Some Cryptos moon, others gather lunatics

The use of propaganda and purchasing of social media real estate to promote alt coins

When Cryptocurrencies increase in value inevitably newbies become attracted to the potential financial rewards. This can be seen by the correlation between google trends that show an increase in cryptocurrency related search terms, such as “Bitcoin”, as the price increases.

But if you were to go searching for information about Bitcoin, which has the trading symbol of BTC, you may fall victim to a subreddit of /r/btc. Don't let the name fool you - this is not about Bitcoin. Instead this subreddit has been purchased and is a giant, sophisticated, advertisement for the bitcoin.com cryptocurrency exchange.

It is also home to unmoderated publication of propaganda used to promote an altcoin known as BCH / Bcash / Bitcoin Cash. If what you have to say is favorable to Bcash - regardless of it being factually incorrect it is allowed to be published. Have some highly irresponsible financial advice to give? If its good for Bcash, its good to go.

Interestingly the subreddit of /r/bch - BCH being the trading symbol for Bcash - is blocked to everyone.


Bcash (BCH) apologists have for a long time given tacit acceptance for the use of lies and propaganda to promote their alt. So much so they regularly circulate a list of carefully crafted points on why you should choose Bcash over Bitcoin.

In the following we will examine each of these points.

Critical Review of Bcash Propaganda

In this review I will:

  1. Summarize the claims

  2. Quote the entire section of propaganda

  3. Provide a counterpoint

Security

Claims

  1. Bitcoin has a vulnerability

  2. Bcash is safer.

  3. Bcash users not having to wait for multiple confirmations.

Quoting the propaganda

Better Security – BTC has a vulnerability called RBF which increases the risk of double spending. Bitcoin Cash developers aim to make 0-confirmation transactions safe again so that anyone accepting Bitcoin Cash is much safer accepting payments without having to wait for multiple confirmations. This RBF security vulnerability exists only in BTC and not Bitcoin Cash. That's why Bitcoin Cash is more secure as a payment method.

Here is an example of hackers stolen $150000 worth of BTC using the RBF security vulnerability. https://thenextweb.com/hardfork/2019/03/14/double-spenders-scam-150000-bitcoin/

It is super easy to double spend on Bitcoin using the RBF vulnerability. Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/video-shows-how-easy-it-is-to-double-spend-btc-using-rbf/

Counterpoint

Does Bitcoin have vulnerabilities? It's best to assume ALL software does. That being said, how is Bitcoin's code reviewed? https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2019/07/19/what-its-like-to-review-bitcoins-code/

Let's examine Bitcoin RBF free from emotional language to learn what it is, and why it exists.

Replace-By-Fee (RBF) is a node policy that allows an unconfirmed transaction in a mempool to be replaced with a different transaction that spends at least one of the same inputs and which pays a higher transaction fee.

From https://bitcoinops.org/en/topics/replace-by-fee/

What major wallet developers say about RBF:

It is important to realize that you, as a participant and user of Bitcoin, can choose to, or not, use RBF.

Lying by omission

What the propagandist left is is perhaps the single most important reason why Bitcon is preferred to Bcash.

Cost to perform a 51% attack:

Transaction Volume

Claims

  1. Bitcoin Cash is growing rapidly

  2. Bitcoin is on the decline

Quoting the propaganda

Rapidly Growing Transactions Volume - Bitcoin Cash has more transactions than BTC+Lightning Network combined recently. On some days, Bitcoin Cash has more than double the transactions volume of BTC. Bitcoin Cash is growing rapidly while BTC is on the decline.

Counterpoint

This claim is very easy to debunk.

Due to the offchain nature of the Lightning Network it is impossible to know the number of transactions. However, we can see reports of massive adoption of the lightning network:

Transacted amount and Transaction count are not the same.

For a comparison between the amount of value transacted see https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/sentinusd-btc-bch.html#3y


Transaction count comparison between Bcash and Bitcoin can be viewed at https://bitinfocharts.com/comparison/transactions-btc-bch.html#alltime - remember this does not include transactions on the Lightning Network.

Smart Contracts

Claims

  1. Bcash has smart contracts

Note: the propagandist does not say that Bitcoin does not have Smart Contracts, just fails to mention anything about such developments.

Quoting the propaganda

Defi Smart Contracts - Bitcoin Cash has defi smart contracts functionalities (eg. AnyHedge, Detoken, SmartBCH). SmartBCH allows Ethereum smart contracts to be deployed as a sidechain to the Bitcoin Cash network. This means as an Ethereum developer, you no longer has any friction jumping over to join the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem. All of them can come over to the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem to enjoy the low transaction fees of Bitcoin Cash.

Counterpoint

Many see the slow and methodical development of Bitcoin as a postive, arguing that a global currency should not be frequently radically evolving. Bitcoin is improving, though compared to many others, it does so a slow pace. Nonetheless there are significant developments, many related to Smart Contracts.

Bitcoin Taproot upgrade: what it means

What Are Bitcoin Smart Contracts?

Discreet Log Contracts Are Bringing Private, 'Scriptless' Smart Contracts to Bitcoin

Organizations building Smart Contract functionality on the Bitcoin Blockchain:

https://www.rsk.co/

The github project (https://github.com/rsksmart) shows more developers and more community support than SmartBCH.

Low Fees

Claims

  1. Bcash has cheaper fees

Quoting the propaganda

Low Fees – One of the advantages of using cryptocurrencies over traditional payment methods is the low fees. Due to the limited block size of BTC, fees have exceeded over $70/transaction during peak period. On the other hand, I have never paid more than 1 penny/transaction during my entire time in using Bitcoin Cash. This makes using Bitcoin Cash ideal for merchants, businesses, companies and everyday usage. The industries that may be disrupted such as Remittances, Derivatives, Payment Gateways, etc are worth trillions of dollars and Bitcoin Cash is well positioned for use cases in these industries.

Counterpoint

Notice how the propagandist uses anecdotes, especially her own, to promote their alt:  “On the other hand, I have never paid more than 1 penny/transaction”

Nonetheless, on chain fees are typically cheaper on the bcash chain.

But, lightning Network fees are also extremely cheap.

https://1ml.com/statistics

Scaling

Claims

  1. Because Bcash has increased it's block size it has cheaper fees than Bitcoin

Quoting the propaganda

Improved Scalability – BTC is limited to 1MB blocksize and even with Segwit activated, the capacity increase is only around 1.7x whereas the upgraded Bitcoin Cash blocks capacity is currently at 32x with no limitations. This means Bitcoin Cash can handle PayPal transactions volume today and be global money after a few more upgrades.

Counterpoint

Bcash has increased the block size as a way to improve scaling. And claims to be able to continue to do this perpetually if scale demands so. The foundation for believing that perpetual scaling using increasing block size is based on Moore's Law. 

Moore's Law is dead, says Nvidia's CEO

Bitcoin has adopted a muti-layered approach to addressing scaling. Primarily, and most popular, is the Lightning Network.

Supply Scarcity

Claims

  1. “Bitcoin Cash is actually more scarce than BTC”.

Quoting the propaganda

Supply Scarcity – During the fork from Bitcoin, some Bitcoin Cash supply were removed from active circulation due to users unable to claim their Bitcoin Cash from unsupported exchanges and wallets among other reasons. This means each Bitcoin Cash is actually more scarce than BTC.

Counterpoint

The propagandist is unable to offer anything quantifiable. She merely says “some”.  However there is compelling research that shows a massively reduced Bitcoin supply:
Potentially Lost Bitcoin in Dormant Wallets Totals 34% of Supply, Says Glassnode.

Improved Confirmation Times

Claims

  1. Bcash has better Confirmation Times

Quoting the propaganda

Improved Confirmation Times – Due to the limited block size of BTC, some users were made to wait days for their transactions to be confirmed. Contrast this to Bitcoin Cash where transactions may be accepted immediately with less risk and you can see why it makes sense to use Bitcoin Cash. In other words, if you are a shop owner and you just sold a cup of coffee and some sandwiches, and you accept the old BTC, you may have to wait hours for the transaction to be confirmed because the customer may use RBF to void the original payment. With Bitcoin Cash, your risk is minimized.

Counterpoint

Bcash is largely regarded as being less safe than many other cryptocurrencies, including, and especially, Bitcoin. Therefore, many organizations that accept bcash insist on having several confirmations, thus resulting in a much longer total confirmation time.

Merchants Adoption

Claims

  1. “Bitcoin is having declining adoption and if this trend continues then Bitcoin is on a dead end.”

  2. “Bitcoin Cash is global money with more than 2,651,820 merchants accepting it”

Quoting the propaganda

Higher Merchants Adoption - Bitcoin Cash is global money with more than 2,651,820 merchants accepting it. You can pay for your hotels, air tickets, food/drinks, groceries, nightlife, and more with Bitcoin Cash today. Source:

https://1bch.com/?action=showBitcoinCashBenefitsFrame

While Bitcoin Cash adoption is growing very quickly every single day, Bitcoin is having declining adoption and if this trend continues then Bitcoin is on a dead end. Source: https://np.reddit.com/r/NotAcceptingBitcoin/top/?sort=top&t=all

Counterpoint

The propagandist both references a bcash promoting website to make the claim of merchant adoption, and also references a subreddit that hasnt been updated in 2 years to make the claim that “Bitcoin is having declining adoption”.

Clearly referencing a website that is purely designed to promote bcash is likely to be heavily biased in favor of bcash.

Bitcoin Lightning Network Adoption

The entire nation of El Salvador has adopted Bitcoin as one of its legal tender currencies. See https://www.newscientist.com/article/2289763-why-has-el-salvador-officially-adopted-bitcoin-as-its-currency/.

Ricardo Salinas Pliego, Mexico’s third-richest man and a long-time BTC supporter, is in the news today after he announced that his firm, Grupo Elektra, will soon enable the BTC Lightning network.

https://ambcrypto.com/this-mexican-group-will-adopt-bitcoin-lightning-very-soon/

There is so much adoption occuring that this entire article and more could be devoted to this topic.

Lightning Network Problems

Claims

  1. has failed to gain traction

  2. due to many problems and vulnerabilities, such as loss of funds, unreliable transactions (constantly failing), and many other vulnerabilities.

Quoting the propaganda

Lightning Network Problems And Vulnerabilities And Loss Funds - Some people may claim Lightning Network will solve Bitcoin problems but it has failed to gain traction due to many problems and vulnerabilities, such as loss of funds, unreliable transactions (constantly failing), and many other vulnerabilities.

Source: https://www.crypto-news-flash.com/why-does-the-bitcoin-lightning-network-fail-new-study-proves-inefficiency/

Source: https://news.bitcoin.com/researchers-scathing-lightning-network-analysis-finds-flaws/

Counterpoint

The cited links the propagandist includes are outdated and superceded by the following:

Disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash

Claims

  1. Bitcoin Cash has been constantly undermined by lies, propaganda, censorships and other malicious activities...

Quoting the propaganda

Disadvantages of Bitcoin Cash - Unfortunately, for the past 5 years, Bitcoin Cash has been constantly undermined by lies, propaganda, censorships and other malicious activities...

1a) censorships - https://medium.com/@johnblocke/a-brief-and-incomplete-history-of-censorship-in-r-bitcoin-c85a290fe43

1b) propaganda - https://steemit.com/bitcoin/@adambalm/in-2013-peter-todd-was-paid-off-by-a-government-intelligence-agent-to-create-rbf-create-a-propaganda-video-and-cripple-the-btc and https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/8dd5ij/why_bitcoin_cash_users_reject_the_name_bcash_so/

1c) threats and harassments - https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/is1130/it_seems_tim_draper_is_being_misled_about_bch_and/g54x63q/

1d) DDOS attacks - http://qntra.net/2015/09/xt-node-blacklists-fail-to-prevent-ddos-attack/

1e) Plus a bunch of other unethical stuff if you care to read more at https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/hgpjph/the_pitiful_state_of_bitcoin_cash_transactions/fw5qczk/

Anyone who dares to promote increasing the blocksize or favorably on Bitcoin Cash, they got banned and their voices silenced in the Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency subreddit. They also get harassed and attacked by online paid trolls. All these started back in 2015 even before Bitcoin Cash existed.

Counterpoint

This topic deserves its own article. The claims made are serious. And investigating each takes time. Many of these claims verge on Conspiracy Theories involving a global cabal of banks and, of course, the CIA.

The use of outright lies and propaganda is certainly not entirely in one camp alone.

But even a causual visit to the /r/btc subreddit and the reader will see the tacit acceptence for bullying and harressing of anyone who dare post or comment something positive about Bitcon.

Furthermore two of this communities “moderators” have been suspended for harassment, one permanently. Bcash apologists dismissed as a coordinated conspiracy based attack, which would assume that the Administrators of Reddit are either too naive to realize, or are part of the conspiracy.

"Digital Gold" Or "Store Of Value" Propaganda

Claims

  1. Bitcoin… …cannot be a store of value without it first be a means of exchange.

Quoting the propaganda

"Digital Gold" Or "Store Of Value" Propaganda - BTC is good with propaganda but this is simple economics. Something cannot be a store of value without it first be a means of exchange. Bitcoin Cash is both a store of value AND means of exchange thanks to its low fees. Bitcoin is not feasible as a means of exchange due to its high fees of around $10 (or more) per transaction.

Store of Value: To act as a store of value, money must be reliably saved, stored, and retrieved. It must be predictably usable as a medium of exchange when it is retrieved. Additionally, the value of money must remain stable over time.

Source:

https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-economics/chapter/introducing-money/

Counterpoint

Art is often used as a store of value. It is rarely, if ever, used as a means of exchange.

Real Estate is perhaps the most common storage of value. And this is not regarded as a suitable means of exchange.

The above quote also does not do any favors for Bcash, as it has, since its inception, lost a significant amount of value. This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin. While Cryptocurrencies have a reputation for being volatile, Bitcoin has, over the long term, increased in value.

Tokens

Claims

  1. Today, anyone can issue their own loyalty tokens or digital money on Bitcoin Cash.

Quoting the propaganda

Tokens - Today, anyone can issue their own loyalty tokens or digital money on Bitcoin Cash from as low as 1 cent. It's incredibly easy and anyone can do it at https://mint.bitcoin.com/. And anyone can then buy/sell/trade their newly created tokens on https://1BCH.com/ exchange which is fully focused on Bitcoin Cash and BCH tokens.

Counterpoint

https://mint.bitcoin.com shows (at the time of writing):

Mint will soon become Pitico 2.0, a revamped and improved version of the original project that became Mint.

All features are disabled for now.

Increased Privacy

Claims

  1. Bitcoin Cash has better privacy than Bitcoin

  2. If you don't want others to know how you spent your money, it is better to use Bitcoin Cash over BTC.

Quoting the propaganda

Increased Privacy - Bitcoin Cash has better privacy than BTC thanks to CashShuffle/CashFusion. You can enable it through the setting in the Electron Cash wallet and it's completely optional. If you don't want others to know how you spent your money, it is better to use Bitcoin Cash over BTC.

Counterpoint

For privacy Bitcoin has tools such as Coinjoin and https://wasabiwallet.io/.

It may be possible for companies such as Chainalysis to track transactions even if they use such privacy techniques. 

However, Lightning transactions are not written to the blockchain. This, however, should not be interrupted as being entirely privacy risk-free. 

The purpose of the Lightning Network is quick settlements. Bitcoin’s base layer does not have any privacy guarantees and neither does Lightning. There are ways to attempt to hide amongst the activity of the network, but it’s no guarantee. Sizable actors can attack and reveal private channels that are an extension of the main graph. From there, the flow of funds across the network should be considered public knowledge.

Underground Lightning Networks consisting of fully private nodes that trust each other with their privacy may very well exist now or in the future. But routing payments on the main public graph has its privacy risks. Consider whatever threat model you may have and use the information here accordingly.

There may be solutions that can help in the future but this is where we are at with the general use of the Lightning Network today.

From Current State of Lightning Network Privacy in 2021

Innovation

Claims

  1. While not explicitly stated, the claim appears to be that, bcash has more innovation, therefore it is better.

Quoting the propaganda

Continuous Innovations - For example, Cash Accounts allow people to send BCH to an easy to remember non-custodial alias such as MobTwo#12345. You may register your Cash Account at

https://www.cashaccount.info/

Together with Reusable Payment Addresses (RPA), Cash Accounts will allow people to send BCH to your easy to remember alias with increased privacy. You can read more about RPA at https://np.reddit.com/r/btc/comments/o1z8a1/help_me_test_the_prototype_of_electron_cash_rpa/

Many more innovations on BCH not covered in this comment to avoid turning this into an encyclopedia.

Reality

The following offer the same functionality as https://www.cashaccount.info/. There may be other similar providers:

  • https://btc.id/

  • https://bitalias.github.io/

“Upgrades allow the – extremely remote – possibility of a bug entering the system, which would destroy confidence in the whole cryptocurrency system, effectively wiping it out – a ‘self-inflicted wound’ if you like,” said Jason Deane, an analyst at Quantum Economics.

Deane says this is why upgrade processes are so carefully tested, retested, and vetted, again and again, over very long periods of time, prior to being deployed.

From Bitcoin Taproot upgrade: what it means

Better Risk/Reward

Claims

  1. As an investment bcash has a better risk/reward perspective

  2. Bitcoin is equivalent to large companies that have then lost significant market share.

Quoting the propaganda

Better Risk/Reward - If BTC gains another 1 trillion marketcap, it only 2x in price. But that same 1 trillion will give you around 68x your Bitcoin Cash investments. It is such a smarter option given the risk/rewards probabilities. As an investor, it make sense to know the difference between price and value. Bitcoin Cash has a high value low price while BTC has low value high price.

At the moment, the old BTC has first mover advantage (eg. Friendster or MySpace or Kodak or Nokia) but that can only last them to a point. Eventually, I believe that Bitcoin Cash will overtake BTC's marketcap. Bitcoin Cash is the second opportunity to buy Bitcoin at a low price if you missed that opportunity back in 2013.

Counterpoint

This claim is perhaps the most dangerous. The propagandist is giving financial advice, without any disclaimer and advice that is fundamentally flawed. The propagandist failed to mention the long and short term trends of both Bitcoin and Bcash.

She also fails to mention that bcash has been slipping further in market cap. 

She also fails to explore what would be required for a Trillion USD to move into Bcash, such as what a similar move to other, larger marketcap cryptocurrencies would mean. 

Bcash apologists often claim that their alt is the original Bitcoin. Of the companies that the propagandist cites and examples of fallen giants, how many spent years declining in value before achieving their pinnacle? Or, seen from the opposite perspective, how many giants were dethroned by an underdog that spend so many years in decline?

Based on its life long performance Bcash has shown to be an extremely poor investment. Coinmarket cap has the following relevant metrics:

All Time High - Dec 20, 2017 (4 years ago)$4,355.62 -85.52%

All Time Low - Dec 15, 2018 (3 years ago)$75.03 -740.86%

Conclusion

The Bcash community has adopted unethical techniques such as the proliferation of propaganda to promote the fledgling altcoin.

Newbies who search for Bitcoin, especially using its trading symbol BTC may unwittingly stumble into the /r/btc subreddit and find themselves consuming promotional material believing it to be fact.

Retail investors in particular are at risk of consuming unvetted, unmoderated, factually inaccurate marketing material that may lead to disastrous consequences.