Something new and groundbreaking molds and changes the rules of the space it appears in, that's what Bitcoin did. However, these changes aren't always perfect and can often be improved. This brings us to today's crypto in focus, eCash, which is the result of changes being made to improve upon the basic functions of Bitcoin.
The story of eCash actually starts with two other coins, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. One of the lead developers Amaury Séchet who worked on Bitcoin Cash, a hard fork of Bitcoin that aimed to improve the scalability of the first crypto, was unhappy in which the direction Bitcoin Cash was heading. A new website appeared in 2019, www.bitcoinabc.org where there was a request for funding for a new project. That project was Bitcoin Cash ABC that launched later in November 2020 with Amaury at the head of development.
This fork was an ambitious change to Bitcoin Cash that aimed to increase the speed of the network and become an easier chain for the general public to adopt. The chain had another big change in July of 2021 when it rebranded from Bitcoin Cash ABC to eCash, a bit easier to say. The blockchain is very new and is making continuous effort to set it apart from its Bitcoin fork siblings, such as moving to Proof-of-Stake and changing the network to have Bitcoin's Satoshis as standard value, removing the decimals from the crypto.
The launch of the chain was controversial and garnered ill will from many in the Bitcoin space. At launch there was a miner that had been mining empty blocks for weeks, denying service of users for the new blockchain. A second attack also took place where a group of people overtook the network through a 51% attack where they rewrote the base rule so that the 8% tax on any block creation would be 100% instead, making mining worthless for miners. This was an expensive attack but the group stated that the fork from Bitcoin Cash cost them more than this attack did.
The network works on a proof-of-work consensus, same as its predecessors, there is changes being made so that it can move over to its own Proof-oF-Stake called Avalanche (not to be confused with AVAX). This update would also further expand its smart contract features. It does support smart contracts but very basic ones, the Avalanche enhancement would bring it closer to being on par with Ethereum. Currently it functions very similar to the blockchain it was hard forked from where there is a higher capacity on each block which means that it can handle more transactions at the same time. Every block created gives some eCash as rewards to the miners with the speed of rewards being cut in half every 4 years.
The biggest change comes with the IFP (Internal Funding protocol) where 8% of all block rewards are given to developers for funding, this is also the reason behind the split. To make the chain easier to adopt the name change to eCash also included a coin swap where 1 Bitcoin Cash ABC could be swapped for 1 million eCash. This makes it easier to read amounts as you get rewarded for with 100 eCash instead of 0,0001 Bitcoin.
The main use for the blockchain is for quick and easy payments. It does support smart contracts, but they are very basic in comparison to Ethereum's solidity Dapps. There's plans to allow for smart contracts in the future but the main focus remains on being an easy payment system. Miners can be rewarded for running nodes and it's easier to get rewarded as there is less hashing power for the network in comparison to Bitcoin, this also makes it easier to attack however.
The start of this blockchain wasn't an easy one. The change to force funding to the dev team wasn't met well, there was two attacks on the blockchain that can be directly related to the hard fork. The supporters of BCH stayed with BCH as the forced hard fork took place, which wasn't made with a new genesis block which meant that the funds from the old chain got moved to eCash (Bitcoin Cash ABC). There are extensive changes in the works which is causing the blockchain to be moving towards a more newer and advanced chain instead of simply being a Bitcoin fork. It has a lot to prove and make up for and if the team can pull it off remains to be seen.
- Cheap and fast transactions
- Great features in the pipeline
- Hard fork controversy and rigid launch
- Limited smart contract support