Q&A with eCash
In today's Q&A session, we're diving into the world of eCash with the expert team behind it.
What is eCash, and what makes it special?
eCash is a Layer-1 cryptocurrency that combines the benefits of hard money with fast and convenient transaction processing. Built on the same core technology as Bitcoin, eCash sets itself apart by implementing the innovative Avalanche protocol next to its base Nakamoto protocol. This makes eCash a state-of-the-art hybrid consensus network that leads with efficiency, speed, and security.
This hybrid consensus allows for instant transaction finality with guaranteed sub-cent fees and introduces new concepts unseen on Bitcoin-based chains, like on-chain staking rewards, fork-free network upgrades, and greater extensibility through subchains. The main goal of eCash is to develop a high-throughput, censorship-resistant, and secure electronic cash network for the next generation, following a clear roadmap that optimizes for massive scale.
As a fork of Bitcoin Cash, how does eCash differ?
Both Bitcoin Cash and eCash were founded by our team, so both networks share some technical similarities. Since the fork in 2021, eCash has been advancing its infrastructure in accordance with the roadmap that was established at the outset of this project in 2017. Development follows a well-defined plan, built by a team with the required expertise to make eCash competitive at a global scale. The project includes a protocol revenue model ensuring that resources are reinvested into development.
From a technological perspective, the biggest difference on eCash is the integration of Avalanche, which significantly enhances the network's security, making it resistant to 51% attacks. Services like Wirex can credit eCash deposits with just one confirmation today, finalized by Post-Consensus. And with the completion of our Pre-Consensus milestone, eCash will gain a whole new set of possibilities for the network to extend.
The eCash project also continues to build out key infrastructure, such as the eToken system, the Cashtab.com reference wallet, aliases for human-readable addresses, and an integrated indexer among other things. These pieces of infrastructure, which are often missing on other projects and Bitcoin forks, provide a solid base for app developers and businesses to build products and services on eCash.
Overall, eCash has a clear roadmap and is well-maintained, self-sustaining, more agile, faster, and far more secure compared to competing networks.
Can you tell us more about the Avalanche protocol and why it is significant?
The Avalanche protocol is the latest breakthrough consensus protocol that excels at achieving decentralized consensus efficiently and quickly in a trustless manner. It has significant benefits in efficiency, speed, and security. However, using Avalanche alone presents a downside: there is no way to bootstrap newly joining network participants in the same trustless manner, forcing it to rely on central nodes for the bootstrapping process of newly joining nodes.
To address this centralization issue, eCash leverages its existing Nakamoto consensus protocol to enable decentralized and trustless node bootstrapping. This hybrid combination is crucial and allows eCash to leverage all the benefits of Avalanche while retaining its trustless nature based on its core proof-of-work consensus. eCash is the only blockchain that has integrated Avalanche consensus in this complementary combination with Nakamoto consensus, negating the weaknesses of both protocols while leveraging their strengths.
Moreover, Avalanche adds the capability to streamline future upgrades such that they won't require specifically timed hard forks to go live. It also makes the network more extensible via subchains, introduces staking and governance possibilities, enables trustless ways to interoperate with other chains, and lays a solid foundation for future scaling.
All in all, the Avalanche protocol is a great match for eCash, since a fundamental piece of the scaling roadmap was the integration of what was called “pre-consensus” before Avalanche was invented. When the Avalanche whitepaper came out, it was clear that this innovative protocol could be leveraged to achieve pre-consensus, and work on implementing it began.
What are your plans for the next years to come?
What you can look forward to is the upcoming Avalanche Pre-Consensus upgrade. With it, the foundation for all following roadmap items falls into place.
The following years to come will be loaded with powerful extensions and interoperability, for example, EVM- or Zero-Knowledge Subchains. Staking rewards are also on the horizon, which is truly unique in a Bitcoin-based blockchain and something eCash users are excited about. You can expect eCash to soon reap the benefits of all the latest developments to make the best out of its technological fundamentals.
What makes you excited to work with Wirex?
It is crucial for cryptocurrency to provide a feasible and simple user experience. Wirex offers exactly that with its credit card and direct crypto onramp. It also offers lucrative opportunities for users interested in earning yield. We are very glad that eCash can be part of the Wirex ecosystem with users now being able to buy eCash directly from Wirex, top up their credit card quickly and easily to pay with their eCash anywhere, and try out Wirex’ savings options.
Wirex is a good complement to eCash’s goal of empowering people to have more options and freedom when it comes to their money. We are also looking forward to leveraging future eCash functionality and innovations on Wirex to provide an excellent user experience and value gain for our shared user base. Starting with instant deposits on Wirex, we’re off to a great start!
What’s one interesting fact about eCash that we might not know?
Not too long ago, research was conducted to test a potential Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) system called Project Hamilton, arranged by the Boston FED. Using an UTXO model and parallelization, the architecture of this network is strikingly similar to that of eCash, but with engineers removing the proof-of-work part as it is unnecessary in their centralized setup.
In their phase one test run, they achieved over a million transactions per second, which speaks to the scalability of the underlying technology and effectively vindicates our unique scaling roadmap we've crafted for eCash, with an ambitious but achievable goal of 5 million transactions per second. This also serves as a big motivator for the eCash project to deliver on the promise of a freedom-promoting alternative to the looming centralized CBDCs.