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eCash for beginners 5: What is eCash?

What is eCash?

Is it the future of money? Or is it just another cryptocurrency? Is it a meme coin? Or is XEC a legitimate project with some of the most experienced and talented engineers in the entire industry?

It’s understandable that many of you might be asking these these kinds of questions. After all, it must seem as if the eCash project just came out of nowhere to suddenly show up one day as a top 50 coin. Adding to the confusion is the fact that there are still a few exchanges that have yet to make the switch from the old BCHA format to the new XEC one.

The reality is this project is both new and old at the same time. New because it recently underwent an exciting rebrand that ushered in a new logo, a new ticker, a new website, and a new base unit. But the project can also be seen as old because it’s a fork of Bitcoin Cash, which itself is a fork of Bitcoin, so its real beginnings go all the way back to the days of Satoshi himself.

What this means to me is that XEC has the best of both worlds. Because the chain shares the same genesis block, proof of work hashing algorithm, total supply of coins and much of the same Satoshi codebase, it has all the benefits of being built on a foundation with a long and proven track record without having to be burdened with the limitations those other chains face.

​​Limitations like being afraid to change something as simple as raising the block size from 1MB to 8MB, or of paying developers out of the block reward and aligning their incentives with that of miners and holders.

For me, it is in this sense that XEC represents the start of something new. A Bitcoin project that isn’t afraid to adapt when necessary. One that is led by technical talent, not by the Twitter or Reddit mob. This is crypto evolution. While other projects grow complacent and stagnate, eCash is laser focused on constantly pushing the boundaries and moving forward.

​Isn’t that how technology is supposed to work? And what is money if not a form of technology?

​I’ve recently come to see that money is one of the most fundamental and integral aspects of our everyday lives, so I can’t help but think that improving our money and making it more useful could have the potential to greatly impact our society in a way that maybe no other technology can.

​Money is how we assign value to things. It’s how we signal to the world what we want more of, or less of. And the better job it can do in that regard, the greater the chances that our lives will be better as well.

​Yes, money is primarily thought of as that which we use to pay for things, but the other side of the equation reveals it is also what pushes us to work and create. It’s what motivates us, it’s the fuel that moves us forward, and the better the fuel, the faster and farther we can go.

​So how do we improve money? How do we refine it to so we can not only go to the moon but to the farthest reaches of space?

​Primarily, money is known to have three functions. To act as a store of value, as a medium of exchange, and as a unit of account.

Throughout human history we’ve seen the rise and fall of many different forms of money. From trinkets and beads, to gold and silver, to the government issued money we all know and use today. But I would argue that so far, we’ve yet to create a form of money that accomplishes all three of its primary functions in a satisfactory way.

​For example, while gold and silver may do a reasonably good job of storing their value over long periods of time, they aren’t easy to pay with. And while the dollar, the euro, and the won may work well as a medium of exchange, one look at any inflation chart will reveal how horrible they’ve been in terms of storing their value. Even as a unit of account these currencies fail when you look at it from a global perspective, because price of the same good is different from one country to the next depending on the local currency.

Now imagine a form of money that does all three better than anything that came before. A reliable peer-to-peer electronic cash (eCash) system that can’t be debased, that can be sent instantaneously across the planet just by scanning a QR code no matter how small or large the amount, and a world where the cost of any good or service is priced the same way no matter what continent you’re on. Imagine a world where paying 5 ecash for a cup of coffee will mean the same thing in California as it does in Turkey. Imagine all the benefits ​that would be derived from such a system. Just as the internet made information more accessible to all, I believe a decentralized payment protocol like eCash can make the global economy accessible to all.

That is what the eCash project aims to achieve with its mission to be the best money the world has ever seen.

The rise of the internal combustion engine transformed the transportation industry. XEC looks to transform the world’s economy. An economy that runs on a new form of money that isn’t controlled by bureaucrats but by code. Money that moves at the speed of light, at the cost of fractions of a penny, leading to the creation of new industries and businesses that had no chance of succeeding before because we lacked the technology.

I want money that frees us, not enslaves us. My entire life I saw money as something that was to be hoarded, something you can never have enough of. I believe so many of us feel this way because of the way the current system is designed. We are trapped in a system full of gatekeepers and rent seekers. A system where none of us are every truly free.

But what if we finally had another choice? A way to opt out of having to rely on central banks and corporations that may not always have our best interests in mind. Money that we alone control, money that can’t be censored and doesn’t require anyone’s permission to use, money that grows in value over time rather than one that could eventually become worthless because one day the powers that be decided to add a few more zeros to their balance sheets.

I believe that we need eCash today more than ever, that it has the potential to be the motive force the world has seemed to be missing of late, and the motor that helps us to finally start moving forward again.

In Part 6, I will take a look at the eCash roadmap.

For previous installments of this series: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4