Bitcoin Cash ABC, conceived through a Bitcoin fork in November 2020, is now operating under the name ‘eCash’. Marketing itself as a secure decentralized network of sound money policy, the eCash platform offers near-instant transaction confirmations at a fraction of the cost of sending Bitcoin transactions. Moreover, the eCash ecosystem offers a low barrier to entry for blockchain developers to design and deploy their own tokens, using eTokens. The eCash token (XEC) also plays a crucial role in the ecosystem. The XEC token secures the network through staking facilities alongside offering token holders governance rights.
In this article, we are going to dive deep into the eCash ecosystem and eCash token (XEC). We’ll explore the responsibilities for the XEC token, the Avalanche consensus model, and use case for the eTokens. Also, we’ll look at how the eCash platform can maintain strict privacy surrounding transactions using CashFusion.
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What is eCash?
On July 1st, 2021, Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA), a fork of Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), officially began its rebranding process as eCash (XEC). The eCash platform uses many of the same fundamental technologies behind the Bitcoin protocol, such as the fixed supply and halving schedule. It combines them with a modern Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and governance protocol.
The goal of the eCash ecosystem is for it to become a simple, fast, and secure payments service for international settlements and transactions. Furthermore, eCash aims to become a “sound money that is usable by everyone in the world”.
Bitcoin has paved the way for thousands of cryptocurrencies that use blockchain technology for payments and transactions. Several cryptocurrencies have taken the Bitcoin blueprint and created variations of the underlying code, often to improve it or provide greater utility.
Sometimes this is referred to as “forking” or a “fork” of the Bitcoin code. When a fork occurs, the blockchain splits into two separate chains. One chain follows the path determined by the original code, whereas the second chain creates a new distinct path. Since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009, there have been dozens of forks. However, simply forking the Bitcoin code does not guarantee a sustainable or viable cryptocurrency.
There are two main types of Bitcoin forks. These are soft forks and hard forks. A soft fork entails changes to the Bitcoin code but does not create a new cryptocurrency. Furthermore, a soft fork creates changes to the protocol in a way that is backward compatible. Previously valid transactions become invalid as all nodes in the network recognize the validity of new blocks that occur as the result of a soft fork.
A hard fork is when all nodes in the network must update software or agree to protocol changes. Hard forks result in two chains and two separate cryptocurrencies. For a hard fork to be successful, all nodes in the network must upgrade to the most recent version of the protocol. When this happens, the new version of the software rejects any transactions broadcast using the previous version. Those that don’t upgrade will continue to mine cryptocurrencies on the original blockchain, creating a new chain that rejects the new software. Examples of Bitcoin forks include Litecoin, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash and SegWit
A critical and pivotal soft fork update to the Bitcoin code was Segregated Witness (SegWit) in 2015. In short, the SegWit update increases the capacity (height) of each block size. In turn, the number of transactions available within each block increases. SegWit transactions remove the digital signature from the transaction data, processing it in parallel to the Bitcoin transactions. This is how SegWet doubled the number of transactions per second (TPS) processed on the Bitcoin blockchain to seven TPS. Moreover, the SegWit infrastructure became the foundation of the layer-2 Lightning Network operating on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. Also, SegWit increased the security of the blockchain, fixing a minor potential vulnerability within the code.
In response to the Segregated Witness (SegWit) update, a team of Bitcoin developers chose to split off from the main chain in August 2017. The new forked chain became known as Bitcoin Cash, rejecting all Bitcoin transactions and blocks. Renouncing the SegWit protocol, Bitcoin Cash accommodates a larger block size of eight megabytes. Therefore, more transactions can fit into a block and be processed quicker.
A year later, in November 2018, the new Bitcoin Cash blockchain split with another hard fork update. This time, a new blockchain called Bitcoin Cash SV (Satoshi Vision) was introduced, increasing the block size to 128MB. The Bitcoin Cash chain became known as Bitcoin Cash ABC maintaining the original eight-megabyte block size, colloquially branding itself as just “Bitcoin Cash”.
Two years following, in November 2020, the chain split again. Alongside the “Bitcoin Cash (BCH)” chain, the “Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA)” chain was introduced. Then, the BCHA chain rebranded itself to eCash in July 2021. In addition to the rebranding, eCash brings a redenomination of the token and introduces a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus layer.
The eCash token (XEC) is the native token of the eCash ecosystem. Originally using the Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) token ticker, the rebranding includes a redenomination and change in the ticker symbol. As such, all BCHA coin holders can convert their assets to XEC tokens at a 1:1,000,000 ratio.
eCash focuses on being as user-friendly as possible. This includes introducing the term “bits” to send small XEC token payments. For example, instead of inputting a 0.00001000 BTC payment to send, users can alternatively just send 10 bits!
The XEC token redenomination process is part of the overall eCash strategy to increase its market value. Market psychology suggests lower unit prices “enjoy higher bull market appreciation”. In turn, eCash states the decision for redenomination was a “no-brainer”.
eCash is reinvesting all of its platform revenue into current and future eCash development projects. This includes both community and technology initiatives. The Global Network Council (GNC) is responsible for distributing XEC token funds to various resources across the eCash ecosystem annually. At the time of writing, the XEC token is trading at around $0.00026 with a market cap of $5 billion, according to CoinGecko.
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eCash Token (XEC) Staking
As the eCash update introduces a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, the native eCash token (XEC) is responsible for securing the eCash ecosystem network. Additionally, when XEC token holders stake their assets on the eCash platform, they receive governance rights. In turn, XEC token holders can propose and vote on updates to the eCash ecosystem.
This is operating thanks to an integration with Avalanche staking protocols, facilitating user incentivization and eCash governance. We will discuss the Avalanche consensus protocol shortly.
Although ‘XEC’ is commonly referred to as a token, strictly speaking, this is not entirely accurate. Similar to Ethereum, ‘ETH’ is technically a coin of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is the blockchain hosting Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens such as the Basic Attention Token (BAT), Crypto.com token (CRO), and Unilayer (LAYER).
Within the eCash ecosystem, developers can seamlessly design and deploy their own eCash-based tokens, known as eTokens. eTokens, like Ethereum’s ERC-20, Binance’s BEP-20, and Solana’s SLP token standards, are compatible with decentralized finance (DeFi) payments and applications. Moreover, anyone can deploy eTokens with their own choice of token name, symbol, decimal places, and icon. Also, users can adjust the tokenomic parameters, choosing a maximum supply and distribution model.
Users can frictionlessly create their own eTokens for the cost of a single eCash transaction. Moreover, the cost for launching eTokens is subcents, creating a low barrier to entry for new cryptocurrency projects to launch their tokens.
eCash has been on an evolutionary journey through multiple forks of blockchains. As such, the eCash team is doing away with any future potential forking divisions, implementing the Avalanche consensus algorithm. Using four interoperational mechanisms, Avalanche can offer near-instant transaction finality with high throughput, low latency, and fork-free code upgrades. Moreover, the Avalanche algorithm facilitates the decentralized governance mechanisms of the eCash platform.
Operating with the umbrella term “Avalanche”, the protocol employs several mechanisms known as the “Snow Family”. These are Slush, Snowflake, Snowball, and Avalanche. Together, these four mechanisms enable a throughput of around 1300 transactions per second (TPS) and four-second low latency for confirmations. Furthermore, Avalanche is becoming an increasingly popular choice for “solving consensus in a network of unreliable machines, where failures may be crash-fault or Byzantine”.
Avalanche is an anonymous protocol first introduced through the Interplanetary File System (IPFS) in May 2018. Since then, a community of computer science and technology researchers at Cornell University audited and formalized the Avalanche protocol in 2019.
eCash wants to ensure users have the option of complete privacy, a fundamental principle of sound money. Therefore, the eCash platform supports the CashFusion protocol, a type of privacy technology similar to that of privacy coins. Moreover, CashFusion offers a scalable infrastructure with an auditable supply cap. As such, the CashFusion chain operates with the same regulatory compliance as the Bitcoin blockchain.
As a forward-thinking project, eCash understands the privacy vulnerabilities resulting from advancements in data analytics and tracking technologies. With the adoption of cryptocurrencies becoming mainstream, advertisers, social media platforms, and governments alike will all be keen to view, analyze, and evaluate data to tailor solutions in an attempt to manipulate user behavior. The eCash ecosystem is preparing for such a future by introducing CashFusion now into its core technologies.
CashFusion operates with an opt-in privacy function to give users a choice about the transparency of their funds. At the time of writing, CashFusion is only available as an option through the Electrum ABC desktop crypto wallet. eCash is planning on introducing CashFusion compatibility with other crypto wallets, including Cashtab. Cashtab is a web browser extension wallet, operating in a similar way to MetaMask, but for eCash.
eCash Upgrades and Improvements
The eCash development team is committed to continuous, incremental technical improvements via protocol upgrades and optimizations. These improvements can be split into three categories.
The first category refers to transaction throughput. The aim is for eCash to scale from processing sound 100 transactions per second (TPS) to above five million TPS. Secondly, eCash will strive to improve the user experience (UX) of the payment service, requiring ultra-fast and secure transaction finality. Thirdly, the eCash developer team will extend the protocol using a series of forkless upgrades to develop in line with emerging trends and technologies in a way that is less disruptive than current models.
These upgrades and improvements take place twice a year, on May 15th and November 15th. Rather than taking place at a specific block height, node operators upgrade using a timestamp model to minimize friction for businesses and developers. Future updates include an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) subchain with scalable smart contracts, enhanced opcodes, a new transaction format, and extensibility features for developers.
Exploring eCash Platform & XEC Token Summary
Combining some of the core value propositions of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with an advanced Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus model, eCash facilitates seamless, fast, and secure blockchain-based cross-border financial payments.
As an evolved continuation of the Bitcoin Cash project, the eCash platform, and eCash ecosystem receive support and development from the original Bitcoin Cash ABC team from 2017. Also, with new partnerships and developments, including the Avalanche protocol and CashFusion, eCash can offer users a fully secure and private payments experience. Moreover, eCash offers developers a frictionless development process for deploying their own native eTokens on the eCash chain.
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