What does it mean to be intellectually honest? I would say it means being honest even when there’s an incentive for you to be dishonest.
Let’s say you’re in a meeting and your boss suddenly asks your opinion on something. You’re up for a promotion and you know that all he wants to hear is you telling everyone he’s right. But what if you disagree? What if you think someone else’s idea is better? The intellectually honest thing to do would be to state your preference regardless of the consequences.
Here’s another example. What if someone asks me if I think eCash is going to reach $1 by the end of this year? Basically, do I think XEC is going to more than 10,000x in a little over 8 months. Of course I don’t, but someone who isn’t intellectually honest might say it’s possible because they’ll do anything to pump their bags.
You would think being intellectually honest is easy, but it turns out it’s not, especially when you have every incentive to lie. You see this a lot in crypto, because most people in the space only care about one thing: number go up. People that only care about cashing out. They aren’t interested in building anything other than maybe their bank accounts. This is why we end up with so many things like Safemoon, Squid token, EMAX, and of course who could forget this guy, Bitconnnnnnecccctttt!!!
Even when dealing with more established projects it’s not uncommon to see so-called “thought leaders” selling hopium to their followers. Making false promises or setting completely unrealistic expectations. Sometimes they might even believe their own claims, like some drug dealer getting high off his own supply, but I’m guessing deep down it’s still there, buried deep inside them: the truth.
Which brings me to the eCash project.
Not that anyone asked, but I thought I would briefly share why I believe in this project so much, and offer what I hope is an intellectually honest assessment of its chances.
Let’s be clear, I can’t tell you what’s going to happen. No one can guarantee eCash is going to the moon, because who knows what the future holds, especially these days.
But having said that, I continue to believe in the eCash project, not because I have no other choice, but because of everything I’ve witnessed over the last 5 years, and that my investment in XEC is based on what I’ve observed rather than me only seeing what I want to see as a result of my investment.
Let’s start with some numbers. As of this writing, there is a little over 28,000,000,000 XEC under the control of Bitcoin ABC to fund the development of the eCash ecosystem. This information is available for anyone to see right on the blockchain:
At current prices, this is valued at a little over $2.3M. This may seem like peanuts compared to the $1.6B held by the Ethereum Foundation, or all the venture capital money backing projects like AVAX or Solana. But based on Bitcoin ABC’s current size and needs, I have no concerns that they don’t have the necessary funds to continue building the best money the world has ever seen as well as continuing to build out their team.
Maybe I’m not concerned because one thing the eCash project has that those other projects don’t: a self-funding mechanism. With 8% of the block reward being used to pay developers. This acts as a steady source of revenue for the project’s builders, and gives them every incentive to make XEC more valuable, not only in the short term, but in the long term. I say this because I think the incentives can change when you give a team a huge up front investment as opposed to a milestone based funding system, with the eCash funding mechanism more akin to the latter.
Another reason I’m not concerned about the funding is because of the team itself. While it wouldn’t be intellectually honest of me to say that I know for sure that Bitcoin ABC is the best team in all of crypto since I really don’t follow any other teams, but what I can say is that if given the choice, I wouldn’t trade them for any other team in crypto no matter how much funding they had.
But that doesn’t mean Bitcoin ABC can’t use more help. The truth is they need to continue to grow, to add redundancy, and the only way they can get the resources to do that is by making the price of XEC go up. In other words, with eCash the incentives of the developers are perfectly aligned with that of the holders and the miners.
(On a positive note, I have been monitoring their work on phabricator and the number of active contributors is the highest I’ve ever seen.)
Some people say one way to view crypto is to think of it as a bunch of experiments being run at the same time. If that’s the case, I believe there are very few projects that are running experiments that actually matter, or are using actual science.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with teams working on projects in Defi, or NFTs, or even all the stupid dog tokens, but none of that interests me. What interests me is creating a new form of money that changes civilization as we know it. Money that frees us rather than enslaves us.
Here’s some more intellectual honesty. I’m not a computer programmer. I don’t have a technical background. So you could argue I don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe I’m wrong and Bitcoin ABC doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing. But what if I’m not wrong?
What if their roadmap is as elegant and scalable as it appears to be? What if the integration of Avalanche is a game-changer, and they finally build a censorship-resistant network with consistently low fees and instant transactions?
Imagine depositing to an exchange and no longer having to wait for any confirmations. Imagine merchants never having to worry about being double-spent.
But like I said, I can’t see the future. I don’t know if the exchanges will cooperate, or if the market will take notice. But I know what my money’s on.
In conclusion, investing in eCash doesn’t come without risks. Success isn’t guaranteed, and it definitely won’t happen overnight. But I believe all the ingredients are there. The right team, the right funding, the right incentives, the right mission, and the right roadmap.
And sure, maybe I have every reason to be biased, but that doesn’t mean I’m not being intellectually honest.