Every so often, I’ll get asked where can you use eCash today? It’s usually someone trying to discredit the eCash project by pointing out how there aren’t any merchants who currently accept XEC as payment. And while that may be true for the most part, and they certainly have a point, I also think these folks are failing to see the bigger picture.
Yes, the ultimate goal is for eCash to be used as electronic cash by people all around the world, but that doesn’t mean it has to happen overnight. But here lies the difference between a project building on actual fundamentals, versus one that is only looking to build hype. With the former, there is a logic and order in the way things are done. With the latter, your only hope is to try and get enough attention to attract greater fools. Whether that’s by announcing fake partnerships, paying influencers, or touting merchant adoption numbers that don’t really matter since hardly anyone uses crypto today anyway.
It could even be argued that getting businesses to accept your favorite cryptocurrency today might do more harm than good. For one thing, chances are it won’t lead to any meaningful new sales anytime soon, and the business will have wasted their time training their employees for nothing. Another reason is that due to the fact that cryptocurrencies have yet to scale, any significant increase in transaction volume could lead to high fees, slow processing times, and potential loss of funds due to double-spend attacks.
The point is you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I remember during the bull run of 2017, everyone I knew seemed to be talking about crypto. My coworkers, my friend’s wives, even my own mother called asking me to help her open a Coinbase account. Millions of people were exposed to peer-to-peer electronic cash for the first time. But instead of getting a network that was fast, cheap, and reliable, what they got instead was a network that was slow, expensive, and practically unusable. It’s no wonder there’s been little adoption over the last six years. During the most recent bull market, I couldn’t help but notice that the number of people talking about crypto was nowhere near what it had been in 2017. Does this mean that crypto is doomed to fail? Not necessarily.
I believe all the uncertainty facing the world of traditional finance has given us at least one more chance to demonstrate the value proposition of crypto. The question is, are we going to take advantage of the opportunity this time, or are we just going fumble it again.
Only time will tell, but my money is on eCash not repeating past mistakes, because the team behind this project is focused on solving the right problems to make sure users have a great experience. Solving problems like making double-spends a thing of the past, or making it so no one has to ever wait for slow block confirmations again, or even something as simple as moving the decimal point over to give eCash a base unit that makes more sense.
So while some people lament the fact that you can’t use eCash to pay for lunch at your local sandwich shop, what really matters to me is that when the time comes, using your eCash will be as safe and easy as using cash or credit cards today.
Maybe you’d rather see your favorite coin become legal tender on some Caribbean island. Or have it be accepted by a few hundred merchants in a small town in Australia. But for me, the goal is about more than just giving a few people a handful of places to spend their eCash today. The goal is to one day make it possible for all people to use eCash no matter where you are on the planet. That’s why I think the question people should be asking isn’t where you can use eCash today, but how is eCash positioning itself so that it can be used everywhere tomorrow? And the answer to that question is by making it the best product possible.