Being first into the market with a fantastic idea brings great rewards, but it’s no guarantee that you’ll always be top dog, as Bitcoin are finding out in the cryptocurrency stakes right now with the emergence of close rival Bitcoin Cash – the digital currency backed by gambling magnate Calvin Ayre biting at the leader’s heels.
Calvin Ayre is never far from a news story, recently coming off the FBI’s Most Wanted List - as reported here by PokerTube.com’s Charles Retmuller - his days as a fugitive officially at an end after ‘agreeing to a plea deal with federal prosecutors that saw him accept guilt for a single misdemeanour, while felony gambling charges were dropped’.
Well away from the legal problems which saw Ayre take to the relatively safe climes of Antigua, the gambling kingpin has been much involved in the cryptocurrency world, recently acquiring CoinGeek.com – a cryptocurrency news site – and being named as the Economic Envoy for Technology Development of the twin Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, for which he will "will advise the government on the effective implementation of new technological developments in cryptocurrency and Bitcoin," according to the nation's Director-General of Communications.
Cold hard ‘Bitcoin’ Cash
Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized digital currency when it appeared back in 2009, and perhaps the best known among thousands which include the likes of Litecoin, Swiftcoin and Ethereum, went through a huge schism recently – the split ‘due to a disagreement among the Bitcoin community on how to meet increased demand’.
Calvin Ayre, along with the man whom many believe was the true inventor of Bitcoin, Craig Wright, have launched themselves in full support of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) a blockchain they believe will become the one ‘chain that powers the world' – akin to the One Ring in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for want of a better analogy.
One of the first steps in getting the new kid on the block, well, off the blocks, is having it accepted in the marketplace, Ayre and his group pushing hard at every opportunity and not shy about publicising successes – such as Facebook post from the poker community…
Hard forks and Air Drops
Every new technology and development brings with it a new language, and for cryptocurrency it’s useful to know a few stock phrases and their definitions – the Bitcoin Cash emergence being a ‘hard fork’ in the Bitcoin blockchain ledger, which is where transactions are recorded and is devised in such a way as to make changing the transactions (for theft or fraud, for example) impossible without changing every single subsequent record.
So, the fork is a duplicate of the blockchain ledger and Bitcoin (BTC) holders received an identical amount of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) when the paths diverged. Fortune.com described this windfall thus: ‘People in cryptocurrency circles refer to such events - when a new piece of digital money is distributed out of thin air - as an “air drop.”
Calvin Ayre and his cohorts backing the Bitcoin Cash version were keen to display the relatively smooth transition, and although his own news site CoinGeek.com might not be an ultimately subjective portal for those interested in the new currency, the article does serve as an insight into the new ‘language’ of crypto-currencies…
Of course, having Ayre, Wright and a team of experts running the Bitcoin Cash show is no guarantee of success, but when you realise that they have some 200 to 300 blockchain and Bitcoin related patents, and thus a great level of control in the marketplace, it’s easy to see why many are hitching their wagons to the BTC star.
Name your Price
Naturally, for investors and users of the crypto-currency, the market volumes and values are being followed closely – Coingecko.com telling us at the moment of writing that ‘Bitcoin Cash price for today is $981.2124. It has a current circulating supply of 16.8 million coins and a total volume exchanged of $1,725,486,292’.
If we compare that to the original Bitcoin itself we see numbers showing ‘Bitcoin price for today is $7,775.7362. It has a current circulating supply of 16.7 million coins and a total volume exchanged of $2,676,935,239’, but it’s the “parabolic rise” of Ayre-backed Bitcoin Cash which is the real factor.
Bitcoin in a quandary
Exodus, a cryptocurrency wallet platform, had to suspend certain Bitcoin trading services, stating:
"Seeing the price surge, many of the miners abandoned the [BTC] network and started mining Bitcoin Cash. BTC transactions were grinding to a halt. Bitcoin transactions normally take 5-20 minutes to go through, but this weekend we’ve seen transaction times up to 12 hours."
Such meteoric runs are not unknown, but when it’s Bitcoin and a new ‘spin-off’ involved? This is mega news in the crypto-world.
So why has Bitcoin itself – market leader since the beginning – not risen to the challenges which Bitcoin Cash has embraced? According to Roger Ver, an ‘entrepreneur, and an evangelist for Bitcoin’ it’s the people behind Bitcoin who are causing the problems.
“These people are holding back the adoption of one of the most important inventions in the history of humankind because they don’t understand Moore’s Law, and have no common sense for the economic reasons that made Bitcoin so successful. And they basically killed the goose that laid the golden egg. That’s why you’ve seen Bitcoin’s market share plummet from 100% market share to almost 50% which is what it is today.”
The Changing of the Guard?
If industry leaders aren’t even using their own currency as claimed by Veh, perhaps it’s time indeed for a changing of the guard? Out with the old and in with the new, although Calvin Aye himself doesn’t believe there’s a war between the currencies, but rather a war within the original Bitcoin boardrooms if you will, saying:
“Doing what most people are doing is the kiss of death in investing. You should do what the smart people are doing only.”
He recently stated:
“Bitcoin BCH and Segwit BTC are now completely different business models with different groups backing them for different roles and will both sink or swim in their own way. It is my opinion that BTC has no business model and will become irrelevant and that BCHs pro transactional model will make it 'the one'" – again using his Facebook account to get the message across to the wider crypto-using public.
Acceptance on the road to the top
In a bid to ensure that Bitcoin Cash cements its place in the market, Ayre and his group of investors and crypto-talents have devised an initiative to make BCH accepted as an every currency useable worldwide in every sector – The Accept Bitcoin Cash Initiative.
"This site was built as a means to connect consumers and merchants, while spreading awareness and promoting global adoption of Bitcoin Cash", the BCH guys and girls hope is "that as time goes on, more and more sites will be accepting Bitcoin Cash as a fast and secure payment method, with the added benefits of low fees, no third-party, atop a very strong decentralized network."
This is, they say, a way to ensure that the vision of Satoshi Nakamoto – the true founder of Bitcoin, although the name is considered to be a pseudonym covering a group of US and European-based cryptography and computer science experts who devised the initial structure of the blockchain technology – is carried on: A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash which would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
So what does the future hold for Bitcoin and its likely successor? Both, almost certainly, will survive near the top of the crypto-currency tree for a long time to come, but if there is another split in the BTC approach – highly probable if the current landscape within the firm remains – then it’s closer to a certainty that Bitcoin Cash will seize the moment and become THE crypto-currency of choice. After all, as gambling fans across the world already know, Calvin Ayre doesn’t back losers…