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Why Bitcoin Cash? We asked one of India’s Prominent BCH Supporter Keshav Ram Narla

“You are a lot taller than you seem on your videos”, the first thing Keshav told me when I met him at a restaurant in Hyderabad. I did not know then how much of a Bitcoin Cash or rather even a Crypto Enthusiast is Keshav. He’s great at plotting charts for price action, that I knew. He told me later how much he’s into Scuba diving and it’s better to experience it in Vizag than anywhere else in India.

Before parting for the day I told him we will stay in touch to discuss Bitcoin Cash in detail and maybe try to clear the air around what seems to be a controversy going on for ages now. 

So I did drop an email with detailed questions to Keshav and he replied. This is Keshav’s take on Bitcoin Cash and why should take it seriously.

Brush With Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Keshav’s brush with Bitcoin happened when a startup he invested in got in trouble with the government back in 2017. When the Government seized the startup’s account, the company decided to pay its investors back in Bitcoin. Keshav, who had made up his mind to liquidate immediately, received the money by “traditional means”. This was before Bitcoin Cash existed.

In September of 2017, Keshav got on board with the idea of Bitcoin and invested a little bit for experimentation.

“I was fascinated by its history and origin, all the documentaries looked so amazing and Roger was my hero. But I was more interested in jumping on to the Bitcoin’s ‘store of value’ train.”

Keshav says, he knew that Bitcoin was the future of money. But it would only be after learning that Ryan X Charles had started accepting Bitcoin Cash instead of Bitcoin on his blogging site Yours.org, when he himself would buy Bitcoin Cash. Until then, he made a few purchases on Purse.io by spending BTC.

What are the Advantages of BCH over BTC?

“The best way to see the advantages between BCH and BTC is to use each of them to make $1 donation to Wikipedia foundation via BitPay. Last month when I check the fees for BTC was $0.79 for $1 donation and BCH had no fee”, says Keshav. You can donate to wikipedia using Bitpay wallet.

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash Network Fee on Bitpay

“BCH is fast, reliable and has super low fees (less than penny). With its 0-conf feature, its transactions are received in 10 seconds. This is only possible if blocks never get full. Ironically, this is exactly how BTC worked in 2015/2016. Reality is that when BCH was forked from BTC, everything was the same code except without SegWit and RBF (Replace-By-Fee) and of-course with 8MB blocks.” continues Keshav.

Keshav points out the limitations of BTC when the network gets congested as in December 2017 or even April 2019.

Along the same lines, Keshav reminded me of Bitcoin Cash Tipprbot on twitter and how he tipped me $0.2 using the bot. To which I had pointed out Lightning Network bot for tipping called Tippin.me for BTC tips and also a custodial home grown solution we use on our telegram group to tip people. “But you need to be registered to receive tips on Lightning, don’t you?”. Keshav rested the case.

Furthermore, Keshav told me about Cointext, a company that allows you to send Bitcoin Cash to your friends via SMS. I knew about this but what I did not know is that service is active in 42 countries, not in India though. “SMS service was not possible in India because of our money transaction laws” says Keshav. But Cointext was about to launch on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, when disaster struck.

Keshav Narla tipping bitcoin cash using tipprbot on twitter
Keshav tipped me $0.2 on Twitter

“I was the first beta tester for this service but unfortunately there was no launch because a week later FB blocked all money transmitting services on all its applications and disabled its API. Now these guys are trying to send BCH to any phone using a mobile BCH wallet. It’s still in development”, writes Keshav.

What Triggered the Bitcoin SV Split?

” The hash war effectively became the Black Swan event in this bear market period.”

“It all started when Craig Wright threatened a split if CTOR & DSV features were added to the November upgrade. The community pointed out that these two features were endorsed and listed for future upgrades on the nChain website in Dec 2017.

Talks were held in Bangkok to understand their technical version of their stand against these features, however, Craig refused to list them and stormed out threatening to bankrupt anyone picking up the ABC ruleset for the coming upgrade in November 2018.

After the community realised that there could be no reconciliation, it was suggested they fork off and create their own coin BSV. Ironically Craig and his supporters insisted from the very beginning that there will NOT be a split and incase there was an upgrade, they would use their superior has to 51% attack the ABC rule-set.

During the weeks leading to the fork the community was divided with most of the radical elements or the BCH maximalists took the side of BSV and hoped for a long hash war confident that BSV rule-set will get the majority and other chain will be 51% attacked and for several weeks it looked like that would happen because nChain+coingeek commanded the majority of the hashrate.

Just before the upgrade happened, Roger Ver stepped in to defend BCH (ABC ruleset) with 4000 pHs much much higher than what BSC commanded. Both parties maintained high levels of hash for the next several days by mining at a huge loss and bringing the hash from BTC. Eventually BSV leader Calvin gave up the battle and decided to create their own coin BSV, the one which they always insisted will not happen.

Unfortunately, the market sentiment was hit badly and with the hash dragged from BTC, the entire space was impacted and prices tanked. BCH price got decimated from $500 before upgrade to $75 later. The hash war effectively became the Black Swan event in this bear market period.

On the positive side, this acted like a divorce after bitter infighting for several months and now largely both communities are concentrating on building on their own version of Bitcoin they believe in. But as a parting shot BSV leaders sued Bitcoin.com, Kraken, and ABC developers trying to tie them up in legal costs. This was a shocking act for the entire community as no one had sued open-source developers in our space.

Interestingly, BCH supporters did not call for the delisting, it was the BTC community which got offended when Craig tried to sue their supporters for calling him fake on Twitter. Even more ironic is that BSV leaders were always against exchanges and celebrate the delisting”, says Keshav.

Why Promote BCH by bashing BTC?

“In hindsight, I believe the strategy of calling Bitcoin cash as the Bitcoin backfired and pushed away people from using it. I believe this is largely due to the propaganda by BTC core group.”

I have always liked Bitcoin Cash as a cryptocurrency, and now Keshav had shown be it is faster and cheaper to use than BTC, but I have never liked the way there is relentless bashing of BTC. So I asked Keshav what he thinks about it.

“You have to go back in History to understand that, Bitcoiners were generally in favour of raising the block size in 2013. We had tweets from Adam Back in 2015 favouring that and then Blockstream was funded by AXA and their policy changed.”

“Gavin Andersen and Mike Hearn were big proponents of bigger blocks. Gavin is the guy the Satoshi handed over the Github access when he left Bitcoin and later Gavin shared access with 5 others, some of them who were Blockstream employees.”

“Both of these leaders were attacked on social media and Mike Hearn left the project and later Gavin was removed from the Github repository of Bitcoin by the same guys to whom he gave access a few years back. Any posts on block size increase were delete from r/bitcoin and comments were heavily censored, at that time this channel was very important place for communication and the censorship made the environment very toxic.”

“After several years of infighting BCH was born on Aug 1, just before SegWit code was added to BTC. In reality, there was very little difference between both of them except for increase in block size that gave it the feature of instant transactions and low fee, exactly like BTC in 2015 and earlier. So it was natural for the BCH community to refer it to as Bitcoin as they used earlier and envisioned. However, the core proponents decided to call it as an attack on Bitcoin and their social media campaign was largely successful because most newcomers in this space never knew BTC to be fast, cheap and reliable and there was hatred created towards BCH and the leaders who were promoting it.”

“In hindsight, I believe the strategy of calling Bitcoin cash as the Bitcoin backfired and pushed away people from using it. I believe this is largely due to the propaganda by BTC core group. I now prefer it to be called as Bitcoin Cash which is trying to be like BTC in 2015, that is quite accurate. But we should move from attacking rival coins as it causes negative impact to the entire space, I guess thats the nature of the beast.” says Keshav.

But Roger Ver often says Bitcoin Cash is the Real Bitcoin

“I don’t think it’s misleading because BCH is trying to be the P2P cash that is closer to the whitepaper, or at least it was not intentionally misleading because Roger published article on bitcoin.com and several videos why he chose to call BCH as the real Bitcoin. However, I also agree that there could be confusion created with this strategy.

But I definitely believe that core leaders are intentionally misleading when they announce that BTC was not meant to be a medium of exchange and its just supposed to be a store of value. Anyone who has been in this space for a few years knows this is BS and deliberate change away from the principles laid out in the whitepaper and that strategy has caused enormous harm to the community. The result today is that people are here to speculate about Bitcoin but least bothered to use it anywhere except on an exchange. Many BCHers believe this will have disastrous consequences and likely to sink the entire space.” Keshav says.

Does Keshav Think BCH Prices will Surpass BTC’s?

“No, at least not in the near future. But as an investment that will give much higher returns from now, it will beat BTC hands down” writes Keshav.

Lastly, Opinion on BTC, BTC Devs, Lightning Network?

“I think BTC has been made impotent with the puny block-size limit and dropping from 98% market share to 50%. The writing is on the wall, it’s no longer what it was once and the delay in LN development is having disastrous consequences. “

“You will find it hard to justify its high fees and long confirmations to outsiders who want to enter this space for the first time. Anyone who uses LN (especially when BTC is congested) and then BCH will be totally turned off with the poor user experience especially in the current world of simple financial apps.”

“I don’t know of any prominent devs in #BTC because the good ones have left and remaining ones don’t like to voice any controversial opinions.”

“An example are the devs behind CoinJoin which enhances privacy on BTC.  A bounty was created by Greg Maxwell and others of 46BTC for anyone who builds privacy apps on tiop of BTC, CoinJoin is super successful in that regard, but there is no word about paying this bounty now. On the other hand some BCH developers built CoinShuffle, a privacy enhancing tool for BCH and the community got together and donated $30,000 in a few days”