eCashChat: Hype or Hope?

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Will eCashChat become the killer app I’ve been waiting for all these years? Or is it a waste of time as some people believe?

Only time will tell, of course, but in this article I will:

  1. Share why I’m personally excited about eCashChat.
  2. What I see as a potential future state of eCashChat.

Why I’m personally excited about eCashChat.

Because I see its potential. While it’s understandable that some may see eCashChat as just a prettier version of, I don’t share that opinion.

Let me start by saying that even though I think eCashChat has a chance to be a whole lot more than just an on-chain version of Twitter, that doesn’t mean I think an on-chain version of Twitter can’t be valuable.

Just because an idea has previously failed doesn’t mean it’s a bad one. Smartphones didn’t take off until the iPhone nailed the infrastructure and the phone. Social networks didn’t go mainstream until Facebook scaled and made it global. And I’d been hearing about EVs for decades before Tesla finally succeeded in making them ubiquitous.

My point is that it’s not about the idea, it’s about the execution, and I’m excited about eCashChat because I believe it has what it takes to properly execute where others have not.

One reason I believe this is because of one of my favorite features of eCashChat: the sign in mechanism using Cashtab extension. I couldn’t help but be impressed by how smooth and fast it is, while also realizing that it can solve a major problem we face in the Web 2 world of needing to safely store our endless passwords.

As of today, most of us rely on third parties like Google or Apple to manage our passwords for us. But being able to sign in using your eCash private key can not only make it more convenient, but more secure, while also mitigating the need to rely on trusted intermediaries.

The smooth integration between eCashChat and Cashtab extension demonstrates to me that the people working on this project have the talent to truly build something special.

But perhaps what’s even better is knowing they are funded through the GNC, which gives them both a longer runway to continue building and iterating, as well as a proper incentive to keep working.

This is already evident based on the fact that in the brief period the site has been live, I’ve already seen significant progress. In the past, I’ve watched countless applications get launched on BCH and never improve. That isn’t the case here. In just the past week I’ve seen them add live updates to the wallet balance, made it easier to embed YouTube videos and Tweets, add NFT functionality, as well as the ability to reply to posts, to post using mobile, incremental improvements to the look and feel, and much more.

I hope to see eCashChat development continue rapidly, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the project progresses from week to week.

What I see as the future state of eCashChat.

In my last article, I wrote that the problem I see eCashChat solving is it can demonstrate the power of the app development infrastructure of eCash. And while I still consider that a big reason to pursue this project, how effective it can be in achieving that goal will obviously depend on how many people actually start using it.

Which begs the question, what problem is eCashChat solving for its users?

Some of you may be thinking the problem it’s solving is censorship. With it being revealed last year that the US government leaned on big tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to censor posts, this is clearly a problem. But I’m not convinced it’s the primary problem that eCashChat should be looking to solve today.

For me, the real value proposition of eCashChat isn’t on-chain data storage, it’s adding payment rails to social. To me that’s what Web 3 is all about. If Web 2 was about giving us the ability to easily and premissionlessly send and receive data, Web 3 is about giving us the ability to easily and permissionlessly send and receive value.

I believe that making it possible to transact with one another peer-to-peer over the internet using a system that allows us to send any amount of money, to anyone in the world, instantly, cheaply, and reliably, is something that can change civilization as we know it.

Imagine Reddit, but with payment rails. What if you could send money to anyone on the platform with the click of a button? I’m not just talking about tipping, but being able to pay people for any piece of digital content. Imagine being able to create subreddits and charging people a small amount of electronic cash to join them. Moderators would suddenly be able to get paid rather than having to moderate for free. Imagine charging people to read your posts, or to follow your account, or to send you a direct message. How might that change the way social networks work?

I see eCashChat as the agora. A place where people can not only discuss ideas, but also open a storefront, pay for digital goods, establish a reputation, or even an entirely new identity.

I’m excited about the eventual launch of eCash aliases. It will finally help us identify one another in eCashChat by our alias rather than a string of numbers and letters. Aliases that will be minted as NFTs, that can be bought and sold or gifted. You can’t do that with your Reddit or Twitter handle.

I think aliases will transform the eCashChat experience in a significant way, not only by giving us names, but a reason to use eCash in order to pay for those names.

I’m also excited about paywalls. The ability to frictionlessly charge people for content is something I’ve been chasing for a long time, or as someone recently called it, “Cain’s paywall dream.”

I believe the ability to easily charge people for content online is the holy grail for crypto. Imagine Substack, except you don’t have to register with Stripe, or tell anyone who you are, with no restrictions on how little or how much you can charge for your content.

While people can make money as content creators in Web 2, it’s only possible for those who reach a certain scale. With eCash paywalls, it will be available to anyone at any scale.

My hope is that one day billions of people are using eCashChat as a global town hall, as a marketplace where you can buy and sell digital goods, or share ideas, create culture, and ultimately, leads to a much freer world.