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eCash (XEC) vs. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

In this article I will give a brief overview of the major differences between eCash (“XEC”) and Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”) from the perspective of one who has followed both projects from their inception with the hope of helping newcomers better understand what differentiates these two projects.

In case you are not aware, XEC is a fork of BCH that was created when the BCH network underwent a chainsplit on November 15, 2020. As such, these two chains have much in common. They share the same genesis block, the same total supply, consensus mechanism, hashing algorithm, emission schedule, and even the same transaction history up until November 15, 2020.

So what makes them different?

I won’t get into the whole reason for the split and all of that history, but if you’re interested in learning more about it, you can read it here. This article will instead focus on what makes these projects different as of today.

Funding: XEC development is self-funded by having 8% of each block reward go to a developer’s fund. This is in contrast to BCH and other Bitcoin forks where 100% of the block reward goes to miners and funding for developers must come solely from community donations and sponsorships. Another way of putting it would be that XEC developers receive a steady, guaranteed revenue stream directly from the protocol, while BCH development must rely on the goodwill of its community.

Incentives: Due to the self-funding mechanism in XEC guaranteeing an income of over 26B XEC/year, the eCash developers are directly incentivized to make those coins as valuable as possible. Effectively, the higher the price, the higher their pay. On the other hand, because Bitcoin Cash developers have no such guaranteed revenue stream, they are mainly incentivized to play politics in order to curry favor with the most generous donors.

Leadership: This might be at the core of the difference between XEC and BCH. The XEC project is led by Bitcoin ABC, which is the same team that created and led BCH for its first three years of existence. Whereas the BCH community chose to ultimately reject ABC’s leadership, people like myself saw the value they provided and opted to leave BCH for XEC. Simply put, BCH celebrates having no leaders, while XEC is happy to be led by those most qualified. This is why the eCash project has an official website, Twitter account, Telegram, Discord, and Youtube channels, which is not the case in BCH.

Roadmap: As a result of Bitcoin ABC’s leadership, the XEC project has a publicly available technical roadmap that lays out a comprehensive approach on how it aims to become world money. The short-term focus is on completing the implementation of Avalanche Post-Consensus to work in conjunction with the tried and true proof of work consensus mechanism. This will make the eCash network nearly impossible to 51% attack and one of the most secure chains in all of crypto. After that will come the activation of staking rewards, resulting in XEC becoming the first Bitcoin fork to give holders a way to earn a passive income for helping to secure the network while also adding more decentralization. BCH has no such roadmap.

Strategy: The XEC strategy is to focus on technical excellence. This means constantly making incremental improvements to the software with the goal of scaling the network to handle 5 million transactions/sec. The BCH strategy is to focus on better marketing and increasing merchant adoption through community led efforts. They recently launched SmartBCH, an EVM compatible sidechain to try and attract defi users to BCH.

To summarize, the eCash project is led by Bitcoin ABC, one of the most experienced teams in all of crypto. They are funded directly out of the XEC block reward, aligning their incentives with the rest of the ecosystem. Their focus is on making technologically sound improvements to deliver the best version of peer-to-peer electronic cash the world has ever seen. eCash has several upcoming milestones that look to dramatically improve the user experience as it continues to make some of the boldest changes to the protocol in the entire 13 year history of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash is a community led project that is funded solely through the donations of large holders. As such you will not find any official roadmap, website, or social media presence. Their focus is on increasing merchant adoption and marketing for projects like smartBCH. Since their split with Bitcoin ABC on November 15, 2020, BCH has dropped from #6 on Coinmarketcap.com to its current position of #28.

If you had sold all your BCH for XEC on the day of the fork, you would be better off by 660% (source: cashening.com). 

No one can see the future, but I have a feeling this accumulation phase isn’t going to last forever.