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I am Joannes Vermorel, founder at Lokad. I am also an engineer from the Corps des Mines who initially graduated from the ENS.

I have been passionate about computer science, software matters and data mining for almost two decades. (RSS - ATOM)

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Saturday
Nov112017

Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin, a software CEO perspective

TLDR: my company, Lokad, is redirecting its attention to Bitcoin Cash, as the true Bitcoin

Like Jeff Bezos, I also believe that being successful in business depends on being right rather than being smart. Smarter means that you will solve given problems faster and better. Righter means that you will identify better problems. As I had been writing in the past, smarter problems trump smarter solutions. Any single time.

What’s Bitcoin about? The intent is to let anyone send and receive secure money in a way that is almost free and almost instant (check the original paper). Over the last two years, Blockstream, a heavily funded company, has brought “smart” but terribly wrong “improvements” to Bitcoin:

  • They have denied the almost free property of Bitcoin by capping the block size.
  • They have denied the almost instant property of Bitcoin through RBF (Replace By Fee).
  • They have weakened the security of Bitcoin through SegWit (Segregated Witness)

To be fair to the Blockstream team, they can’t claim the full ownership of this mess. They got help from other, smart, but unfortunately equally wrong, people.

Now, the Bitcoin community is not without resources. Reasonable people, including the very first non-anonymous Bitcoin developer, have been pointing in the same direction for years. Thus, last August, the community finally made a stand: Bitcoin Cash.

The only thing that you really need to know about Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash has simply undone the damaging Bitcoin features; and yes, sending money is back being almost free and almost instant. Plus, the whole thing does not rely anymore on insecure shenanigans such as anyone can spend tricks.

For my company Lokad which specializes in supply chain optimization, the blockchain has many promising applications. Naturally, it’s always possible to roll-out your own blockchain, but that somewhat defeats the purpose of having a globally unified ledger. Yet, a ledger limited to 7 transactions per second is unusable. At Lokad, we have clients who are already doing more than that! My company needs a ledger that can process tens of thousands of transactions per second; and this happens to be exactly what Bitcoin Cash is about.

Finally, the biggest hurdle that I see with SegWit Bitcoin (for a lack of better name) is SegWit. From my software engineering perspective, this feature is poison: an over-engineered mess that is going to increasingly hurt as time passes. Having personally rewritten four times the core forecasting engine of my own company, I do claim some experience in recognizing unsustainable engineering mess when I see one: SegWit is one of them. If you really seek to fix malleability (a non-urgent problem btw) then FlexTrans is a much simpler and more secure alternative. Removing SegWit from SegWit Bitcoin feels more unrealistic every passing day.

Thus, Bitcoin Cash remains as the only viable option, which fortunately, happens to be a very good option.

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