Could Yours Adopt Bitcoin Cash?
What is Yours?
Yours is like Medium with a pay wall. It's a social blogging platform where anybody can write an article with embedded images, video, and audio, with a twist: you can place a pay wall inside your article at a location and price of your choice. You can post content for free, or accept donations, or charge to view the full version (with an optional free preview).
We believe Yours is the killer app for cryptocurrency and will help make cryptocurrency mainstream. Learn more about Yours in this recent presentation.
In order to make Yours possible, we spent over a year developing a micropayments layer on Bitcoin based on payment channels, similar to the Lightning Network. But when Bitcoin fees got so high that even just onboarding users became prohibitively expensive, we switched to Litecoin. Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin but with slightly better scaling and a different genesis block. We have since launched our alpha and anybody is free to use it while we gear up to launch our beta, which has an emphasis on greater payments reliability.
Meanwhile, we have closely monitored the launch of Bitcoin Cash and the ongoing block size drama in Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is the same as Bitcoin but without the 1MB block size limit, and therefore much greater transaction capacity. It is a compelling option for us because it has low fees, a larger community than Litecoin, and a great long-term scaling plan: bigger blocks.
Some people have suggested either switching to Bitcoin Cash or adopting it alongside Litecoin. For technical and product reasons, it is much better to use a single currency. That is why we were originally on Bitcoin - it had the biggest community and therefore the greatest utility. It makes sense for our users to simply use the biggest one without having to worry about managing multiple different currencies.
As such, we are considering switching to Bitcoin Cash.
Could Yours Switch?
If Bitcoin Cash achieves greater community support than Bitcoin or Litecoin, we would definitely switch. But this is a time of great uncertainty in Bitcoin and it is unclear whether that will happen. Here are the top issues we are monitoring as we prepare our beta:
- Mining Support: It is important that Bitcoin Cash has mining support that continues past the August 15th deadline set by Via BTC. We need to make sure the chain doesn't ground to a halt.
- Mining Decentralization: Currently, Via BTC is the primary miner behind Bitcoin Cash. We would like to see a diversity of miners support Bitcoin Cash so that the chain is not subject to centralization concerns.
- Security: Since Bitcoin Cash has the same proof-of-work function as Bitcoin, the chain is subject to fluctuations in mining support due to changing profitability and the possibility of mining attacks from the miners on the other chain. We need to see sufficient security to support our use-case, which would ideally occur by improved mining power.
- Cashing In: We were able to switch to Litecoin because our users can buy it with a credit card via Coinbase and other services. We need to see credit card onboarding for Bitcoin Cash - either in production, or commitments from businesses to support that.
- Cashing Out: Can users easily cash out to fiat currency? Fortunately, this already works as well for our users as Litecoin and Bitcoin by selling the currency on an exchange. Even better would be to see offboarding widgets to make it as easy as possible.
- Spending: Even better than cashing out is spending Bitcoin Cash to purchase things directly. If services like BitPay support Bitcoin Cash, that would be a fantastic offboarding option for our users. Fortunately we have seen some good signs in this direction, like support from Living Room of Satoshi to pay bills in Australia with Bitcoin Cash.
- Long-Term Scaling Roadmap: Although the thesis behind Bitcoin Cash is to continuously raise the block size as needed, we would like to see a more thorough roadmap with broad support from the Bitcoin Cash community. The worst thing would be for Bitcoin Cash to undergo the same block size stalemate that Bitcoin is currently facing.
- Multiple Implementations: We would like to avoid the developer centralization of Bitcoin to defer the possibility of continued inability to iterate the protocol, so seeing multiple implementations of Bitcoin Cash that are used in the wild is very important. Fortunately, this is already the case with support from Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic.
- Standards Body: The best way to prevent protocol stalemates is with a formal governance structure to direct protocol standards like IEEE or W3. This standards body would have representatives from miners, businesses, and users and would have mechanisms to make decisions even in the face of controversial issues. This ensures protocol changes (or non-changes) have a clear process to resolve disputes. This would most likely involve clear standards for hard forks (and splits) in the presence of widespread disagreement.
- Uncensored Communication: It would be great to have an uncensored communications platform for discussing issues in the Bitcoin Cash community. Maybe this could be Yours :)
- Happiness and Optimism: One of the biggest problems with Bitcoin is that the communications have devolved into vitriol and trolling. We would love to see happiness and optimism instead of negativity. Fortunately, we see this in abundance already in the Bitcoin Cash community :)
Bitcoin Cash is a compelling option for Yours because it has a large community and most likely solves the scaling issue long-term by having a commitment to increasing the block size. However, we are in the midst of great uncertainty in the Bitcoin world and it is unclear whether the Bitcoin Cash community will mature rapidly enough for our needs. We are monitoring Bitcoin Cash closely and will revisit these issues periodically as we gear up to launch our beta.
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