Has a cryptocurrency by trolls, for trolls, finally been created?
If not, the cryptocurrency bitcoin core (BTCC) certainly comes close. And no, we're not using the derogatory other name for the cryptocurrency most often referred to as bitcoin – the one that legendary crypto investor and bitcoin cash booster Roger Ver likes to berate.
Rather, BTCC is a new cryptocurrency, which ironically enough came about from a fork of bitcoin cash. Well, a hard fork of a bitcoin cash hard fork that is.
It's all a bit confusing, but after bitcoin cash's November 2017 hard fork, which was executed to fix the cryptocurrency's mining algorithm, a small group resisted, splitting the blockchain and creating a new project called "bitcoin clashic." But because bitcoin clashic didn't address the issue, it faded away after a few months.
Yet, another small group of ever-persistent developers forked bitcoin clashic – fixing its issues but leaving the updates from bitcoin cash's most recent hard fork – a couple weeks ago to create bitcoin core (BTCC).
Or in the words of the BTCC Twitter account:
That comment, while irreverent, speaks not only to the fact that BTCC is supposed to complement bitcoin (instead of compete with it as bitcoin cash is generally positioned as), but also that the BTCC devs are, in part, trolling Mr. Ver.
See, Ver has made it his mission to paint bitcoin cash as the "real" bitcoin – a protocol he contends better represents what Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, would have wanted. And while it's not the original chain, Ver very often renames bitcoin, "bitcoin core" (after the name of the team behind bitcoin's main software implementation), even going so far as to label bitcoin cash, "bitcoin" and bitcoin, "bitcoin core" on his website bitcoin.com.
While no one has a trademark over the bitcoin name, many are outraged by Ver's antics, contending that his categorizations will confuse new investors. And the developers behind BTCC seem to be aligned with those opposed to Ver.
The original BTCC website (which has since been altered) trolled Ver by arguing that BTCC is, in fact, the currency Ver was really talking about when he speaks about the "real" bitcoin. Even the cryptocurrency's main block explorer is called "truevisionofsatoshi.com," referencing a tagline that many bitcoin cash supporters have taken to.
Plus, the team behind BTCC has also taken to poking fun at other notable bitcoin cash supporters, including John McAfee, the brash entrepreneur that made his money off anti-virus software and now shills crypto tokens on Twitter for a price.
But since trolling is a much-appreciated method for showing disdain in cryptocurrency circles, BTCC is getting plenty of attention.
Pseudonymous bitcoin subreddit moderator BashCo said that the cryptocurrency has a serious element, too, since it takes attention away from what many claim are fraudulent acts of rebranding by Ver. In this way, it might be helpful to think of BTCC as a monetized piece of performance art, one only made possible by cryptocurrencies.
Bashco told CoinDesk:
Backing up, bitcoin cash's launch sparked an ongoing debate over bitcoin's "branding."
This war started when those opposed to bitcoin cash started calling it "bcash." While those using bcash explained that the nickname was in an effort to eliminate confusion between bitcoin cash and bitcoin, the supporters of bitcoin cash didn't like the new moniker.
According to bitcoin cash supporters like Eli Afram, the Bitcoin Cash Australia founder, giving bitcoin cash that nickname was more than just a helpful signal.
"When bitcoin cash first forked, many in the Bitcoin Core camp were so threatened they couldn't even call it by its name or even its ticker for short and referred to it as 'bcash,'" Afram argued to CoinDesk.
Since then, this naming war has gone through many iterations.
As mentioned, bitcoin cash supporters see the cryptocurrency as the "real" bitcoin since it upped the block size, allowing for more transactions to happen on the network with lower fees – what they see as Satoshi's real interest in creating a cryptocurrency in the first place. Yet, detractors say it's not that easy – since bitcoin has amassed a huge network worth billions of dollars, technical work has to be slow and steady so as not to disrupt the technology from its use as a store of value.
Still, bitcoin cash proponents have begun calling bitcoin "bitcoin core."
As such, those in favor of bitcoin cash aren't seeing the new bitcoin core (BTCC) cryptocurrency as a humorous meme.
"Bitcoin core (BTCC) was created to make people think bitcoin core (BTC) is bitcoin," said Ryan X. Charles, the co-founder and CEO of Yours, which notably moved from bitcoin to bitcoin cash after the hard fork.
Ver told CoinDesk that BTCC isn't "even worth commenting on."
And all this prompted Afram to say:
A chain kept alive
But even with most people thinking BTCC is just a silly effort to fight back against bitcoin cash semantics, the developers behind the cryptocurrency, at least in their own words, trying to distance themselves from the naming war.
"The original [bitcoin cash] was kept alive as an experimental testbed, and in case there was ever a use for it to make a positive contribution to bitcoin. It was, and is, a labor of love," an anonymous spokesperson for BTCC told CoinDesk.
Although, according to the spokesperson, the BTCC team doesn't exactly mind being seen as a bit of a joke, but he or she went on to claim the developers are taking the cryptocurrency more seriously.
"Some members of the community decided to have some fun and leverage the publicity," the spokesperson said. "However, the Bitcoin Core developers are committed to delivering a unique value proposition, adhering to core values and offering increased speed and enhanced privacy."
The spokesperson even said the BTCC developers have a hard fork planned soon that will upgrade the protocol; the developers want to add confidential transactions, a privacy feature that hides user balances since they believe bitcoin doesn't go far enough to protect people's privacy.
Still, these comments are hard to take seriously since the cryptocurrency's official Twitter account and Telegram channel is full of trolling comments.
Trolls image via Shutterstock
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