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Cash Tokens, Building in BCH Ecosystem - Conversation with John Nieri, General Protocols - Full TEXT


This is the transcription of the recent conversation with John Nieri, General Protocols director about Bitcoin Cash, Cash Tokens, and Bitcoin Cash Ecosystem.

Video you can watch here:

 

Andrii: Hello, everyone. It's been a while since I was making interviews. Now I'm in the south, far away from the capital of Ukraine. And today I'm happy to speak with John Nieri, @ emergent_ reasons, president of General Protocols company. This is one of the, I would say major companies, which is building products and projects in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. I personally like Bitcoin Cash very much, and I use it actually very often because sites like Noise.cash, Read.cash, crypto blogs, they use Bitcoin Cash for payments. And that's very good and very fast. Thank you for finding time. And my first question is: Tell me a little bit how you became interested in cryptocurrencies in general, in Bitcoin, and what brought you in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem? Because there are so many blockchains, so many cryptocurrencies these days. Why you choose bitcoin cash?

John Nieri (@emergent_ reasons): Yeah, okay, good questions. And it's good to talk with you again, Andrii. I'm sorry I have been unavailable for a long time. But thanks for inviting me to join you. So my entrance to Bitcoin, I won't tell a long story. It was just the first time I heard of it I thought it was nonsense, it was probably a scam, basically. That was back in 2012 or something like that. But then when I actually read the white paper, I said: “Oh, okay, so this is actually a solved problem now, and this is not a scam at all. It actually works”. The cryptography makes sense, and this is something that actually works. And at first I approached it as just investment because I was very young during the Dot com boom around 1990s and 2000. And of course I wasn't able to take advantage of that from a financial perspective. I had no money at the time. I also knew that it was huge. It was something that was huge and important and going to become more and more important over time. And of course, it was. And so when I saw, Oh, this Bitcoin thing is real. It's going to become big and more and more important over time. This time I actually approached it as an investment and said: “Okay, this is something that's worth it. That's worth taking a big risk on.” So that was my beginning. But then later I realized it's actually something that has a chance to have a big impact on the world and actually help a lot of people and be useful. And there's still a lot to be done, it's still in the very early days. So I thought, okay, well, we should do more and not just passively sit on the outside and watch it happen. Because the second part of your question about why I'm interested in Bitcoin Cash. Of course, when I started, it was just Bitcoin, and I was only interested in Bitcoin because that's all there was. There was no other crypto, it was just Bitcoin. And I thought that was good enough. But then I saw that it's possible for these projects to become derailed and become not useful anymore for the original purpose of creating an independent money system. Because that's the part that I think is very interesting. Independent money system that's independent of the fiat standard and the fiat system that exists today. So when I saw that it's possible for these projects to be derailed, then I became interested in getting directly involved in actually participating and making sure that it's successful to the best of my ability. So that I can maybe have a little participation in a slice of history. 

Andrii: Yeah, that's great. And please tell about General Protocols company, how you started it. 

Actually, I discovered it, I remember there was a Bitcoin Cash conference, I watched it online. You had a great speech there. And actually, I will link to it and I recommend everyone to maybe visit such events in the future. Well, for me, it's like very far away, but maybe even I'll visit someday in the future. It was the autumn of 2022. And also great that you use not only blogs like Medium, you are active on Read Cash and I'm also publishing my blogs. So how you started the company and how easy, how hard it is to start a company in the cryptocurrency industry. 

John: It's very hard to start an honest company in the crypto industry. So the way we started it was. I'm sure you are aware, but for your audience, I'm not sure how aware they are, but Bitcoin Cash as a chain is all about using the coin. Obviously, it's about price in the sense that price is a signal of how valuable this chain is. But the 99% of price action and signals in the market right now for crypto are about hype and very short term pump and dump. That kind of pattern. So it's not utility based yet. There's not a lot of fundamentals in it at all yet. Regardless of what people might say. But Bitcoin Cash has always been, since the beginning, about people using it. Even before Bitcoin Cash existed, back when all of the Bitcoin Cash people were still on Bitcoin, before there was a split, when there was only bitcoin, it was all the people who are about using it, having it in stores, using it online, paying for things, paying your bills, receiving your salary, paying your employees, all of those things, right? Making a savings account, all of that stuff. It's about using it. So in that frame, General Protocols, we started in about 2018, 2019, depending on how you measure it. And we decided, okay, so it's all about utility, it's all about using it. Then let's make a company that makes products. Right? There was the Internet. But you didn't buy the Internet. You bought shares in Amazon, because Amazon provided products and a service that used the Internet in a good way, in a smart way, that made it valuable to people. So similarly, General Protocols was started as a way to create products that actually use Bitcoin Cash and help people and become useful to people. Because in that way, the independent money network will gain users and usage. If people aren't actually using it, there's absolutely zero chance that a money network will be able to compete with fiat, with the existing legacy financial system. It doesn't make any sense at all. So General Protocols was started to make products. That's the short answer, yeah. 

Andrii: Yeah, that's very important to use. And I remember saying well, that's not exact saying, but there was like an idea that the enemies of Bitcoin want Bitcoin to be very slow and expensive. But the real bitcoin could be fast and Bitcoin Cash is fast and the price is not so important if you use it for transaction, not as a storage of value, but for transaction. And that's actually one of the major roles of the money. 

John: To some degree that's true, but it's like the US dollar. The US dollar became very cheap as it gained dominance across the world historically. I'm not talking about today, I'm talking about when the gold standard was there and it was starting to replace and so forth. In that process, it actually became very cheap because it was just given away to everybody, spread all over the world. Very intelligently in hindsight. Right? So that it was the one that was used the standard everywhere. So although the price was technically weak, it was extremely powerful because it was so ingrained as the unit of account everywhere. So in that degree, yes, maybe Bitcoin Cash price doesn't matter so much, but at the same time, if you're actually doing large commerce and global commerce on Bitcoin Cash, the value necessarily must be much higher in order to cover all of that activity. So, yeah, we would really like for Bitcoin Cash value to be recognized in the purchasing power of Bitcoin Cash, but, yeah, that definitely hasn't been the case for many years. 

Andrii: Yeah, I was using Bitcoin Cash for payments in 2018, 2019. We had at some time in Kyiv a project which provided this payment system for restaurants. And you could use all the major cryptocurrencies. And I used Bitcoin Cash. And when in 2019 I had crypto bar, Bitcoin Cash was also used there. I didn't set up a system because anyway, comparing to other payments, few people paid in crypto. And I just used my wallet. For example, if you want to pay in Bitcoin, you can pay. And tokens I created at that time on the EOS network, which at the time was popular, and it was easy because no transaction fees and easy to set up. But if there would be possibility to create tokens on Bitcoin Cash, maybe I would use this. And that's actually the news which came recently, that now it's possible to create tokens on Bitcoin Cash. And honestly speaking, I had no time to research this area and to test. But please tell a little bit what's going on there and maybe even some simple things which wallets already support, how to use them, and maybe if your company is doing anything in this area regarding tokens.

John: Yeah, sure, absolutely. Where to start? It's a little bit difficult when you hear tokens among crypto people, when they hear tokens, they immediately think about the standard on EVM, on the Ethereum virtual machine, networks like Ethereum and BMB and so forth. 

Andrii: So let's start with some basic technical things. That Bitcoin has UTXO model, Ethereum has Account model. And so Ethereum is more focused on becoming this ambition to become the world computer. And 2017 - 18 was a trend of many tokens of ERC-20 standard. Technically speaking, Bitcoin is much harder to create something on top of it. Some critics of Bitcoin say Bitcoin is only store of value, it's not useful for smart contracts and other. But in fact smart contracts could exist on Bitcoin. Let's start here with this technical aspect. 

John: Sure. So yeah, when people think about EVM and ERC-20 and those types of tokens there's a whole set of assumptions and idea that are there. So yeah, you have to let go of that a little bit and just think at a higher level. If there's an app such as a Decentralized Exchange that has AMMs (Automatic Market Makers) or Derivatives protocol that allows people to make bets on future prices or some kind of lending protocol, those kind of things, right? You have to take a step higher and think, okay, this thing that you can accomplish with EVM is also possible with UTXO in a completely different way. So if you can kind of step up a little bit and accept that the way it's done is going to be very different under the hood, then it's easy to understand. 

All the things that you would want to do with finance, you can now do those on Bitcoin cash with Cash tokens. So some people will say that the EVM is more powerful, but I don't actually think that's the case. It's the case that the tooling and all the infrastructure around it is much easier in EVM. Right? That's all been developed for many years now and there's well established ways of doing many different things. There's no doubt about that. But the actual power and the things that you can accomplish, I don't actually think there's much of a difference anymore with the cash tokens protocol upgrade that was enacted on Bitcoin cash in May. So the actual power that's there under the hood is complete. We can still make it better, but it's there. But all the tooling and infrastructure and training materials and developer tools and so forth, that stuff is all still being developed. So the raw power is there, but all of the infrastructure to make use of it is not there yet. The technical differences that you said, you already said the key difference is that there's the account model and the global state. The whole chain has a global state in EVM. And that leads to easy programming and a pretty easy-to-understand model of how things work. With the UTXO model, it's more complicated because the state is isolated into each coin, into each UTXO. It's not a global state across all of it that you can just interact with. So that makes the programming of it a little bit harder. You have to understand a little bit more about what you're doing. But the trade-off is that you can now scale absolutely massively with the UTXO model. So all the things that you can accomplish with decentralized exchange or lending protocol or whatever, take those ideas and now you can scale them basically as much as you want. You can scale them out to as many users as you want. And if you ever happen to hit some kind of barrier or I need to do a million transactions per second or something like that, then you can all also. With Cash tokens you can make a side chain in a very straightforward way. So you can make a side chain and then you can go on your side chain and do all of this massive volume of transactions and then every, I don't know, million transactions, you settle it back to the BCH chain. So yes, UTXO model is massively scalable, but it needs a new way of doing things. And the EVM model has the global state. It's easy to understand, it's easy to program, but it has serious scaling limitations on it. Yeah, that's, I think, the basic technical idea. 

One more thing on the technical side. When you say tokens, Cash tokens is not just saying, okay, now you can make JPEG, NFTs, or now you can make alternative currency, fungible tokens or something like that, which people might be familiar with in crypto. What cash tokens is, is a very low-level, primitive way of communicating state. So it allows you to have all these applications because now you can maintain and transmit and modify and so forth, all of that state of your applications of decentralized lending platforms or exchanges or whatever it is, market makers. So all of those things can be done now in all of that state instead of being handled in the global space like it is an Ethereum Virtual Machine. Now all of that state is handled according to the UTXO model. And with those basics you can also do things like the JPEG NFTs or some kind of fungible tokens. Those are just things that you happen to be able to do with that power.

Andrii:  Are there any tokens that you already can recommend checking? 

John: Yeah. So there's going to be a whole group of tokens that you have no idea what they do. Because those are, like I said, they're just communication going on. So there's messages being passed around between some kind of exchange or marketplace. There's messages being passed and nobody will have any idea what those tokens are except the people that made them, the app developer and the wallet that's using it. Those are very specialized communication between the wallet, sorry, not with the wallet, but your smart contracts and the application. So there will be lots of tokens that nobody has any idea what they are and that's how it's supposed to be. But when it comes to what people commonly know as tokens. Yeah, there's some very fun ones. There's BiCcats, which was maybe the second one that was launched on Cash tokens and it's just a typical NFT collectible type set up. 

There's also BCH Guru. So if you go to BCH Guru, that's actually the website for it. It's a very creative NFT project that's also going to turn into a game system, like a price prediction game system that will be on chain. Well, they have promised that but they haven't released it yet. But those are very fun. So BCH Guru and then the BitCats. Those are two of the kind of image based PFP type NFTs that are out there. There's one more. Have you seen any of these? The BCH guru or the BitCats? 

Andrii: Actually, yeah, I saw information but didn't try them yet. And by the way, that's a small question. Which wallet may be something you can recommend? Which wallet is already best to use them or wallets support them? For example Bitcoin.Com? 

John: No, Bitcoin.com is not really interested in BCH anymore for whatever reasons. They have their Verse token and EVM stuff is more of what they are focused on. So no, they aren't pushing it ahead. They might at some point, I'm not sure, but no. The Electron Cash wallet is on the desktop. It always works and it's always a very solid wallet. So Electron Cash works with Cash tokens and you can do whatever you want to do. The mobile version doesn't do the tokens yet, but it will at some point soon. 

On mobile and others, the ones you can use, there's one called Cashonize. Cashonize.com is just a web wallet that was made by a guy named Matthew and it's very useful because it's fully aware of tokens. So you receive tokens and you can see them and you can see the extra information like the metadata, what's the name of it and how many there are and the images and so forth. So it's quite a nice wallet for loading those up and seeing everything about your tokens. So that's one - Cashonize.com

Regarding the marketplaces and the NFT minting and things that are going on right now. The only way right now to use it is a plugin from the Paytaca wallet. So you would go on a Chrome or Chromium and they have the store or you can download the plugin and it feels like MetaMask. So when you use it with, for example, there's an exchange or a marketplace called Tapswap.Cash. If if you go there, you turn on the plugin and it looks like MetaMask, it feels like MetaMask. You sign a thing that says, yes, I want to interact with the marketplace, and then you can buy and sell on the marketplace quite easily after you do that. So that's the Paytaca plugin. You can just search for Paytaca, and there's a plugin for that you can use to interact with the marketplaces. Yeah, So the answer is the Paytaca plugin, if you want to do Marketplaces and minting and things like that. And then the Cashonize Wallet Cashonize.com lets you look at everything and see and hold. And you can put the same seed into both of those if you want so that they work together. And then the Desktop Wallet - Electron Cash lets you do anything you want and lets you fully manage any kind of token. So I expect all the wallets that support BCH will eventually support tokens, but those are the ones that work today. That's a good question. 

Andrii: Yes, I think that more wallets and exchanges in the future need to support this. 

John: Yeah, so definitely that will happen over time. Part of the chip process, the Cash improvement proposal process that was used to create the Cash Tokens upgrade, the protocol upgrade. As part of that, there was a lot of communication with exchanges and miners and pools and so forth to make sure that there was no problem. So they've at least seen it at some point and they don't have a specific problem with it. So eventually I think the support will evolve there. But it's like anything else. If you're actually trying to build products that are useful and have high utility, you're a little bit outside of the main crypto sphere. So eventually they will pick it up and start selling those or start listing and so forth. But I don't know when that will happen. But I wanted to tell you Andrii. Can I tell you about one more project that I think is even more interesting? 

Andrii: Yes, sure. And I want to say that my channel is open for all interesting projects in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem because I'm really using Bitcoin Cash for quite a long time. 

And when I have time, I'm doing interviews with well-known people from the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem like Marc de Mesel, who is famous investor in projects like Noise.Cash and Read Cash. Now he's little bit skeptical and we see that the projects are not growing so as much as they could. But we also understand that it's a general crypto winter. We're still in crypto winter. We don't know how much time this could be. 

John: I'm not sure if you're aware, but Marc is also an investor in General Protocols. He was maybe most important investor in General Protocols. 

Andrii: Actually, I didn't know about that. But definitely a great decision. 

John: I think so. I think so also. But we really appreciate his support. And one of the things that I think is great about Marc is that even now when he is not investing very much in Bitcoin Cash or just crypto in general or whatever the case, or he thinks Bitcoin Cash hasn't succeeded as a project. He's very straightforward and honest about his opinions about everything, and I totally respect that. But at the same time, even when he has that opinion that it's not being successful as an investment, Bitcoin Cash, still he is one of the best speakers about why Bitcoin Cash is valuable and about why it's powerful and why it still could be a great investment in the future. So I love that even when he is negative about Bitcoin Cash, he still is able to explain it better than most people in the world about why it's powerful and why it's useful and why people should pay attention to it. So I really appreciate that about him. He speaks very well about it. 

Andrii: Yeah. And he has a great position that in order… because there is a general competition among the blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Even Bitcoins, there were several forks like BSV, then Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Diamond, Bitcoin Gold. So there are many of them. So general competition. And one of the major metrics in order to succeed in this competition or be high, it's the usage. And to have obtained this usage and popularity among the people, there should be tools. Tools and projects, some simple projects and simple for the usage, like Noise.cash, Read.cash, and some more complex projects like you are building. Because for many people, especially new people, this DEXes, AMM - it's kind of hard to understand. 

John: It's a bizarre world. Yeah. It's not something the normal person will ever really participate in directly. Not knowingly, at least. Yeah, I agree. Yeah, actually okay. There's many more things I want to tell you about with tokens and other things going on with smart contracts. So one of them is more of the far end of the complicated things, not the useful things, but let me come back to that. On the far end of the interesting technical things that have been done. 

The very first token, I believe, that released, that appeared on Cash tokens after the upgrade in May, is called the Emerald DAO. So DAO, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and it's a very simple DAO. It's just you put your money in and you get a safe box NFT, and the safe box will be unlocked after one year. And when you create the safe box with your BCH in it, you get a little bonus from a pool. So there's a pool of BCH, and you get a little bonus. And then one year from now, that NFT, you will be able to unlock it because you have a paired key card, and you can take that key card NFT, and you can unlock your SafeBox NFT and get the BCH out of it, including the bonus that you got. So it's just a very simple mechanism, but I love it. It's the first demonstration of okay, you can create these things that work by themselves. There's no company that's monitoring it. There's no company that's in charge of it. It just works onchain and it has a behavior, and you can create some incentives with it, or you can create some kind of savings scheme with it or whatever it is you want. I just love to see that kind of thing, these experiments where people are showing what's possible. So the Emerald DAO, I think, is quite interesting, and I think many of us who made those NFTs, we probably won't unlock them. Right, we will just keep them. And say, look, I have a key card for an Emerald DAO, the very first smart contract DAO that existed on Bitcoin Cash. That will be a historical thing. So the NFT will probably be more valuable than the actual Bitcoin Cash in it. So anyway, that's a kind of Proof-of-Concept technical things that are happening. 

But on the easy side there's quite a lot of things happening also. Have you seen Bitgree.com

Andrii: No, not yet. 

John: Okay, so Bitgree.com, The user interface is still a little bit hard to work through, but the concept is very simple and the site works very well. So you go to Bitgree.com and you just paste the products from Amazon that you want to buy. So you get the link on Amazon, you paste it into Bitgree and then you say, I want this and I want this and I want this. And after you do that, you say, yeah, I want all these five things in my cart and I want to buy it. And you say, okay, buy. And then the other side of the platform is the people who are actually doing the buying and selling buying of Amazon items. They say, oh, okay, yeah, I can buy all those things and I will send it to you. So you pay that person Bitcoin Cash and they buy the things and send it to you. So this gives you a P2P marketplace so that you can buy things from Amazon with Bitcoin Cash. 

Andrii: Yeah. There used to be a Purse.io, I think. Similar.

John: Yes. But they don't seem to be maintaining it or pushing it or anything these days or something.

Andrii: I remember that sometimes it was even cheaper to do this way.

John: Yeah. So it depends on what offers you get. So the people who want to use their Bitcoin Cash, sometimes they will offer a discount. So you actually 1-10% percent discount to buy. So the amount that you pay will be less. On Bitgree it's the same. It can be less or more, but people can make offers. It's a P2P marketplace, so they have a reputation. And if they have a very high reputation, they probably don't need to offer you a big discount, they just offer you the service. But if you're looking for reputation, you probably have to offer some kind of discount to incentivize people to try. Yeah, that's right. It does have that kind of feature. Yes. So Bitcree.com is a good example of just you can use it. You don't need to know anything special, but it's actually using the BCH smart contracts in the background. But you never see that. You have no idea what it's doing. It just works. So it's quite nice because it does the Escrow system, right? One person pays, the other person receives. But there's also a middle-person judge. The site serves as the judge to say if there's some kind of dispute about the buying and the selling. 

Andrii: And regarding smart contracts, how hard it is to learn this smart contracts language? 

Correct me if I'm wrong, in Bitcoin, it's used the language Bitcoin Script, but is it something which is built? Is it also Bitcoin script or some new language? And how let's say how easy or how hard it is comparing to smart contracts on other blockchains. Be it like Solidity language in Ethereum and many other blockchains, they invent their own language. How hard it is for the new developers to learn this language to become smart contract developer. 

John: Yeah, that's a very good question. The short answer. The quick answer is: go to CashScript.org, that's a compiler and it's similar to Solidity. The idea is that it's similar. CashScript.org and there's a playground there where developers can pop up wallet and it actually has a wallet in the background. So you can create a contract, you can compile the contract and then you can “Okay, let's execute this part of the contract. Okay, I want to execute this part of the contract”. And it actually does it on either testnet or mainnet. So there's developer tools for doing that. The best starting point is Cachscript.org. There's other ways to develop too, but that's the most accessible entry point. And the creator of CashScript made it so that it feels as much as possible like Solidity. So it's not at all Solidity, it's not EVM. It works completely differently. But it's made to feel a little bit like it. But yes, you will have to understand the basics as a developer today. You will have to understand the basics of UTXO and how it works. If you don't, you won't be able to make sense of what a contract means and how to make one. 

But the second part of your question yeah, the ease of developing is much easier on EVM today. So that has had years and millions of dollars of investment into tooling and infrastructure. 

It's much easier to do that. But on the flip side, if you remember back to the beginning of Ethereum, when it started, nobody knew it was important. Nobody understood what a smart contract was. Nobody understood how to write a smart contract. People were paid incredible amounts of money to make smart contracts in Ethereum because nobody knew how to do it. Auditing was difficult because nobody understood the safety issues involved and so forth. 

So if you think back to those early days of Ethereum before there was EVM, right, it was just Ethereum. That's kind of the position where BCH is today. Where there's a new way of doing things. The UTXO model with smart contracts. You're going to have to learn how that works and then the tooling is isn't amazing yet, so there will still be a build-up period of tooling. But at the same time, those people who were there at the beginning of Ethereum, those were the ones who became embedded in the whole ecosystem and infrastructure. They became the huge companies that exist today. And so that's a little bit of what General Protocols is trying to do also. So we think the future of Bitcoin Cash and smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash is absolutely huge. And so we're just trying to be one of the first people that are building on it. But yeah, it's a little bit difficult today compared to EVM ecosystem. 

There's also UTXO chains that have some tools, but I've never been interested in those because I don't think their models work very well. Cash tokens is a significant improvement over any other UTXO type virtual machines that I have seen. 

Sorry, the last part of your question about the Script yes, it's Bitcoin script. So people who are familiar with Biitcoin script, it's the same thing, except the Bitcoin Cash virtual machine. The commands that are available and the opcodes that are available for writing programs are much more advanced in Bitcoin Cash than they are on BTC script. So there's a lot more things that you can do with the Bitcoin Script on Bitcoin Cash. 

Andrii: Yeah, there are actually many other UTXO chains. Maybe one of the biggest is Cardano. A lot of funds for development and Cardano stays always at the top. And there is actually one of the biggest DAO in crypto area - Project Catalyst, where people can submit proposals and get funded, then ADA holders vote. And actually, the new Fund, which would be 50 million of ADA, It's starting just in few days. And actually, even your company can participate if you see some maybe let's imagine cooperation between Bitcoin Cash and Cardano in the research or just studying more UTXO aspects. Because actually many projects are building on Cardano. And there are other chains like smaller and maybe much less popular, like Komodo. 

John: There's, Ergo, there's Cardano, there's Komodo. 

Andrii: Atomic DEX 0  interesting project and when I was checking it last time, there was Bitcoin Cash. So with this DEX you can swap, exchange Bitcoin Cash to some other currencies. And of course there are more which are built. Actually all the forks of Bitcoin have also UTXO model. And actually, interesting question about other forks. Are you monitoring them? Is there something interesting going on in their ecosystems? And maybe something you can borrow or take to Bitcoin cash. Or they are just more, let's say, kind of copies of Bitcoin and nothing interesting is going on there. 

John: Yeah, I would actually say it's the opposite. So for the most part, Bitcoin Cash has the actual innovation going on on it. And things have been copied from Bitcoin Cash to other chains. So some of our recent upgrades were implemented also on the eCash, the XEC split that happened. So that fork, they implemented some of the changes that went into Bitcoin Cash recently. There's the BSV chain, which is mostly insanity. So if you're a technical person and you understand Bitcoin Script and you understand the virtual machine and you look at the things that they have done since the BSV split, it's mostly insane. It doesn't make any sense. So I don't even know if I call that innovation just doing things. So no, there's not really a lot of innovation there. The other forks like Bitcoin Gold and Diamond and those things, they were candy. They were just silly, they weren't anything serious. I don't even know if they're still being mined or not. Maybe they are, but they certainly didn't innovate. There's Litecoin, which is not a split, right? It's an independent network, but it copied BTC back many years ago. They've done some level of innovation, but I wouldn't say they've done any high-utility innovation. For the most part, it's just whatever Core does, BTC, they just copy that and do the same thing on Litecoin. So it's mostly not innovative, it's mostly just doing the same thing that Core is doing. 

Sorry. I was just saying that I think as far as innovation goes, Bitcoin Cash is by far the most innovative on what's going on with protocol changes. 

Andrii: Yeah, but that's an interesting also aspect that it's the market who can decide how many cryptocurrencies can exist. You mentioned Bitcoin. You mentioned .com Era and how it happened. Some people made very good money, investing in trading. But then there was a collapse. And this is kind of similar, what we have in the cryptocurrency industry. A lot of projects already died and more will die, but those who will remain, they will be stronger. There will be new Amazons and Teslas of crypto. And I'm confident that Bitcoin Cash stays because there is actually a community and there are such entrepreneurs like you who are believing and building on this chain. So price is only a temporary issue. Of course we can remember then when price was, let's imagine, ten times higher, more than $1,000. And probably some people bought at this price and then sold with a loss. But that's life, that's investment. This also happens in stocks or in real estate area. So on the long term II'm confident that there will be a growth of the ecosystem and more people using. And also one more reason why I think so, because there is a strong community, which I saw on that conference, I think it was in El Salvador. 

John: Yes, in Saint Kitts. 

Andrii:  This area, and it's actually very far away from Europe 

John: From everywhere. It's difficult to go. 

Andrii: But people found time and money to visit this event. And there are many other people all around the world. Ffr example, there is strong community in Australia who are promoting Bitcoin Cash as a payment system and doing this and using it. 

John: Yeah, they are using it. 

Andrii: What about community and events? What's your vision and are there any events happening this year? 

John: Yeah, good question. So before I answer that, I wanted to go back to something you said just now about there's room for many cryptos. There's possibly in the process of a kind of bust, like the .com bust where after that, projects emerged as long-term viable products or networks and platforms and so forth. But I wanted to say, I do think that's true. I'm of the family of the original maxis. And this is a dangerous thing to say today. Because when you say “Maxi” today, the meaning that's attached to it is the very toxic, uninformed, very difficult to interact with Maxi of BTC today. And they're very painful to deal with. But this is a new phenomenon. These are not the original, what we called maxis many years ago. So I'm more of the type of what we used to call maxis a long time ago. And that's the type of person so just for me, who they're not toxic. Of course, there can be all kinds of solutions to problems, right? And the one that we're looking at specifically Bitcoin Cash, in my opinion, is the global money being a money network, a platform for commerce, business savings, and so forth. That's the game that we are trying to play. And in that space and the related spaces around money, yeah, there's definitely room for different cryptos and different networks and so forth. However, in addition, the thing I want to say is: The reality is that in any kind of thing where there's competition or replacement goods, where you can choose one or the other to do things, the natural order of things is for what's called a power law distribution to happen. So this is often known as a Pareto rule or 80/20 type of division. So I fully expect that there will be one network that carries 80% or 50 or 60, whatever it is a very large percentage of the actual total commerce and activity that are happening. And that's the target BCH is aiming for. Of course, we might hit somewhere else, but we're not aiming to be another network. We're aiming to be THE network that Money and Commerce. To be the premier platform for commerce, money, savings and so forth. Finance in the future of Money, when we have real competition for the legacy system. So we're not aiming to be just another network, we're aiming to be THE Primary Network. That's different from saying “There can be only one”, which is silly. 

But Bitcoin Cash aims to, in my opinion, aims to be the premier platform. And then also, like the original maxis from many years ago, to look at other people and what they're doing and take those ideas and say, hey, yeah, we can use that. That's a good thing to use also and incorporate those into the chain, either as products or as part of the protocol or whatever. So sorry, I just wanted to add that detail that we don't want to be just another chain, we're actually aiming to be The Primary Chain for Money and Commerce and I'm so sorry, I've actually forgotten your real question about the community, right? 

What is Bitcoin Cash community doing? So. Bitcoin cash community. It's funny, it's one of the very few ecosystems. I prefer to use the word “ecosystem” than community because “community” suggests just talking in a large part. But I say “ecosystem” because there's a lot of different types of people, right? There's companies, there's miners, exchanges. There's developers, there's marketers and so forth. But Bitcoin Cash is one of the few ecosystems that is actually distributed and decentralized. So the word decentralized is used all over the place in crypto and mostly abused. Because in most cases, it's not actually decentralized. 

There's going to be if you look carefully at any particular chain, like you mentioned, Cardano, you will find at the center, there's some kind of organization that controls the chain. Fundamentally. And that is something that is simply not true with Bitcoin Cash. So if you look around, we have various marketing efforts going on with General Protocols or the BCH gurus or the Bitcats. There's also developers who do their own marketing and so forth, which is not itself unique. But on the flip side, on the other side, there is no central party. There is no central foundation. There is no central company or not a company, any kind of organization that has any kind of real, meaningful central control of the chain. That just doesn't exist with Bitcoin Cash. So it's one of the very few ecosystems that is actually decentralized, which I love. So you asked about the community. It's just every project. If you look out there at every project that there is, and every person who's out there doing onboarding, trying to get merchants to use it, or trying to get their favorite online store to use it, or they're building the wallet. Like that. Cashonize.com. Matthew is building all kinds of tools. The Cash script that I mentioned, the compiler, the wallets. There's a wallet, Saline wallet that has come out recently. There's the Paytaca wallet, there's the Zapit wallet, which is working with UPI in India. There's General Protocols making the AnyHedge available to people with BCH BULL, so that they can do price stability without having to go to stablecoins and things like that. I can keep going. So there's all kinds of things. And that is the ecosystem. 

There's no central party that's out there doling out money to people to say okay, you can do that, you can do that, you can do that, you can do that. Because in the end, that kind of organization defines the network, but that doesn't exist on Bitcoin. Cash and that's one of the things I love. 

Events? I'm not actually not aware of any particular events that are coming up right now. Because it's another one of those things, it's decentralized. So somebody will probably end up organizing some kind of event this year. General Protocols might do some kind of minor online event. I'm not aware of any in-person events being organized right now though. Sorry for the very long answer, but I hope that covered what you were looking for. 

Andrii: Yes, and I agree that “ecosystem” is a better term because “community” kind of gives impression of those who sit in this messengers, telegram. 

John: We do that too. We talk a lot. 

Andrii: But of course, it's a lot more. And even starting from miners, they still exist even though mining is not so a trend to discuss and not so trend to invest.

John: Yeah, miners have their own world. They have their own universe of people and forums and topics and groups. It's its own ecosystem. 

Andrii: And regarding meetups, I was just recently on two meetups and events in Kyiv, Ukraine and I was surprised at how many people came there. And judging from the faces, that mostly new people. Because a lot of older generation, they kind of disappeared. Some stay but some left for other countries. But we have such a big interest and even, let's say the last event, the ticket, when it went out to sale, it was maybe 20 or $30. Then at the end, closer to event, the price went higher, maybe to as high as $100 and there were just not enough tickets. Which is for one day event ticket, it's a lot. I just wanted to say that if anyone is interested to do a Meet-up here in Ukraine, that's a great time, both more general conversation or technical. That's too, because we have a lot of developers. 

John: Andrii, I wanted to ask you a question because I watched many of your previous interviews and especially in the ones with Marc De Mesel. He was pressuring you to leave Ukraine to be safe for yourself and so forth. But you were saying that no, you wanted to stay and do what you could. 

And also another thing you mentioned was that I think basically you had some doubt about whether crypto was really going to be useful and was really as valuable as you originally thought and whether you should do something with it or whether you should focus on other things. 

I've wondered for a long time where you ended up on that topic. What are you thinking about crypto? Is it actually useful? Is it still something that you think is worth pushing ahead? Or how have you changed since those conversations with Marc De Mesel? 

Andrii: Yes, that was interesting conversation. Maybe if you mean the last one. We spoke also about investment and also Marc told his ideas and some of the projects that investing in real estate and others. 

John: Right. And you were talking about some alternatives as well. 

Andrii: Yeah, that's because it's always good to diversify. I think that's one reason. But for me, first, I'm not a professional investor and not such a great investor as Marc. That's why I also think that now it's a good time to be in crypto because the prices are low and on the long term I believe that it will grow. It's just only a matter of time. But of course, I can't say when it happen. 

And I don't give financial advices because often people say that for financial advice you need to find this Consultant, accredited advisor. That's why my aspect is that I follow the project, which can give me added value, where I see added value. Bitcoin Cash is one of them that I post on ReadCash. I have the readers. Maybe that's not a big amount of readers, but still sometimes I earn a few dollars. That's example of added value. So I get both the views, readers, and some funds. In some other blockchains, which I follow. There is Cardano, there is Project Catalyst where I can apply and get funded for one of the proposals. And even though chance is not so big that my project will win, there are ways that in this Project Catalyst you can just review other projects and be paid for this, which is actually also not so bad idea. And as for consulting or some marketing, I might have some clients. My idea is that I grow a YouTube channel, I grow information and I try to study and research what's going on, and speak with such entrepreneurs like you who are building no matter what, no matter what the price is. Because of course, you are a long time in this industry. You remember when Bitcoin Cash was more than $1,000. And especially if you keep all your funds or big part in Bitcoin Cash, this is kind of thing that you feel. At one time you are ten times richer than another time you are ten times poorer. That's why I think that in general for for investment, it's good to diversify. Like Marc said, he changed his crypto portfolio, that now he has more Ethereum, right? But just to answer this question on the long term, I believe that it will rise and now maybe a good time to get encrypted. And I don't say invest. There are, let's say, some games which you can Play-to-earn model. You can play a game, earn some tiny amount. There are blogs, there are also, like some ecosystem rewards. If you participate somewhere in the chat or contests, you can earn some small funds. There are ambassador programs and there are actually companies like yours where you can just if you have some skills, you can apply for a job and maybe get a job. 

John: That's the big one. Yeah, get a job and get paid in crypto. It's one of the best feelings. That's how I am. I've been paid in crypto for years and I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. Bitcoin Cash 

Andrii: Our time is ending actually, we're speaking 1 hour so you need to leave now? 

John: Yes, I have so many more things to say, but yeah, I do need to go, but it's been very long talking. Maybe we can talk again.

Andrii: Your vision on the crypto market and industry. But let's maybe speak in few months and I'll check before that time. I will check all the Cash tokens. Thank you, John, for your time. Have a good day and a great week. 

John: Thank you. And I wanted to say one more thing before we wrap up. Just the thing I love about Bitcoin Cash ecosystem that I want more people to know about, right, is that the bitcoin cash picked up a negative reputation due to historical issues that happened, which most people don't actually know anything about. The actual details that were involved. If they did, they wouldn't have a bad impression of Bitcoin Cash. But. One of the things I really love about the ecosystem and why I keep moving ahead and General Protocols builds in Bitcoin Cash is because the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem really sees the long term. That future where utility is important and people are actually using it. And there's an actual money network that's being used as an alternative. It sees that and the price is awful. The price performance, the purchasing power over time is awful. There's no getting around that. But the very cool thing about Bitcoin Cash ecosystem is, despite that, everybody's still extremely dedicated to building that long term. Because everyone knows that when you get there, when you even start to go there, the purchasing power is going to recover. 

So the things are in the correct order in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. People are aiming for this meaningful future and they understand that this is the leading indicator and the lagging indicator will be the price. In the Hype market, there is no indicator. It's just hype. It's your marketing ability. But in an actual utility long term, not .com boom and bust, but Amazon.com type situation, Google.com, they know that the utility is the leading indicator in price, is going to follow it. So I love that you were talking about investment. That's my view on the investment with Bitcoin Cash and why I love the ecosystem. But yes. Thank you very much for your time, Andrii. It was good to talk to you. And I will keep watching your interviews. Wish you a lot of success. 

Andrii: Thank you, too. I wish you success and good luck. 

John: Thanks. All right, take care. 

Andrii: Thanks. Goodbye.

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Cryptotexty
Cryptotexty

Student of cryptocurrencies and economics. Interested in Cardano, Algorand, Terra, BCH, Mina, Near, Hive, Steemit and many other interesting blockchains and projects


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