For world adoption, BCH needs to solve two main issues
In order for Bitcoin Cash to see better adoption, I suspect two main issues should be solved or at least addressed.
The economic principles
A few months ago, there was a Medium post that tried very hard (and failed rather embarrassingly) at economics, sketching the big vs. small block debate in the light of Austrian vs. Keynesian economics. The answer, by Chris Pacia here, hopefully replaces the debate at its place, showing along the way that economics is definitely not the forte of the Medium post author.
However, this is a problem : trying to steer an economic beast like Bitcoin without grasping enough economics is akin to driving a F1 car full speed with only a few hours of lessons behind a wheel. It might end up with very bad decisions (such as antagonizing Bitcoin miners, for instance).
This example illustrates that to some extent, Bitcoin Cash leaders and prominent figures should take the time to explain economics, again and again, in the most simple and straightforward way, for everybody to understand ; there is a boatload of developers, enthusiast or fans that do not get the underlying principles of bitcoin economics. Although very savvy techies, they frequently fail to see or address the economic issue that wreck their reasoning.
In fact, Bitcoin and now Bitcoin Cash are, first and foremost, an economic success because of their well crafted incentives and use of game theory ; the implementation, the use of cryptography and peer-to-peer technologies are means to an end ("internet cash" to put it shortly), but are only that (by analogy, internal combustion engine is a great technology but only a mean to achieve transportation, its first goal, in an economically realistic fashion).
In that sense, having people trying to push some complex solutions either too soon or to non-existent problems (even if it means creating the problem in the first place) is a painful diversion of community energy spent by developers, miners, merchants and so on.
Take Proof Of Stake for instance : although not really sound economically speaking, and posing rather complex problems of implementation to avoid falling into undesired configurations, unstable systems or "strange attractors", it is regularly touted as some kind of viable alternative to Proof Of Work (PoW), showing that the sound economic principles on which Bitcoin and later Bitcoin Cash have been built on have not been studied or understood enough.
The saddening narrative behind the "store of value" concept is yet another example of economic misconception to camouflage a severely declining usage : nowhere in history of mankind did this "store of value" concept came prior to usage. The lack of understanding of the dynamics (below a certain level of usage, no store of value can ever appear or persist) leads some people to disseminate absurdities that fit nicely within their opinions but are not backed by facts (and by the way, an irrational market can always last longer than you are solvent, as the saying goes).
In the same vein, trying to "solve 0-conf problem" is showing a lack of understanding in economics. The technological side of this problem is well understood, and many solutions can and will be put in place to lower further the remaining risks that could exist using these unconfirmed transactions. However, the risk taken by the merchant in accepting unconfirmed transaction yet visible by all the network, is a small known quantity that, compared to other solutions, is already economically viable.
Again, it is not a technical issue but an economic one : as soon as the solution provided is economically better than the ones already available on the market (Visa, Paypal, etc.) then it's a clear win for the users (merchants and consumer alike).
The marketing elephant in the room
But by far, the most salient problem in making Bitcoin Cash adoption rate soar is marketing.
Bitcoin and then Bitcoin Cash are geek stuff : by using complex technologies, cryptography, game theory and peer-to-peer techniques, it solves complex issues not readily visible by everybody. In short, at the beginning Bitcoin was made by geeks, engineered and sold by geeks to mostly other geeks; however, the adoption cannot come from geeks that represent a few tiny % of the population. The geek community, although very efficient at producing content and technological solutions to problems, has huge difficulty to make Bitcoin concepts easy, user oriented, and all interfaces user friendly.
In fact, most people do not know about the Byzantine Generals problem and don't care; most people do not see exactly the added value of this new "electronic cash on internet" since, from their standpoint, buying and selling stuff on the internet already exists and is already solved well enough by the current mechanisms, be it Paypal, credit cards or any other system.
In that sense, stressing Bitcoin Cash is "internet cash" does not value the main advantages to the general population, the fact that you can be part of the community without asking any permission, that anybody can join (no IDs, no licenses, nothing asked), and that it can be done in less than 5 minutes, even without a smartphone.
The absence of trusted third party is also crucial, yet complex to explain.
If effort should be put to market Bitcoin Cash, to sell the concept to the general public, it should not be put to explain how it works, but what are the true advantages for the end user, or for the merchant using it. As Alex Agut (one of the co-founders of HandCash) explained in a recent Yours post, "If you have to educate the user, you've already failed."
On the other side, since end-users and merchants are the real target for the Bitcoin Cash marketing, ease of use must be paramount; some wallets are still a bit complex, still involving some prior knowledge. For instance :
- Having to detail how 0-conf works is prohibitively expensive in any enrollment process, yet, somehow, still needs to be done to explain why the funds received just 5 seconds before cannot yet be spent, unless some strange option is checked somewhere.
- Although backing up a wallet is capital, this process should be made as simple, as automatic and as straightforward as possible. There have been great progress in the matter in the last years, yet it still needs some explaining to do for the newbie. Again, some polishing is in order.
Aside of that, Bitcoin Cash has some great current capabilities in dire need of better advertisement :
- for consumers, it is a real improvement to know that they have access to their funds 24/7, everywhere in the world, that they can transfer and receive without anyone's permission or paperwork, without any limit in amount or delay, in the middle of the night, during week-ends and holidays all the same, for (almost) no charge. This will speak both for people who have been regularly annoyed by banking hours, financial regulations and so on, or to those who, simply put, are paying a huge price to be banked (when they can).
- for merchants and exchanges, it should be put forward that Bitcoin Cash infrastructure can have a transaction throughput equivalent to Paypal, on a very fast, reliable and available network, with very low fees, with almost no investment to boot.
- generally, having no trusted third party is a great advantage as it gives insurance that the system is not dependent on fraudulent banking system and corruptible governments to function, and thus inflation (and even hyperinflation) proof (picture Venezuela, here). But again, for layman, this comes on top of the rest and is a complex idea to process.
In my opinion, Bitcoin Cash community should focus its marketing on :
1) firsthand experience : people do not bother how it works if it works plainly for them to see. Give them some. Let them earn some easily. There are already some faucets, but again, the idea is to multiply the incentive for people to try it directly. It also means setting up as many sites as possible such as Yours and the moneybutton to allow people to earn BCH through usage, content and value creation. By the way, this is probably the easiest way to reduce the leverage and impact that the trading-exchanges sites have so far on cryptocurrencies.
2) what you can do with BCH that you can't with regular means of payment : since it's all electronic, there is no hassle with petty change anymore. Each cent can be spent. BCH simplicity also means tipping at your fingertip. Whether you are the tipper or the tipee, this is both a great firsthand experience and something that can be shown to be simpler than "in real life" ; all the new form of transactions allowed by micro-payment such as pay as you go (exactly when the consumption happens, instead of before or after, and by an exact amount, not too much or too little) - for instance, imagine a world where Netflix subscription would be capped at their current monthly rate, but would go down depending on your actual usage : if you're on holiday for two weeks, the monthly subscription would probably be cut in half, and so on, and so forth...
It could go further with some marketing operations and some ways to extend adoption :
- cashback for new comers : in this adoption phase, some merchants could, on a voluntary basis, give back some of the BCH they get, typically the amount they would have paid to credit card networks. The customer would better appreciate the amounts these intermediaries and "trusted" third parties get.
- tipping into social networks ; tippr on Reddit and Twitter is doing more to convince people than any discourse, video or debate; achieving the same result on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest (i.e. finding ways to use BCH into these platforms) would be a breakthrough that would give it a huge edge against all crypto-competitors.
The 10% paradigm
In any case, the community needs to reach more than 10% of the target population to bootstrap the global adoption. More or less, this is 700 millions people if the whole world is considered. Yes, this is quite a long road ahead, and it will need any idea, any proposal, any marketing skills.
4 of 4 reviewers say it's worth paying for
0 of 4 reviewers say it's not worth paying for