What is eCash: The payment crypto hoping to pass Bitcoin Cash

After numerous forks, eCash seems set in its ways. Whether it has what it takes is another story

eCash logo foregrounding dwelling red and black galaxy design – Photo: Shutterstock                                 
eCash has a while to go before catching the competition – Photo: Shutterstock


According to their website, eCash is “the implementation of the tech-secured sound money envisioned by luminaries in monetary philosophy like Milton Friedman.” The site goes on to say: “eCash is forged from centuries of economic theory and over a decade of real-world crypto experience.”

In simpler terms, eCash (XEC) is the native cryptocurrency of the software company Bitcoin ABC. Despite being relatively new, the payment coin has had a tumultuous past. Read on as we look into the key aspects of eCash and the native XEC cryptocurrency. 

What is eCash (XEC) and what is eCash coin used for? Furthermore, how does eCash work? Stay with us as we find out.

What is eCash (XEC): A brief history

eCash (XEC) is led by self-styled “financial freedom fighter and benevolent dictator” Amaury Sechet, who also helmed the launch of Bitcoin Cash before dropping off the radar between 2018-2020.

The San Francisco-based Amaury’s LinkedIn profile says that before Bitcoin Cash he spent four years as a software developer for Facebook after leaving the French IT company Hub’Sales.

XEC coin, briefly called Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA) before a July 2021 rebranding exercise, originated as a fork from Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in November 2020. BCH was itself a fork of Bitcoin, executed by a team of developers dissatisfied with the direction that Bitcoin’s development community was taking.

Bitcoin Cash actually forked into two separate projects: BCHA and Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN). The divergent forks were the result of Amaury’s contentious decision to require an 8% donation from all miners to a development fund.

NOTE: Some exchanges have yet to update the eCash cryptocurrency’s ticker to XEC from its previous iteration of BCHA).

From August 2021, eCash began work on a number of privacy features which are still in the development phase. Perhaps controversially, eCash is in the process of implementing CashFusion, a privacy protocol that obscures transactional activity through “mixing” transactions with other users, creating obfuscation.

The mixing method is used by the privacy coin Monero and has been accused of attracting cyber criminals and ransomware attackers.

The eCash roadmap outlines scalability as the next major hurdle to overcome. eCash is currently supporting up to 100 transactions per second (TPS), but it has a lofty target of five million TPS. To meet these ends, the developers intend to implement scalable blockchain processing, blockchain pruning the QUIC network protocol.

Implementing Avalanche consensus

eCash (XEC) is in the latter stages of implementing the Avalanche proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus method. Full integration will allow for instant transaction finality, fork-free upgrades, added scalability and the ability to implement subnets.

As a PoS consensus method, users will be able to stake their XEC cryptocurrency to help secure the network, earning rewards in return.

Timeline of eCash’s journey to Avalanche consensus – Source: e.cash
Pre-consensus is the final step towards Avalanche implementation – Source: e.cash

At the time of writing, eCash was at the “post-consensus” stage of Avalanche implementation. Once the “pre-consensus” is reached, eCash miners will be in charge of block validation, thus achieving genuine network decentralisation.

eCash versus Bitcoin Cash

By eCash’s own admission, XEC does not yet compete with BCH in size, having less than a third of BCH’s market capitalisation.

Graph comparing eCash and Bitcoin Cash market capitalisations – Source: e.cash
eCash is currently below 30% of Bitcoin Cash’s market capitalisation – Source: e.cash

Furthermore, a recent 24-hour transaction count showed 61,757 unique BCH transfers, against XEC’s 1,052. The XEC cryptocurrency has a market share of 0.09%, against BCH’s 0.31%.

eCash is leading in one metric: average monthly asset appreciation since XEC’s fork is currently 14.51%, whereas Bitcoin Cash is currently -0.09%. However, with Bitcoin Cash having more than three years of vintage over eCash, the comparison is not 100% fair.

Both cryptocurrencies enjoy near-zero transaction fees. eCash currently has an average block time of 13 minutes 42 second compared to Bitcoin Cash’s 11 minutes and four seconds, though eCash will substantially reduce its block time upon full Avalanche integration. (Data sourced from Blockchair.)

XEC coin: The tokenomics

When eCash rebranded from BCHA, developers took the novel decision to reduce the number of decimals from eight to two. Sechet said: “No other money has 8 decimal places. Why should crypto? Cryptocurrencies with a lower unit price also enjoy higher bull market appreciation. Because the eCash team is incentivised by both tech and price improvement, this improvement was a no-brainer.

This decimal reduction means that one XEC comprises 100 satoshis (the lowest denomination of of bitcoin) as opposed to 100 million satoshi (as is the case with bitcoin). According to eCash's FAQs section, the decision was implemented to simplify smaller transactions. “For instance, instead of sending 0.00001000 bitcoins (which was the base unit used by BCHA), you’ll simply send 10 bits!

XEC coin has a fixed supply of 21 trillion, 91% of which has already been mined. The exchange value of XEC as of 6 April 2021 was $0.0001. Market capitalisation was $1.914bn and a 24-hour trading volume of $192.56m amounted to approximately 10% of market capitalisation.

Binance is the primary centralised exchange (CEX) offering trading pairs, following by Gate.io, KuCoin and Coinone. The yearly XEC inflation rate is currently 1.73%. When the next halving occurs in March 2024, inflation will be reduced to 0.83%.


Further reading

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