A number of people have messaged me asking what I think of the current state of eCash (XEC), so I decided to write an article. Before I continue, I want to first make it clear that I’m not an eCash developer, I can’t code, and I’m only writing this from the perspective of a long-term investor. With that said, I have been closely following the work of Bitcoin ABC dating back to 2017, and XEC represents the largest portion of my investment portfolio. I have also spent countless hours thinking about the project and have written hundreds of posts, not only here on this blog, but on other platforms as well. Of course none of this means I can see the future, nor is this article meant to be read as financial advice. Because I’m not here to try and predict what will happen but merely account for what has happened so far, what I’ve learned in that time, and what I hope to see happen next. And now onto the state of eCash…
There’s no easy way to say this. The past year has been a disaster for the cryptocurrency industry with several major players forced into bankruptcy and others indicted for fraud. This in conjunction with the global economic downturn led to a steep sell-off of all cryptocurrencies, and eCash was no exception.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say the significant drop in the XEC price hasn’t been disappointing, but I’ve also been in crypto long enough to understand that short-term price movements aren’t always good indicators of what’s really happening with a project. For example, back in 2018 I saw ETH fall from $1400 to $80, which happens to be roughly the same drop XEC has experienced going from $0.00039 to $0.000021. The question is, can XEC make the same kind of comeback that ETH did in the next cycle?
As I said, I’m not here to predict the future, but here’s what I know. The current price of XEC is roughly the same as it was when the project was first launched on November 15, 2020. This was before the project even had an official name and was only known as Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) since it was a fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Hardly any exchanges listed it at the time, and there was virtually no ecosystem support as the vast majority of the infrastructure followed the BCH chain. The one thing the new fork did have going for it was the vision of Bitcoin ABC, who had led the development of Bitcoin Cash since its inception back in 2017. With the help of a small but dedicated group of supporters, Bitcoin ABC started the difficult work of rebuilding. Over the next several months they worked to create new wallets, new blockchain explorers, and a completely new brand, all while trying to keep the network up and running in the face of various attacks led by people who didn’t want the project to succeed.
It would be foolish to ignore the fact that market conditions in late 2020 to early 2021 were dramatically different than they are today, but it would be just as foolish to ignore all the progress that the eCash project has made since then. For starters, the team introduced the new Cashtab web wallet and browser extension to easily onboard new users and reinforce the idea that eCash is meant to be used. They also ported over the Electrum ABC wallet to give holders an easy way to store their eCash on hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger. Then came the launch of the new eCash brand on July 1, 2021, featuring a sleek new website, a new commercial, a convenient new denomination, and a beautiful new logo. Bitcoin ABC accomplished all this while continuing their work on the protocol and maintaining their consistent bi-weekly release schedule. Their hard work paid off as exchanges that had listed BCHA converted to the new XEC brand, and exchanges that had previously ignored the project began to take notice.
Considering the size of the team and their limited resources, I would say what Bitcoin ABC pulled off was nothing short of a miracle. Unlike other projects that minted tokens out of thin air and sought venture capital money, the eCash project embraced the open source nature of Bitcoin by forking the code and continuing the work originally started by Satoshi Nakamoto. What this means is that every XEC in existence is backed by proof of work, and the total supply is the same as that of Bitcoin (albeit with a smaller, more convenient base unit).
With the new brand in place, Bitcoin ABC was able to then focus their attention on the integration of Avalanche post-consensus. By combining Avalanche consensus with Nakamoto consensus, XEC would become one of the most secure cryptocurrency networks in the world and virtually impossible to 51% attack despite being a minority chain. While this effort took longer than originally anticipated, Avalanche post-consensus finally went live on September 14, 2022, ushering in a new era for the eCash network.
When this project first started, no one knew if it would even be viable. But through the hard work and dedication of Bitcoin ABC, not only has it survived, but it has managed to make one of the biggest breakthroughs in all of crypto. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Major exchanges like Binance, Huobi, and Indodax have all recognized the increased security that comes with combining Avalanche and Nakamoto consensus as evidenced by the fact that XEC deposits only require 1 confirmation before being credited to their customers.
As an eCash user, I’ve also enjoyed seeing all the incremental improvements they’ve made on everything from their wallet software to their blockchain explorers. A perfect example is the dramatic increase in speed of the Cashtab wallet from when it was first introduced to now. As an eCash investor, I’m encouraged by the consistent output of the team, their efficient use of resources, and their responsiveness to user feedback. Based on personal experience, I’ve found that anytime I’ve alerted them to an issue, they’ve immediately assigned someone to the task.
While there is still much work to be done, along with many hurdles to climb, I remain confident that the engineers at Bitcoin ABC have what it takes to accomplish their goals. I chose this project because I believe in the mission of peer-to-peer electronic cash, and that the eCash roadmap gives us the best chance to reach the finish line.
So what’s next for eCash? The launch of Avalanche pre-consensus. This will give eCash transactions instant finality and exchanges will be able to do away with those annoying confirmation requirements altogether. eCash users will be able to deposit XEC and have it credited to their accounts immediately. This will also open the door to staking rewards, which should incentivize more people to run their own eCash nodes and increase decentralization of the network. Other items on the roadmap include the integration of the Chronik indexer directly into the node software, as well as the upcoming launch of Paybutton, which is the project I’m most looking forward to as it will make it easier for sites like this to accept eCash online.
What I’ve learned over the past several years is that good software development takes time. I understand that most people in crypto are only looking to make a quick buck, but if 2022 has taught us anything, it should be that slow and steady is what wins the race.
The state of eCash to me is that we’re still early. But it’s also fair to say that this project has come a long way in the past two years. We now have a small but vibrant community that recently beat out much larger cryptocurrencies to finish 3rd in the Binance Community Showdown. New projects like Gorbeious.cash, Freexec.com, and Badger Universal Token serve as further signs that XEC is slowly attracting more builders to the ecosystem.
There’s obviously still a long way to go with lots of areas for improvement. eCash could use more support from hardware wallet manufacturers, more listings on exchanges, and more applications and businesses that facilitate its use. But I remain cautiously optimistic. I have no idea what the market is going to do next week, let alone the next year, but based on everything I’ve seen so far, I believe that eCash has firmly rooted itself as one of the most promising cryptocurrencies in the entire space, and one that will be worth paying attention to in the coming years.
“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson