Bitcash: Project Review
Iterative Capital relies on a proprietary diligence process to determine what it will mine, hold, and trade. Periodically the firm releases an edited summary of its internal project evaluations, in order to educate the community on the merits of Proof-of-Work networks. These summaries take the form of a standardized 12-question rubric which is applied to all projects.
1. Is there a development budget behind the project?
Bitcash development activity is mostly funded from the project's 9.7% premine. There is no ICO or additional funding raised. One of the founders ("SJ") describes himself as:
“A serial entrepreneur and business tycoon that has built a tech company now worth in excess of USD$250m from the ground up. He has extensive experience in building and growing tech-related businesses.”
However, there is no way to confirm this CV, since the account is pseudonymous.
There is an ongoing block reward paid to the dev team. Every block 10% of the rewards go to the development fund. This 10% block reward for development is aimed at:
”Content writers for articles and blogs
Website and white paper translations
Community member support
Listing on exchanges
Other business-related costs”
There is no dev-related activity mentioned in this Use of Proceeds list. All members of the team have access to the fund, and there is no multi-sig process or governance currently in place. So far over 587k coins (out of 663k received) have been used for various bounties, translation, marketing expenses. If at any given time there is not enough BITC in the development fund to cover expenses, the premined funds will be utilised.
There are no funds/advisors that have publicly written about/mentioned support of BitCash.
2. Does the team show signs of being smart and persistent?
So far there is one developer (Christian Kassler). The other two members are marketing business people. Kassler (Github link) is the sole contributor to the BitCash repository. His previous project was Bitcoinreco. Again he was the sole contributor; both contributors in the repository are actually him. There wasn’t much going on in that project’s repository, but Kassler claimed otherwise in this article: “I got really far until I realised that I couldn’t develop a new cryptocurrency and market it at the same time. I’m a talented developer, but marketing has never been my strong suit.” Perhaps the code for Bitcoinreco is in a private repository, but either way the project appears dead.
The BitCash codebase is based on Bitcoin 0.16.x as upstream. According to this review, build instructions are available and work as expected, but we have no yet run the code first-hand.
BitCash doesn't seem to make use of individual test-cases and there are still some references to Bitcoin origins that haven’t been caught by the search/replace text edits. Code comments need improvement. Sometimes he doesn’t describe what a specific commit is addressing (eg “Backup”).
Prior to cryptocurrency Kassler spent 21 years working at a software development shop called CAD-KAS. We website basically licenses software that he developed himself. The type of software you can order from the website are all very simple things:
Interestingly, Kassler spent most of his career developing in Delphi and Pascal. A quick Linkedin search suggests that he may be the only person who worked at CAD-KAS.
Evidence suggests Kassler may be a lone-wolf type developer. Nonetheless, he has been very patient and proactive in answering people’s technical questions on Discord.
3. Was there a premine, and what’s the motivation of the premine?
The development activity is mostly funded from the 9.7% premine. The premine plus the 10% block rewards mean roughly 15% of the total circulation is controlled by the founding team, without taking the stable feature into calculation. The main purpose of such fund is, according to the whitepaper, “to hire more developers, list on large, reputable exchanges, marketing, joint ventures, and partnerships."
4. Does it fit into existing cryptocurrency narratives?
This project's narrative is most similar to that of Stellar or Ripple. The main motivation of Kassler to develop Reference Coin -> BitCash is that ledgers are pseudonymous, and it is hard to easily see who the recipient is, and what purpose the transaction served, when scrolling back in the ledger for accounting or tax purposes. In addition to this “reference line” feature, BitCash has a super fast block time (60s), stealth address borrowed from Monero, an optional transparency for auditor/regulators, and purportedly a stablecoin feature.
Red flags and open questions:
-The blockchain is inherited from Bitcoin, so how does it achieve 60s block time without chain-splits?
-The whitepaper says difficulty re-targets after every block based on the block time of the last 24 blocks (~24mins). While there is no inherent risk with re-targeting every block, it is critical for the difficulty adjustment algo to correctly do the calculation. If you look at the block explorer, there are lots of strings of blocks exploded out within 1s.
-The nature of the Private Master Key is strange to say the least. The always-on privacy feature is borrowed from Monero’s stealth address. You can decrypt the transaction details (and the reference line that describes the transaction in English) with Master Private Key. When Monero tried to implement something similar, only the owner of the funds can use viewkey to selectively reveal the details (this project is subsequently relinquished by Monero because the results are not reliable). However, in BitCash, the devs own your Private Master Key:
"BitCash is therefore the world’s first decentralized privacy coin to work with the law, not against it. Through a newly-invented technology, BitCash grants the right to privacy while still being able to reveal the evidence law enforcement needs to prosecute criminals (should they request it). The same applies to your bank account. With BitCash, your day-to-day transactions and wallet balance are completely private and anonymous, however law enforcement agencies can request and receive a BitCash 'Private Master Key' to view transactions made using BitCash."
-Kassler has written that users are loath to adopt crypto because its obscure form of record-keeping (ie., UTXO) does not look and feel like the records provided by payment rails today. He wants to make his project “bank-like.”
5. Is the project narrative exciting to whale influencer boards and Bitcointalk, and are crypto news sites and influencers are shilling it?
Twitter miner @Notsofast follows BitCash twitter account but has never talked about it.
On Bitcointalk a legendary user “1369” has been helping answering people’s specific questions: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5106123.0, and mentioned “the stable[coin] feature is on [the] horizon.”
A medium author Marin Zvo has written a shill article: https://cryptocurrencyhub.io/bitcash-supply-overview-and-market-cap-scenarios-ea8948b00828
Crypto Mining Blog has an article but it is mostly about how to mine it:
People’s reactions to the Bitcointalk announcements are generally positive. Most commentators are in the “Sr. member” rank.
Crypto Christopher Walken has mentioned the ticker as “one of the most profitable NVDA coins to mine” in a tweet: https://twitter.com/cryptochrisw/status/1111635035831058432?s=21 but has not offered any additional insights.
The biggest shill on Twitter is an account “Crypto Guy”. This account has ~1,200 followers.
6. Is codebase & development active and public?
Kassler (Github link) is the sole contributor to the BitCash repository. He wrote the miner, the pool, explorer, and the wallet. There are 139 commits in BitCash repository (but just 1 branch?) with 8 stars, 14 releases. Last commit was very recent as of this writing (ie., two hours).
7. Are there natural sellers, and are they motivated to hold long?
The current inflation schedule is not designed to flood the market with coins. BitCash has a four-year halving schedule similar to Bitcoin’s. There’s a total of 100mm coins in circulation. This review claims the following distribution:
- Top 10 holder hold 47.54% of circulating supply
- Top 50 holders hold 58.74% of circulating supply
- Top 100 holder hold 98.32% of circulating supply
Note that two of the three founders have already distributed their pre-mine funds to many smaller addresses.
In addition, the total amount of coins can change depending on the popularity of the stable feature, which manages the peg through burning and minting coins. If a high percentage of users use the peg, and the price massively drops, the number of total coins may dramatically increase.
8. Who (if anyone) is paying to get it listed?
The founding team will pay, using the premined block rewards as funding (according to the whitepaper).
9. Which exchanges own it?
- A1 Exchange
10. How many retail buyers are coming in, and from where?
So far there are 2,000+ users on Discord. Looks like a good amount of active users are Russian-language speakers.
11. Google search trends up or down?
A rather concerning fact is that many mentions of “BitCash” are actually refering to BCH. For instance, Korean’s pumping Bitcash, What is the difference between Bitcoin and BitCash, Trading View- BitCash are all actually talking about BCH. Not sure if this is a deliberate strategy to sneakily increase mentions. But looks like on Twitter & Reddit when people say “BitCash” they still mostly mean BCH.
1215. Twitter activity around the coin and brand?
BitCash twitter account has 976 followers. Christian has 160 followers. Mentions of $BITC rather sparse. This could be related to the fact that a lot of users are from Russian-speaking countries.