Feb 14, 2024

eCash Was Always Unique in Its Value Proposition – Interview With the eCash Team
eCash Was Always Unique in Its Value Proposition – Interview With the eCash Team
eCash Was Always Unique in Its Value Proposition – Interview With the eCash Team

Originally published on letsexchange.io
eCash Was Always Unique in Its Value Proposition – Interview With the eCash Team

eCash is a unique project that combines the best of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with a novel Avalanche consensus layer. This allows eCash to offer faster, more flexible, and more secure transactions than ever before.

In an exclusive interview with LetsExchange, the eCash team outlines upcoming upgrades in their roadmap, including Avalanche pre-consensus, Chronik integrated indexer, Aliases feature, and staking rewards. They believe these enhancements will contribute to eCash's scalability, efficiency, and user experience, making it an attractive option for developers and businesses. They also share their views on the challenges and opportunities of crypto regulation, KYC, and AML.

LetsExchange: As of today, there are over 10,000 coins listed on CMC. While XEC remains in the top 100 assets, many new cryptocurrencies have shown active growth recently. How does the eCash team envision its place in this overcrowded crypto landscape?

eCash team: In general, many token projects exist, but most of them do not innovate or maintain their own infrastructure. Many of which do not have their own blockchain and are created on top of other smart chains. If we reduce the number of projects to actual blockchains, we already find ourselves with far less. And if we further compare these networks, only a few of them focus on being scalable p2p cash systems which remain fully censorship resistant and with no corporate backing and even less retain a proof-of-work consensus. From those that are left, we make the case that eCash is a superior, more robust, and innovative technology.

Especially from a technological standpoint eCash was always unique in its value proposition. It is a highly scalable blockchain, with a clearly laid out roadmap to achieve mass scale (5 million tps capacity), all while remaining a layer-1 proof-of-work blockchain. Scaling the base layer has been our mission since 2017, while many other projects went along with the common notion that proof-of-work blockchains can’t scale, trying to scale through second layers or being highly reliant on custodians. In that regard, we are already differentiating ourselves from most of the space, and you can say we have a head start in Layer1 scaling if you will.

eCash is also among the most innovative networks, as you can see by our dual consensus integration (Nakamoto + Avalanche). Another thing that makes it unique among altcoins is that it is a continuing Bitcoin-fork with its transaction history going all the way back to the 2009 Genesis transaction, making it a relatively well-distributed coin.

Strong arguments for eCash are that it remains trustless while it is scalable and among the fastest in terms of transaction settlement. Its miner funding policy ensures resources for development and maintenance of infrastructure without relying on corporate funding. This is an issue many projects don’t even have on their radar, leaving them often with no incentives to create or maintain infrastructure and ecosystems or to innovate.

And of course, it is simple to use with guaranteed low fees in the entire space, which is what our project has been known for since 2017.

It may be hard to see at the first glance, but from a tokenomics, technology, and security standpoint, we are sure that developers and businesses working with our network will quickly see that the eCash development team has built a network with a certain quality to it.

Low fees, reliable, and instant transactions will also be practical benefits every user will recognize as such. We are also the only Bitcoin implementation that offers staking rewards based on our Avalanche integration.

LetsExchange: What does the future roadmap look like for eCash? Are there any exciting developments or milestones that users can look forward to? What new features are you planning to implement?

eCash team: The eCash roadmap stands since 2017. It is a technical roadmap and a guiding document for the entire project, focusing on making the network the most secure, most scalable, and agile network there is. You can see the entire list of items on https://e.cash/roadmap where you can see which are in planning, in development, or already live.

As for upcoming upgrades, we have quite a few in the pipeline:

  • Avalanche Pre-Consensus

Our Avalanche integration is certainly the biggest upgrade. Development has just prioritized working on the next milestone, Pre-Consensus. This is a fundamental item on the roadmap and a great technological achievement that will enable transaction finality within 2 seconds and make the network more agile in many ways. Please note that this implementation is not connected to the AVAX blockchain, which simply uses a similar implementation of the Avalanche protocol. Rather, we combined both technologies that BTC and AVAX are using, integrating them from scratch into eCash.

  • Chronik Integrated Indexer

The Chronik project integrates an indexer directly into the node software. Creating a reliable indexer is something that has been proposed for Bitcoin several times, but was never able to come to fruition. Integrating the indexer into the node will result in simpler logic and reduce its workload for an overall more efficient service. Chronik also empowers developers and services building on top of eCash. Rather than having to manage two programs, they can just run their Bitcoin ABC node and activate the indexing functions they want.

  • Aliases

The Cashtab.com app development team is doing the beta testing on the upcoming Aliases feature, which allows users to bind userhandles to their eCash addresses. This upgrade will roll out in two phases. In phase one, you can buy your ‘userhandle.xec’. And in phase two, you will be able to buy and sell these aliases in the form of eTokens, very similar to Ethereum’s namespaces.

  • Staking Rewards

We also implemented staking rewards last December. Stake proofs are part of the Avalanche protocol’s Sybil resistance mechanism, which leads eCash to be the only Bitcoin implementation to offer staking rewards. If you run a well-connected Bitcoin ABC node along with a valid stake proof, you will receive about 14% APY as of yet, while keeping full control over your coins. The APY is subject to change based on how much XEC is staked. The minimal staking amount is 100 million XEC, which is quite low compared to other staking networks. You can learn more about it on avalanche.cash and our staking guide.

LetsExchange: eCash has introduced an Avalanche consensus mechanism. How does the Avalanche consensus layer work, why did you choose it over other solutions, and how does it improve the security and scalability of the eCash network?

eCash team: The Avalanche protocol is a breakthrough consensus protocol that achieves decentralized consensus efficiently and quickly in a trustless manner. Using Avalanche consensus alone comes with a downturn, namely the inability for new nodes to bootstrap and sync to the network in a trustless way. This is where eCash leverages its already existing proof-of-work consensus to retain the ability for nodes to join the network trustlessly. eCash is the only blockchain that has integrated Avalanche consensus in this complementary combination, leveraging the benefits of both Nakamoto and Avalanche consensus and negating their weaknesses.

In addition to rapid consensus, Avalanche also offers advantages like streamlining future upgrades without requiring hard forks and, most excitingly, the ability to extend the network through subnets. For example, eCash plans to integrate an EVM subnet for interoperability with other smart chains. Avalanche also introduces staking, providing unique benefits compared to all other Bitcoin implementations.

Integrating this revolutionary protocol was a logical choice due to its speed, security, and agility, aligning with our goal of achieving secure, instant, and feasible transactions on an extensible network at mankind scale.

LetsExchange: How do you measure the success and adoption of eCash? What strategies do you employ to broaden your user base? What are the key metrics and indicators that you use?

eCash team: At eCash, we are focused on technology development for the long term. Currently, eCash is mainly used for speculation, with a few research projects and a regional payment service in Saipan. While the network is live and has high capacity, we are still in early development stages. Our priority is to improve the technology to be reliable, fast, and feasible for all users. We have seen that the success of other networks like BTC and ETH was limited by their low capacity.

We also understand that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Merchant adoption and ambassadors will be a priority in later stages. That being said, we already have a passionate community, especially in the global south, which benefits from our p2p cash network. In Nigeria, merchants have already adopted eCash and are promoting it on their own initiative. Our social metrics include activity and engagement in chat groups and social media, self-initiated projects, staking nodes, staked XEC, and, of course, the exchange rate of our coin.

LetsExchange: Cryptocurrencies are often targeted for fraudulent activities. In light of recent security breaches in the crypto space, what measures has eCash implemented to ensure the safety and integrity of its network?

eCash team: The eCash network is fundamentally a Bitcoin network. Its Nakamoto protocol is powerful in its simplicity, which is why you do not see the usual breaches on Bitcoin or eCash.

On top of that, the Avalanche integration actually makes eCash’s security model the most complete one of all other Bitcoin networks. So, while our network and node count is still small, we are already multiple times more secure than BTC and protected against 51% attacks. The eCash team is also known for its sophisticated devops, never missing their deadline on bi-weekly incremental updates and bi-yearly hard-fork upgrades. The relatively small developer team is churning out quality code and is ranked somewhere within the top 10 development teams in terms of commits on GitHub. This activity gives you a good overview to compare the overall health of a coin on a technological basis or the quality of the code. You would be surprised to see how little development or innovation actually exists on some projects despite them being well-established.

Security breaches, “pausing” of networks, missing records, and hacks are symptoms of smart chains, corporate-controlled chains, and generally more complex technologies. One key aspect of eCash is that it retains its simplicity and robustness. Usually, this comes with a less agile blockchain, but our engineers cleverly worked around this with our hybrid Nakamoto and Avalanche consensus. As you can see, everything comes back to this technological achievement that lets things just fall into place neatly. The Avalanche integration is also completely optional, which was an engineering decision driven by similar security risk mitigation concerns.

LetsExchange: Given the European Union's introduction of the MiCA framework, how is eCash preparing to align with these regulations? What impact do you foresee MiCA having on eCash and the broader crypto market?

eCash team: Our base protocol and infrastructure are completely trustless, and the ecosystem is generally built with regulations in mind. This does not mean that we go out of our way to comply, but rather that our network is built in a way to makes it exempt from compliance laws.

In general, as a Bitcoin-Fork, all rulings that are made for BTC will at least in all likelihood be applicable to the eCash network as well. We are not a corporate-funded token, we did not have an ICO, and everything we implement is decentralized, permissionless, and non-custodial at its core, including our staking rewards feature.

Having read through the MiCA laws, nothing changes for us significantly, as these regulations are explicitly aimed only at custodial service providers and issuers of security tokens, which does not apply to us or the eCash network.

LetsExchange: KYC and AML are pivotal in legitimizing cryptocurrency operations. Can you discuss eCash's approach to implementing these procedures while balancing user privacy and regulatory compliance?

eCash team: KYC and AML are part of regulations for custodians and financial services. There will be no KYC at the protocol level for either users or node operators, as eCash is a fully permissionless and trustless network. Nodes can connect to the network in a peer-to-peer fashion, and users can do too. Since all participants are self-custodying their keys, there is no need for any of these procedures.

It is a strategic decision to have eventual privacy features remain optional and not built on the protocol level, which right now is becoming a problem for other privacy coins to stay listed on exchanges.

For example, we have a Cashfusion coin-mixing protocol, which is a coinjoin implementation, but it is fully non-custodial for the specific reason of not breaking with compliance. The trustless nature of the infrastructure and ecosystem that we build makes them generally exempt from regulatory laws.

This allows exchanges to list eCash without the fear of compliance issues, as the base layer is a transparent ledger, just like Bitcoin.

LetsExchange: A question to the Bitcoin ABC Team. How has your experience as the creators of Bitcoin Cash influenced the development strategies and vision for eCash? What key lessons from the development and growth of BCH are being applied to enhance eCash's trajectory?

eCash team: Our experience with Bitcoin Cash imparted several valuable lessons on what’s needed to make a cryptocurrency successful and some pitfalls to avoid.

The problem that led to the formation of eCash was the lack of sustainable development funding within the Bitcoin Cash community. Over the years, several proposals were made, but this never led to a sensible and sustainable solution to the developer funding problem. Lavish sums were spent on some areas within the ecosystem while core infrastructure languished. Bitcoin ABC had to spend considerable time and energy seeking resources, which distracted from the core function of producing software.

Another related issue is the need to maintain focus on the core mission, in this case, creating peer-to-peer electronic cash. In BCH, money and attention flowed around to various hot topics (like smart contract, tokens, etc.), while progress on the core roadmap was slow. This continues to this day, as BCH, which is still quite good and functional as electronic cash, hasn’t really made any advances on that front since Bitcoin ABC shifted to work on eCash. Meanwhile, the eCash roadmap continues to progress towards instant transactions with Avalanche pre-consensus, the addition of an indexer into the node, and various other improvements.

Overall, eCash is now in a very good position, with continuous and sustainable progress towards the key mission of creating a freedom-promoting electronic cash system that can provide an alternative to Central Bank Digital Currencies.

LetsExchange: In your opinion, did Bitcoin developers anticipate such a future with institutional investments in cryptocurrencies, thousands of projects solely focused on “Number Go Up”, ETFs, and more?

eCash team: While it’s impossible to know for sure the motivations of the Bitcoin developers, it does seem like a shift occurred starting around 2015 when Bitcoin blocks started to become full, and fees became high. Prior to this, Bitcoin had been promoted as a good way to make payments online, and a flurry of companies such as NewEgg, Steam, and Microsoft, plus many smaller companies such as VPNs and Internet service providers, began accepting Bitcoin payments.

However, once blocks became full, the payment experience became slow, expensive and unreliable. The “small block” movement took hold in Bitcoin, and it became clear that the block size wouldn’t be increased. This meant that the narrative around using Bitcoin for payments didn’t make sense anymore. As a result, it became popular to promote Bitcoin as “Digital Gold”. As this narrative took hold, it became commonplace to view Bitcoin as more of a reserve asset rather than a payment medium. In this context, it’s not surprising that the focus shifted to using Bitcoin as an asset backing various financial products and as an investment vehicle.

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