanche post-consensus working on top of BCHA. You get the benefits of proof of work and the benefits of avalanche all in one chain, and gives nodes a way to constantly be communicating to protect the network from bad actors.
According to Joey King: “There’s still technical work to be done. High level, if you’re a user and you care about avalanche because it makes transactions more reliable and makes 0-conf better, and it’s a cool enough feature that somebody made a whole damn cryptocurrency that just does it and it just went up 1000% for no reason. But the whole idea is it was a heritage Bitcoin Cash thing that people have been trying to do for years, and now we’ve got a working prototype on ABC and we’re just trying to really polish it before putting it out there.”
Antony summed it up by saying the good news is they’re moving forward, the bad news is it’s hard to predict exactly how long things will take.
Next there was a question about when the first GNC meeting will occur. The response was that the team is still looking to make it happen by the end of first quarter, but the GNC had to take a back seat to reorganizing the team, getting all the technical work on the right path, as well as the rebrand.
As someone who holds a significant amount of BCHA, let me say this about the GNC. I like the idea of the GNC and look forward to watching it evolve, but I know it will take a lot of man hours to figure out how it’s all going to work, so I’d have no problem shelving the GNC until Q1 2022. Due to the pandemic it will be hard for people to even travel at this point, not to mention the fact that the funds allocated to the GNC are currently worth very little and hardly worth voting over. Even if my coins earned me a seat on the GNC, I doubt I’d participate at this stage. For what it’s worth, I would prefer that ABC’s focus be on the rebrand and implementation of post-consensus before we even begin to think about the GNC. The GNC can wait, and hopefully those funds will be worth a lot more in the future, at which point we will have more projects that can compete for a portion of those funds.
Antony Zegers also brought up the point that the reality is there are still a lot of BCH holders dumping their split BCHA coins. He noted it’s part of the growing pains/separation process of forking into a new chain. But eventually, the majority of people who hold BCHA will be people like me who passionately support the project. Obviously ABC can’t wait forever for the dumping to stop, but the more coins that move out of the hands of BCHA detractors to BCHA supporters the better.
A couple of final tidbits. It was pointed out by Chris Troutner that with BCHA being such a small project makes it much easier for ABC to scale compared to a project like BCH. Imagine if adoption suddenly takes off, as a smaller, vertically integrated company, ABC can pivot and adapt very quickly.
As for the Binance withdrawal issue, ABC has direct communication with the exchange and even recently provided them with technical suppport, but ABC can’t speak for Binance as far as when withdrawals for BCHA will open. However they are hopeful that the rebrand will encourage more exchanges to list the coin.
I applaud everything ABC’s been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. So far they have released Electrum ABC, explorer.bitcoinabc.org, Cashtabapp and the Cashtab browser extension. They are also working on creating developer tools and hoping to build different proof of concept applications so entrepreneurs can leverage their work to create their own apps on the BCHA chain.
I know people are losing their patience regarding the rebrand, but I would much prefer ABC take their time so everything is done right rather than rushing things and running into problems. Or in other words, it’s a feature, not a bug.
The overall message was that ABC is moving in a positive direction and feeling optimistic about everything, but investors must set expectations based on the current price of the coin. Be optimistic, but realistic.
Let me leave you with a quote by the famous entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant: “Don’t partner with cynics, and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling. Essentially, to create things, you have to be a rational optimist. Rational in the sense that you have to see the world for what it really is. And yet you have to be optimistic about your own capabilities, and your capability to get things done.”
Thank you for reading.