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Тариф 1

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Why Bitcoin Hasn’t Solved The Double-Spending Problem

How double-spending works in practice and what must be done to prevent it

Trust minimisation is the idea.

That’s what Bitcoin is all about — being able to hold and use money without relying on custodians, intermediaries, or central planners.

You, by yourself, have everything you need to validate every single bitcoin and transaction that impacts your life, and the total money supply. You can know in an instant — with certainty — that the bitcoin you own is real and represents a precise fixed proportion of all bitcoin in existence.

No-one can stop you spending your bitcoin however you want, and it works the same everywhere on Earth. You don’t have to trust in any governmental body or its agenda to know how spendable your bitcoin is.

No-one can decide to inflate the money supply. You don’t have to trust in any governmental body or its agenda to know how scarce your bitcoin will be in future: 1/21,000,000 BTC now = 1/21,000,000 BTC forever. It’s the hardest money in the world, as they say: it’s impossible to produce more of it, no matter how hard anyone tries. You can’t print it and you can’t dig it up from the ground.

In sum, Bitcoin gives us a perfectly measurable scarce asset that everyone can verify and no-one can fake, which anyone can use to settle transactions across any distance, without involving a trusted third party of any kind.

All of this taken together represents ‘Bitcoin: The Revolution’ — a radical neutering of government power over money, replaced by unassailable principles of sound money, literally written in code, accompanied by a monumental transfer of wealth to early buyers.

From sovereign nations to sovereign individuals.

The BTC-specific Vision

In Christian theology, the beatific vision is the ultimate direct self-communication of God to the individual person; seeing God finally face to face and not imperfectly through faith.

The Revolution described above is what Bitcoin is built for. Trust minimisation — don’t trust, verify directly, for yourself, as an individual person. That’s the mission, that’s what all of this is.

If you run a Bitcoin full node, you have this ultimate power today. Bitcoin gives you certainty about your money, and not imperfectly through faith.

…except when it doesn’t.

There are circumstances under which our self-sovereign certainty about the state of our money falls down.

What are those circumstances? — When and how are we vulnerable? — What is a double-spend attack actually like in practice and what does it take to prevent it from happening?

I say, that’s assayable

Some of the certainty Bitcoin gives us is pretty bulletproof.

The un-inflatable money supply, for instance, is right there in the code for all to see, and the history of the block chain — the huge trail of transactions which have taken place since Satoshi started it off in 2009 — is solid as fuck, to use the technical term. It’s impossible to make a fake bitcoin because everyone’s software immediately rejects it.

The only realistic threat to Bitcoin’s deep-historical record of blocks (and coins) would be if an alien race turned up with an ultra powerful space computer that could generate proof-of-work at unearthly speeds, and they used it to modify a massive portion of the chain overnight for shits and giggles. (Although there’s no night-time in space, and it’s possible that the aliens neither shit nor giggle).

The market is probably pricing this in already.

Briefly: proof-of-work is a mathematical way of proving that a certain amount of impossible-to-fake computational expenditure has taken place.

Brute force trial-and-error is the only way to produce proof-of-work. So whoever can produce proof-of-work to a certain level has proven that they’ve expended a certain amount of costly resources to do so — CPU cycles, electricity, and $.

Proof-of-work lies at the heart of Bitcoin. It’s clever cryptography that is pivotal to Bitcoin’s operation, but we don’t need to understand its inner workings in any great detail to make sense of this article.

Basically, when you’re looking at the Bitcoin blockchain, its deep history is fine. But the shallower you get, the less certain things become: the recent past of the transaction record is not-so-bulletproof.

Even earthly beings can potentially organise enough computing power to threaten the reality of the short-term record of transactions which you, on your own, with your full node, believe you’re seeing.

Hence the received wisdom, going all the way back to Satoshi, to “wait for 6 confirmations” when making important transactions.

“If the recipient is willing to wait for six confirmations, the probability of an attack succeeding shrinks infinitely low.”
— The Bitcoin Standard

The key question in this article is: When is 6 confirmations not enough? Why is the above quote taken from a popular Bitcoin sales pamphlet completely wrong?

What sort of costs are involved in attack and defence of the chain? And does it all eventually balance out in a way which means Bitcoin can actually be useful, in practice, for people and organisations around the world, at a global scale? Is it possible that we’re heading for a revolutionary future where the world operates on ‘The Bitcoin Standard’?

We’ll describe what a double-spend attack on Bitcoin is like, who could do it, and what the overall implications are for Bitcoin as a system for large-scale global settlement, heading into the future.

Weapons of Hash Production

So how do you double-spend on Bitcoin?

You — or a strategically aligned group of yous — need to be able to generate more proof-of-work per second using computer chips than everyone not in your group. You need to have a majority of the world’s active Bitcoin mining power under your control. You need a Weapon of Hash Production.

Sidenote: There are theoretical attack vectors which require less than 51% control, but let’s just keep it simple.

You could straightforwardly manufacture a giant bank of specialised chips from scratch that you can fire up whenever you want…

You could simply be the biggest, baddest mining operation in the world, with the most efficient setup, perhaps monopolising cheap energy. You can patiently starve out smaller operations over time who can’t afford to compete and are forced to shut down (and you can quietly buy their equipment at a discount after they shut down too). This is the strategy John D. Rockefellar used with his Standard Oil Company to crush the oil refining game, sometimes deliberately operating at a loss to accelerate the process, before his monopoly had to be stopped by the government…

You could be a cartel of the top 10 biggest mining operations, who collectively, in your little syndicate, if you pool your resources, have all the hashing power you need…

You could be the Chinese government and seize control of your citizens’ operations, putting miners in jail if they don’t cooperate with your plans (70% of the world’s Bitcoin mining is currently in China).

You could be the US government, declare war on Bitcoin mining and send your SEAL teams to quietly handle the national security threat of mining operations around the world…

You could be the Israeli government and develop (or not develop, you can’t prove it) a malicious worm that targets specific mining or energy facilities around the world for interference…

You could be an alien race that neither shits nor giggles but has a really big space computer that’s good at doing hashes…

Doesn’t matter how you do it, or what combination of strategies you use — one way or another you just need to be able to start dominating Earth’s proof-of-work game at the proverbial flick of a switch, and begin generating e.g. 55% of the total hash rate.

If you can find a way to command(eer) the lion’s share of SHA256 hash production, in the real world, for a predictable period of time, you’re good to go.

SHA256 is just the name of the specific one-way cryptographic hashing function that Bitcoin uses for proof-of-work.

We’ll do an example attack in a minute, but first one more thing.

’Ow much?

  • $18 million per day is the total amount of money earned by miners right now — collectively — for running their specialised chips day-in-day-out at full blast (12.5BTC reward per block, 1 block every 10 mins, $10k/BTC).
  • $18 million per day is how much money the Bitcoin system, as a whole, spends on proof-of-work hashes to protect the integrity of the transactions which you, on your own, with your full node, are seeing.

This ongoing expenditure on proof-of-work is how you know, as a Bitcoin user, that everything’s in order with any transaction that impacts your life.

This ongoing expenditure on proof-of-work is how you know — with certainty and without trusting anyone — that you’re looking at the real block chain and that any transaction you receive is actually settled: the bitcoin is definitely now in your possession and only spendable using your private key.

This ongoing expenditure on proof-of-work is how you know how much it costs for an enemy to undermine the reality of what your node is currently seeing.

To explain this, let’s quickly dig into the mechanics.

In reality, ongoing expenditure specifically on hashing is substantially less than $18m since (1) miners work for profit, and (2) a good chunk of revenue goes towards equipment, personnel etc.

Doesn’t matter: what’s important is that we’re thinking in $ terms .

Undermining the Mining Game

Let’s suppose you received a $100,000 bitcoin transaction 24 hours ago.

You can see your transaction, right there, in the block chain; the whole thing is perfectly assayable. It’s 144 blocks back — it’s had 144 confirmations, as they say.

It’s nice and deep in the chain, “buried” under roughly 18-million-dollars-worth of proof-of-work. That is: $18 million of overall mining expenditure has accumulated “on top” of your transaction since it took place 1 day ago.

The precise cost (in $) of doing proof-of-work varies by location, depending on electricity prices and chip efficiency, but allow the simplification for now…

This is what you know: if you were being double-spend attacked for your $100,000, someone would have to have been working for the last 24 hours, in secret, on another block chain which purposefully doesn’t contain your transaction, and — crucially — this chain would have to have accumulated more than $18 million worth of proof-of-work.

So let’s assume this is exactly what has happened. They created a $100,000 transaction yesterday with the right hand, and simultaneously switched on their Weapon of Hash Production with the left hand.

Now, 24 hours later, they’re lying in wait with a secret block chain (which spends the same $100,000 output in a transaction addressed to themselves instead of you).

The attacker — all of a sudden — announces their chain to the world.

As soon as their chain with more cumulative proof-of-work turns up on the Bitcoin network, you, on your own, with your full node, along with everyone else, on their own, with their full nodes, automatically has to consider that chain to be the real chain. That is the protocol.

That is how Bitcoin works.

The attacker’s chain could have e.g. 150 valid blocks at the same difficulty level, or 144 valid blocks where some blocks were mined at a higher difficulty level. The infamous 10-minute block time is arbitrary: the total accumulation of proof-of-work is what matters.

The chain which amasses the most proof-of-work — the heaviest chain — is the authoritative chain. In the land of trustlessness, proof-of-work is king. There is no going back. There is no governing body to cry foul to. There is one immutable database of transactions organised into 10-minute blocks.

You are on your own, with your full node.

But wait…

Why on Earth would anyone do that? Spending more than $18 million over the course of 24 hours just to be able to double-spend $100,000? That’s absurd, isn’t it?

Actually, no… well, I mean, yes — but not quite that directly.

The first thing to note is that the more-than-$18-million spent by the attacker isn’t just lost because on their chain, where they mined all the blocks, they earned all the block rewards which are worth, well, $18 million.

The immediate cost of the attack falls on the other miners (and anyone downstream of them transactionally) who lost out in the same way you did when the old chain suddenly evaporated.

It’s an awful long way to go for 1 transaction worth $100,000 (we’ll get to larger transactions in a minute), but in this scenario, the biggest concern for an attacker would be the potential knock-on effects the attack could have on the Bitcoin price when the world learns what happened.

The ‘$18 million’ of block rewards in their possession is actually 1,800 BTC, and, per the protocol, block rewards are not allowed to be spent until 100 blocks after they’ve been mined. So if the double-spend attack causes people to lose faith in Bitcoin and start panic selling, their 1,800 BTC quickly becomes worth much less than $18 million.

Sidenote 1: Bitcoin is typically antifragile, as Prince Nassim Taleb would call it. It responds well to controversy because of the increased attention. But a major double-spend attack (or deep “re-org” of the blockchain, as engineers would call it) might be one instance where the saying “It’s always good for Bitcoin” isn’t true.

Sidenote 2: The existence of a healthy Bitcoin derivatives market potentially enables workaround strategies for the 100-block limit (and the collapse in price).

So we’re safe then?

From an attack like this, yes.

There’s no incentive to do it. Is someone really going to create a Weapon of Hash Production and use it to perform a 24 hour attack, risking up to $18m in the process, all for the sake of doing a mere $100,000 of financial damage?

You, on your own, with your full node, can know with a high degree of certainty that no-one with the capacity to do that is going to do it to you. You can rest assured that your transaction is now settled and the $100,000 is yours to spend.

Sizing Up

Nothing important happens on Bitcoin today.

There are no strategically significant bitcoin transactions between national governments or other organisations, for example, which would be worth reversing for their real world effects (or censoring). That is why there is no realistic threat from Weapons of Hash Production — the payoff is too small.

In short, Bitcoin’s strongest defensive asset is its irrelevance.

What protects Bitcoin right now is that even if a group of people out there does in fact have the power to dominate the mining game, the most profitable thing they can do with their Weapon of Hash Production is mine Bitcoin. There are no better targets. Just collect the block rewards, sell them for up to $18 million per day, and keep the profits — don’t uproot the money tree.

Realistically, anyone mining Bitcoin today is doing so because they ‘believe in Bitcoin’, and the main thing guiding their actions is that they expect the price to be much higher in future.

In fact, their best course of action right now would be to conceal their weapon; make sure it seems like they don’t have the ability to start producing 55% of the world’s SHA256 hashes at the proverbial flick of a switch.

The idea that Bitcoin will eventually become the $100 trillion global reserve currency with regular transactions in the billions of $ flying around is the vision… it’s the sales narrative… it’s why buying 1 BTC for $10,000 today makes you a genius… but it’s also not real.

All Bitcoin in existence is currently worth around $180 billion using the most optimistic (i.e. Bitcoin-friendly) measure of spot price * total coins, often referred to as its ‘market cap’. Only 99.82% of the journey left to go!

Sound as a Pound

Bitcoin’s second strongest defensive asset is its high rate of monetary inflation.

Bitcoin’s entire defence budget is financed by issuing new money at the expense of everyone who holds the currency, and using it to pay miners.

This is the money tree.

Bitcoin hodlers are paying out $18 million per day — that’s $6.5 billion per year — to miners so that they produce the proof-of-work that protects the network.

I’ll repeat that: Bitcoin hodlers are paying out $6.5 billion per year (real cash) from a pool of $180 billion (theoretical cash) so that miners continue to produce the proof-of-work which ensures that Bitcoin is actually useful and gives it a reason for existing.

This expense has no other purpose: it is 100% defence spending. Financed by inflation. Hearty-austrian-laugh dot biz dot info dot gif.

It’s not “undue” inflation — it’s definitely necessary — and the schedule is immune to any political tampering, so maybe the Austrians can rationalise it that way. But let’s be clear: everyone indirectly giving up 3.7% of the value of their bitcoin holdings annually is the only thing that keeps the fight going right now.

In other words, giving up 3.7% of your bitcoin savings per year is the only thing that enables you, on your own, with your full node, to know — with certainty and without trusting anyone — that the network is protected against would-be censors and double-spenders.

Seems Fine

The irony of defence spending financed by inflation usually doesn’t make it into the final draft of most Bitcoin economists’ published thoughts. Nor does the complete lack of any evidence to suggest that Bitcoin’s defence budget can eventually be paid for in transaction fees alone.

Remember: this cost is not optional. The necessary cost of the defence budget is something which the enemy gets a vote in. And — to the believers — you’ve picked a hell of a fucking enemy.

If this defence fails, Bitcoin has failed.

If you, on your own, with your full node, have to put your trust in any kind of overarching or central authority which has the power to censor your transactions (and double-spend attack its enemies), that would undermine the only reason to be using a proof-of-work blockchain like Bitcoin in the first place.

So yes — believers — as it stands, of course miners will chase down $6.5 billion and in doing so provide the network with the necessary proof-of-work that it needs to function in today’s largely-irrelevant way where it’s mostly just an annoyingly-hard-to-shut-down unregulated casino.

That much is proven.

But there are two critical questions outstanding if we are to believe Bitcoin is going to move beyond the black- and grey-market use cases it serves today to become the $100 trillion global reserve currency:

  1. How much defence is really being provided right now — is that $6.5 billion per year enough to stop Bitcoin’s enemies from coordinating against it in a Bitcoin Standard future? (Spoiler alert: no).
  2. Is it sustainable — defence spending must never drop to a level where the system is vulnerable to censorship, so who is going to pay for it all when inflation slows down and charging transaction fees (i.e. taxing the movement of money) is the only source of revenue?

Whatever, Onwards!

Bitcoin’s inflation rate decreases exponentially over time, halving every 210,000 blocks (4 years).

Next year, around May, inflation will be cut in half to 1.8%, and — unless there’s a commensurate doubling in the bitcoin price — Bitcoin’s defence budget gets instantly cut in half too.

Notice: the doubling of bitcoin’s price must happen to maintain the same defensive strength. That doesn’t mean it will happen. Those are two very different things. Bitcoiners often confuse them and use the halving — a 100% predictable event — to predict a rise in price (outsmarting the market).

So what if the price doesn’t double?

If the price stays at $10,000 per bitcoin, all of today’s active miners will suddenly be chasing only $9 million per day / $3.25 billion per year with the same real-world operational costs.

With a 50% revenue drop, many of the smaller, less efficient mining operations will be starved out and forced to shut down due to unprofitability, lowering the overall hash rate and increasing concentration.

Good news for Rockefellar 2.0 and his Standard Mining Company, as well as any would-be builder of a Weapon of Hash Production.

Not cheap to build

Back to organising an attack before we wrap this up.

Again, let’s ignore — for the sake of simplicity — any strategies involving more sophisticated game-theoretic exploits on the network, strategies of collusion between large mining organisations, strategies of seizing civilian operations (which is how you’d actually do it), strategies of sabotage, etc.

The most basic (and idiotically expensive) way to achieve hashing dominance is just to brute force it and build a standalone bank of chips from scratch that you can turn on and off at will — a literal Weapon of Hash Production.

The US military budget is $700 billion so let’s use 1% of it.

Can you build a weapon that will output $9 million per day of proof-of-work for $7 billion?

So again, the crucial thing to notice in this picture is that Bitcoin is not protected today by the scale of overall hashing output (currently an impressive-sounding 90 exahashes per second), but by the fact that there’s not enough of an incentive to mount an attack in the first place.

The reason the US or Chinese government (and/or a coalition of governments acting together) doesn’t organise a Weapon of Hash Production to censor the Bitcoin network is because they don’t give a shit.

Know your enemy.

What if they gave a shit?

If governments did have a reason to dominate and/or interfere with the global SHA256 hash supply chain (if they felt threatened, or if anything important was happening on Bitcoin), they could do so at today’s prices, even in the dumbest way possible.

In order to stop them — in order for Bitcoin, as a settlement method, to be safe for strategically/geopolitically significant transactions in a trust-minimised way — the total amount of proof-of-work expenditure would have to be a lot more than $9 million per day .

And all that hashing power would also have to remain safely distributed, not concentrated in the hands of a select few powerful players who could form a cartel or otherwise be corrupted.

And all these mining operations, which exist in the world of atoms, not bits, and whose supply chains involve heavily regulated industries like energy production, would also have to be resistant to the legal and physical might of the governments they’re undermining.

And whatever this gigantic defence budget amounts to, it will eventually have to be paid for entirely via transaction fees since the hard-capped money supply is sacrosanct.

How High?

With enemies like these, it’s difficult to put an upper limit on Bitcoin’s defence budget and how high spending actually has to remain in order to achieve its grand vision of being “an alternative to central banking”.

We have to ask: what level of payoff would such an enemy (or group of enemies) get from being able to censor their enemies on THE network for money? What level of payoff would they get from having the power to inflict double-spend-attack damage on their enemies at will as part of a war effort?

Notice: that’s damage — they’d also have the power to reverse transactions for the sake of the economic havoc and confusion it would cause their target(s).

Also notice: Reversing multiple transactions at once (attacking multiple targets simultaneously) is drastically more efficient than reversing just one transaction, as well as being more disguised.

E.g. An attacker (let’s call him Dr. Evil) makes 100 transactions, each $1 billion, to many different targets at the same time, planning to reverse all 100 of them. It’s a $100 billion attack, but each individual target calculates the finality of their transaction based on just $1 billion.

The answer to the above questions tells us what Bitcoin’s defence budget must be if the world is to operate on ‘The Bitcoin Standard’. That is: if the stability of many nations of people and their economies hinges on Bitcoin and its defences not being compromised.

It’s very hard to see the answer being a sensible number.

It would be strategically insane for nation states to be significantly exposed to an asset like Bitcoin, whose value can be completely wiped out by the occurrence of a single (first-mover) attack.

If a successful mining attack would collapse the value of bitcoin, thus disincentivising an attacker who is seeking to double-spend coins via this method, then by precisely the same mechanism, any nation significantly exposed to Bitcoin is vulnerable to an attacker who is seeking to do damage.

In other words, either the price would be resilient after the attack (therefore no disincentive) or some dizzying amount of value (ultimately citizens’ wealth) would be at risk of collapse for the price of just one exploit.

Whichever it is, it means Bitcoin is not suitable to be the global reserve currency and a foundation for trillions of $ of economic activity.

Chancellor permanently on the brink of bailout .
— The Times,

“Yes, almost all of the risk of financial ruin falls on society at large, and that may not be ‘fair’, but think of it this way: we’re getting paid.”
— Anonymous expert in predatory lending, 2007

Either it matters that the mining game be sustainable or it doesn’t. It needs to be as bulletproof and unassailable as the rest of the system.

Perhaps the only hope for a global Bitcoin-based future would be to get Bitcoin so deeply embedded into the entire world economy that we enter a theoretically stable game dynamic of Mutually Assured Destruction with runaway costs of proof-of-work mining on all sides, similar to building up nuclear arsenals.

Five Reasons Why Bitcoin Cash is About to Win Big

Cryptocurrency markets have started to rebound in value as the spring begins in 2020, but one particular cryptocurrency — bitcoin cash — has been on a relentless upswing as the network approaches another hard fork this May. This year traders and bitcoin cash (BCH) proponents believe the decentralized digital currency and the BCH network has a lot of innovation forthcoming which will propel its adoption to new heights.

Bitcoin Cash is Poised for a Massive Breakout

Over the past few weeks, bitcoin cash has become a highly sought-after digital currency within the cryptocurrency economy. There is a lot of demand for BCH during the past seven days as the currency’s markets have seen weekly gains of over 56 percent at the time of publication. Moreover, on the peer-to-peer trading platform Shapeshift, the most popular trade today by a landslide is bitcoin core (BTC) for BCH.

The Bitcoin Cash network has managed to accumulate a massive amount of infrastructure and support over the last nine months, and more so than any cryptocurrency launched to-date. Today we’re going to discuss the top five reasons why the decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin cash is headed for a massive breakout in adoption and valuation this year. Lots of individuals and organizations believe BCH is a serious contender in the world of cryptocurrencies, and the past nine months is just the beginning. This week, the Bitmain Technologies operated mining organization, Antpool, had similar words to say about the bitcoin cash ecosystem.

“The Bitcoin Cash blockchain is at the tipping point of becoming a widely used public blockchain,” explains the mining operation Antpool this past Friday.

Over the past seven days, bitcoin cash is up over 56 percent.

Infrastructure and Support

It’s been close to nine months since the August 1 hard fork, and since then the digital currency bitcoin cash has received a ton of infrastructure support from wallet providers and exchanges. No other cryptocurrency has received the support that BCH garnered so quickly in such a little time frame. For instance, BCH is supported by the major exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, Kraken, Bithumb, GDAX, Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, and more. Bitcoin cash also has a slew of well-known wallet providers supporting the chain such as Edge, Bread, Jaxx, Copay, Exodus, Ledger, Trezor, Stash, Mobi, and many more. Moreover, BCH has six full node implementations including Bitcoin ABC, Unlimited, XT, Parity, Flowee, and Bitprim. These teams alongside the blockchain firm Nchain are all contributing to the permissionless and open development environment tied to the BCH project.

Alongside those specific infrastructure providers, BCH merchant acceptance is massive compared to any other cryptocurrency out there besides BTC. Due to integrations with Bitpay’s payment processor services, thousands of merchants now accept bitcoin cash including well-known companies like Microsoft, Newegg, and more. Additionally the “ Accept Bitcoin Cash Initiative ” has an online compendium of merchants who accept BCH as well. Soon with initiatives like Openbazaar now utilizing BCH and Purse.io support on the way, bitcoin cash will cover nearly everything BTC does as far as infrastructure.

A Passionate Grassroots Community

Similarly to the bitcoin cash blockchain sharing the same history as the BTC chain, there are a large amount of BCH supporters that have been around since the early days when there was only one chain. Many BCH proponents supported BTC until the scaling debate showed Core developers would continue to be stubborn and unwilling to compromise. Lots of these former BTC supporters started forming an alternative community well before the August 1 hard fork. Many of them were banned from the Reddit forum /r/bitcoin for merely trying to discuss increasing the block size. Others realized earlier on that Bitcoin Core developers were stagnating the project and started working on separate software clients because the Core team created a development technocracy. The original Satoshi reference client was suddenly used in a genius ‘PR stunt’ and was gifted the name ‘Core’ when the client was never called that name in the early days. Suddenly there was a team of ‘Core’ developers advertised on a ‘Core’ website, even though ironically most of them dislike being referred to as ‘Core’ developers.

Because of the blatant reference client coup d’état after the August hard fork, a strong community had already formed with an uncensored forum and a community willing to discuss upgrades and protocol changes. Last November just a few months after the blockchain split, the BCH community performed a successful hard fork which fixed the network’s Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA). The fork led to a favorable outcome where the profitability between BCH and the BTC chain has remained perfectly consistent. Over the past nine months, the BCH community has rallied behind the project pushing adoption and resurrecting applications neutered by the Core development team’s high fees and unreliable transfer times. So far the BCH community has been relentlessly passionate, moving past the trolling and concentrating on making bitcoin cash a cryptocurrency that works. In addition to the strong adherence to principles, there are many other facets of the BCH community that show like-minded passion such as the Bitcoin Cash Fund a nonprofit initiative dedicated to spreading BCH adoption. Then there’s @eatBCH , the outpost that feeds low-income Venezuelan citizens with food paid for with donated bitcoin cash.

Low-Cost Transaction Fees

Let’s face it bitcoin cash network fees are cheaper than most blockchain networks, and with improved scaling the fees should always remain relatively low. For instance on April 20, 2020, the Bitcoin Core (BTC) median network fee was $0.20 cents per transaction. Even though people think that the BTC network fee is low, compared to the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) median network fee it is huge, as BCH fees are $0.0028 — that’s less than a third of a U.S. penny. Further, BCH network fees have remained consistent and should stay low as the protocol upgrades to a 32 MB block size leaving plenty of room for massive amounts of cheap transactions.

Memo is an on-chain social media platform that utilizes microtransactions.

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Moreover, BCH network users don’t need to rely on privacy-invasive techniques like ‘transaction batching.’ Bitcoin Core network fees are lower than a few months ago, but are still unreliable as fees were upwards of $40 per BTC transaction just a short time ago. Last year’s rising BTC fees have led to many companies being forced to drop the cryptocurrency as a payment network. Applications like tumblers, tipping applications, and any platform attempting to utilize microtransactions found BTC network fees and confirmation times completely unsustainable. Bitcoin cash fees, on the other hand, have created a large resurrection of all kinds of cool apps that let people swap small fractions of cryptocurrency over the web. Privacy enhancing tumblers are returning to the bitcoin environment, Bittorrent applications, Tip Bots, and social media platforms that incentive users for sharing content.

More Features

Besides all the applications being built by reviving microtransaction features in bitcoin, there are other attributes connected to the BCH network which sets it apart from its BTC sibling. After the network upgrades on May 15, users will be able to fit a vast amount of transactions within a block allowing even more on-chain activity so there are no quarrels about what kind of transactions are considered “spam.” Secondly, the upcoming network upgrade will reinstate and add new operating codes (OP Codes) and scripting abilities to the BCH chain which will enable tokenizing methods and the ability to code smart contracts within the BCH network. Additionally, the bitcoin cash community has invoked the spirit of zero-confirmation transactions as many infrastructure providers have opted to make instant transactions a reality using BCH. Meanwhile, bitcoin cash developers are planning to make instant transactions even more secure for the community as well.

The Closest Bitcoin to Satoshi’s Vision

Bitcoin cash developers and the community want the BCH network to adhere as closely as possible to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper. This means everyone involved will continue to bolster bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer-electronic cash system” as it was intended. BCH proponents intend to scale the BCH chain for the entire world so anyone can use the cryptocurrency. Fees will remain low so not just early adopters and the affluent can afford to use the network, but those who live in third world countries and individuals who need it most — the people BTC supporters forgot, the unbanked. After years of teaching people how to use bitcoin, BCH proponents are not going to attempt to push users towards a proprietary toll road, but rather onramp them towards reliable and cheap on-chain transactions. True ‘censorship resistance’ means allowing the whole world to use the platform, and even today’s $0.20 cents per BTC transaction fee is too costly for residents living in developing nations. A network fee of less than a penny is more suitable for promoting the remittance applications cryptocurrency enthusiasts once dreamed of just a few short years ago.

The Technocrats Have Lost Their Shirts

Those are just five clear and concise reasons why bitcoin cash is set to continue its tear throughout 2020 and will be one currency to keep an eye on. Finally, this fork has given bitcoin investors a say in how they want to see the cryptocurrency progress in the future, instead of the decision making of 30 some-odd technocratic developers in control of one reference client. The founder of the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute Daniel Krawisz says, “forks are good because they put the investors in control.”

Investors are given a choice and they choose which one they like better. One thing that I don’t like in bitcoin is when developers have a higher social status than investors. It should be the other way around, developers should be below investors.

Bitcoin cash is about to break out into a massively used cryptocurrency that is ready to be adopted by the masses. Further, the BCH chain is cemented in time as the longest running blockchain dating all the way back to the Genesis block in 2009, and it continues to maintain its strong SHA-256 proof-of-work algorithm. BCH proponents aim to make sure bitcoin cash is the most used network with no limit to its use cases and no censorship towards who can use it. As Satoshi Nakamoto once stated:

I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume .

What do you think about the five reasons why bitcoin cash will likely see a massive breakout this year? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.

5 Reasons Why Bitcoin Price is Crashing Right Now

Bitcoin price first dipped a toe under the $9,000 mark, then went on to erase profit positions gained since the dramatic rally at the end of October. The slide took BTC to $8,780.84 as of 15:25 GMT on Friday, with plenty of leeways to drop as the weekend hovered with lower volumes. Here are five reasons why this happened.

Bitcoin Whales Calling Quits

Crypto exchanges saw outflows in the past days, with no new serious tranches of either BTC or Tether (USDT). The recent dump, based on order books, seems to be a capitulation and a selling pressure, to realize partial profits from the recent bitcoin price rally. Previously, whale watching bots noted a series of large-scale transactions of coins to exchanges, lying in wait for potential selling.

#Bitcoin order books look out of balance now to the bearish side. Don’t forget, momentum can snap back quickly. pic.twitter.com/LKeNcssl34

Order books reveal a pattern of selling pressures coming in from large-scale BTC traders. At this point, the selling momentum may see its tide turned at any moment, but for the time being, Bitcoin price seems solidly pressured at least to the $8,800 level.

On-Chain Metrics Point to Sluggish BTC Usage

Bitcoin transactions became almost languid in the past week, as price stagnated. Low activity suggests that most coins lay dormant, and there was no possibility for explosive price action. On-chain Bitcoin transactions and their value can indicate preparation for serious trading volumes. This week’s on-chain BTC metrics indicate that the benchmark crypto wasn’t in a mood to galvanize.

Core #Bitcoin on-chain metrics are at monthly lows (adjusted transaction volume, exchange inflows, active addresses).

Healthier levels are required to set the stage for the next bull market.https://t.co/Otgo2bPILp pic.twitter.com/9Q9zkWCRxP

Bitcoin is one such cryptocurrency, which has a strong correlation between price and on-chain transactions, and the current metrics are not matching the expectations for a bull market. This, as with others, can be altered at any moment. But the buildup of slow coin movements ended in Friday’s sell-off.

Bakkt Action Picking Up

The Bakkt Bitcoin futures exchange saw a piling up of activity in the past day. Trading accelerated, with numbers approaching the 1,000 BTC record mark within 24 hours. This is still small compared to the overall crypto market volumes, but the Bakkt’s price discovery process has the potential to affect ongoing BTC sentiment.

∙ Today’s volume so far: 970 BTC ($8,419,600)
∙ Last traded price: $8,680
∙ Trading day progress: 34%
∙ Current daily Bakktarget™: 2027 BTC ($17,594,962)

Bitcoin Price Stepping into Dangerous Territory

Bitcoin prices moved into somewhat dangerous territory, charting a “death cross” of moving averages. This situation further returned traders to bearish attitudes.

Don’t know why nobody is talking about it, but #Bitcoin death-crossed on the daily, the last time it happened was around March 2020. After the death-cross we had a significant drop in price. After the golden cross in April 2020 a significant price jump. pic.twitter.com/ImUF6L5F1Z

At this point, too much-concerted effort would be needed to bring BTC out of that zone. In 2020, the effects of the “golden cross” and the “death cross” were highly visible.

Weak Hands Leaving the Market

The other factors affecting Bitcoin prices were more indirect. Mining has slowed down, causing the first fall in difficulty since the summer price rally. Chinese traders are still highly active with BTC trades, but there are also signs for looking at altcoins for higher returns.

The recent downward movement of stock indexes on the US markets may have added to some of the panic-selling. Bitcoin exchanges still see enough retail interest to have “weak hands” on the markets, selling in panic as the recent rally unraveled faster than expected. The bullish promise of Bitcoin price reaching $16,000 “soonish” may have caused an unpleasant surprise as the prices crashed so easily under $9,000.

Obvious retest after a 40% pump. Waiting for a retest of 8400. $BTC needs to cool down. Let’s remove all weak hands before the pump. #crypto #cryptotrading pic.twitter.com/M0JavAaM7N

Bitcoin price is set on a multitude of exchanges, in contrast with earlier periods when a handful of markets took the bulk of volumes. Currently, USDT still drives BTC, but through a wider distribution on a series of innovative crypto-to-crypto exchanges. Bitcoin remains highly risky and unpredictable, and the current slump is no guarantee for continued downward action.

What do you think about Friday’s BTC slump? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Images via Shutterstock, Twitter: @gaborgurbacs, @glassnode, @BakktBot, @BitcoinCatz, @CryptoKong4

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