What you should know about Bitcoin Cash possibly splitting on November 15th

Bitcoin Fork

Bitcoin Cash Could Split Again

One of the strengths of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is its open, decentralized nature. The code itself is open source, as released by the anonymous “Satoshi Nakamoto” back in 2009. Anyone can “fork the code” – copy it and create their own cryptocurrency, tweaking the software however one wants. This has been done many thousands of times in the last decade and has resulted in an overwhelming number of cryptocurrencies, many of which are very interesting to speculate about but have very little real-life relevance. Bitcoin (BTC), far and away is still the king-of-the-hill of crypto.

In 2017, for the first time ever, a different kind of fork happened with Bitcoin. This one happened internally and contentiously. Some history: In 2017, Bitcoin’s network was full of transactions, just like it is today. Similar to recent months, network fees then were rising dramatically as people looking to send transactions as quickly as possible bid up the fees to ridiculous levels. For instance, within the last week, I paid about $10 worth of BTC to send a transaction. This is CRAZY expensive for sending crypto, which shouldn’t cost more than one or two cents or even less.

The Bitcoin programmers and community could not come to an agreement on how to scale up Bitcoin to meet demand and keep the fees low. One side offered a simple solution they said was Satoshi’s original vision – increase the block size. The block size is a technical term describing the number of bytes maximum that a “block” can be when it’s “mined” onto the “blockchain”. The blockchain being the major innovation that makes Bitcoin such an important development – it’s a public ledger of all the Bitcoin transactions that have occurred since the beginning. The blockchain is decentralized and distributed. There are thousands of copies of it across the world. This distribution is why Bitcoin cannot be taken down by world governments – it exists in too many places at once.

Anyway, when Satoshi created Bitcoin, there was no limit on block size. Later, Satoshi added a block size of one megabyte apparently without telling anyone. Satoshi later disappeared from public view and hasn’t been seen since. Why did Satoshi add the limit? There is speculation, but apparently Satoshi never explained it. Regardless, it exists and some in the Bitcoin community say it should be raised. The larger the block size, the more transactions can be fit in a block, which are generally mined onto the blockchain roughly every ten minutes. More transactions per block means more transaction volume can be handled at once and therefore, lower network fees. Simple, right?

Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin Miners

Unfortunately, not everyone agreed. Another group was against the raising of the block size, instead proposing much more complex ideas including “Segregated Witness” and “Lightning Network” as solutions. I don’t have the ability to explain them, so I won’t try. Suffice it to say, they implemented “Segregated Witness” and its effect on the network fees was completely unremarkable. The much ballyhooed “Lightning Network” is still in development, so the jury is out on that. The two sides could not come to an agreement, so for the first time in its history, on August 1st of 2017, Bitcoin (BTC) had a “chain fork” aka “chain split” and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was born. Instantly, everyone who had Bitcoin (BTC) also had the same amount of the then-new Bitcoin Cash (BCH). I prefer to call the event a schism however, because outside the technical aspects, from the human perspective, a chain split resembles a religious schism. Two groups of people, who previously agreed, come to irreconcilable differences, and go their separate ways. Whether political, sports, or crypto – human nature appears to be very tribal. For better or for worse.

Are we better off or worse off for having Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin (BTC)? It depends on your perspective. I think it would have been better if the BTC programmers just increased the block size, fixing the problem of the full network and the ridiculous fees. Unfortunately they would not do this, and so Bitcoin Cash had to happen. However, the increased competition has done nothing to get Bitcoin’s programmers to fix the problem, meanwhile, network fees for sending Bitcoin (BTC) are on the rise – just like happened in 2017. Just one week ago, the average fee was over $10! As I write this, it’s over $6. Most people buying Bitcoin (BTC) are unaware of the insane fees, because they are buying on sites like Coinbase and apps like Cash App and if they never move the funds off those platforms, they never experience the insane network fee, so to them it’s an investment vehicle, not money.

In fact, this now-common viewpoint about Bitcoin (BTC) – that it is a “store of value” rather than “electronic cash” was not always the case and has been cultivated by its supporters in recent years. Satoshi’s whitepaper was clear. Bitcoin was supposed to be electronic cash, which also is a store of value. For years, Bitcoin’s network fees – paid by the sender – were no more than a penny’s worth of BTC per transaction. There are some interesting theories that suggest old-money companies like Mastercard via its membership in the “Digital Currency Group” are funding key Bitcoin programmers by investing in a company called Blockstream, who put those programmers on its payroll several years ago, after which all the trouble started. Another investor of Blockstream is AXA Group, a massive global bank. Satoshi created Bitcoin to undermine the old money institutions like Mastercard and big bankers like AXA, but now they are funding its key developers?

Bitcoin Cash Logo

Which will be the “true” Bitcoin Cash?

Whether its through a conspiracy to make Bitcoin less useful in the marketplace or just the inaction that sometimes can result from being the king-of-the-hill, Bitcoin has not been fixed. It’s still broken due to network congestion driving up the fees. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a much more useful alternative than Bitcoin, primarily because its network fees are what they should be, around one cent’s worth of BCH. Of course, plenty of cryptos have low fees, like DASH, but Bitcoin Cash has had the staying power to keep in the top ten while DASH – once as high ranked as #5 by market cap, has fallen down the charts.

Unlike DASH, however, Bitcoin Cash’s existence so far – behind the scenes – has been somewhat dramatic. DASH has never had a chain split, but Bitcoin Cash had its first in November of 2018, just over a year after it came into existence as I described above. Bitcoin Cash has regular upgrades every six months that require a “hard fork” of the currency. A “hard fork” means that all users must upgrade their software to continue to use the network, whereas a “soft fork” is a software upgrade that is optional and backwards-compatible with previous versions. Hard forks are an ideal time for disagreeing parties to attempt a chain split and create a new competitor and so in November 2018, a group led by an Australian man claiming – without evidence – to be Satoshi Nakamoto, decided they were going to have themselves a schism and “Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision” aka Bitcoin SV (BSV) was created from the Bitcoin Cash chain. This was the first time Bitcoin Cash had a schism of its own. However, it may not be the last.

I apologize for all the backstory, but I feel it’s necessary to tell it in that detail to bring new users up to speed on why things are happening. This electronic cash is like nothing we’ve ever seen before and there is a learning curve. As a founder of Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire, I don’t want people to be in the dark if they don’t want to be, and a little bit of knowledge is useful to those willing to learn. Sure, you can ignore all this stuff and probably everything will be fine, but there is a chance of some confusing things happening, and so we bring our story to the current day:

Two years after Bitcoin Cash schisming into Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Cash is once again facing another looming chain split on November 15th. Plus, it’s looking like the possible drama-factor could be higher than ever. What’s happening this time? Bitcoin Cash’s most visible programmer, Amaury Sechet, has called for an “upgrade” to send 8% of the mining rewards to the Bitcoin Cash programmers. Mining rewards go to the miner who successfully “mines” a given block to the blockchain. The rewards are currently made up of the 6.25 BCH “block reward” that are “mined” into existence with each block and the total amount of transaction fees collected for that block’s transactions. Normally miners keep 100% of the mining rewards, but Sechet’s proposal changes that to 92%. So far, the miners who are currently mining are signalling their opposition to the planned “upgrade”, so there’s a chance it won’t get off the ground and nothing will change.

Bitcoin Hash War

Cointelegraph’s Artist’s Interpretation of a Bitcoin Hash War

However, the supporters of the 8% programmers’ fee could turn on a bunch of mining power on the day of the possible split and then it could actually happen. The supporters of the 8% fee are being referred to in various places as “Bitcoin Cash ABC” (BCHA) and they have their own software. The opposition, who are running different software, are referred to frequently as “Bitcoin Cash Node” (BCHN). Neither of those names are particularly catchy, but the important thing to note here, is both of these camps are going to be fighting over the name “Bitcoin Cash”. Because crypto is decentralized, it will be up to the market to decide. In recent days, various exchanges and other cryptocurrency service providers have been announcing their plans on how they will be handling the possible schism. As you might imagine, it’s a patchwork. Many are preemptively choosing a winner and siding with BCHN. Others are saying they will be watching the situation closely and awarding the “Bitcoin Cash” (BCH) moniker and ticker symbol to whichever chain wins the mining “hash war” that could occur, based on various factors.

It wasn’t really a big deal when Bitcoin SV split off from Bitcoin Cash, as Bitcoin SV never tried to call itself “Bitcoin Cash”, so as confusing as chain splits are to the new user, at least there wasn’t confusion in naming. Now with two competing groups vying for the Bitcoin Cash name, the potential for confusion is very high. So what can you do if you have Bitcoin Cash (BCH)? Here are some possible options:

  • Do nothing. If the chain splits, some wallets will support both chains. A chain split means whatever amount of BCH you have at the time of the split, you’ll get the exact same amount of the newly split coin, whatever your wallet decides to call it. Unless your wallet won’t be supporting one of them, in which case you technically still have the new coins, but may have to move your balance to a wallet that is supporting the split to see both balances.
  • Sell off your BCH and avoid the whole thing. If you sell before the possible split, you avoid any drama but also avoid the possible benefit of having both new BCH competitors after the possible split.
  • Move all your BCH to the same wallet. If you’re expecting a chain split and have BCH in more than one wallet, you may want to move it all together to the same wallet before the 15th, preferably a wallet that is planning to support both coins.
  • Move all your BCH to an exchange. Note, it’s risky to hold crypto on an exchange. That said, if you want to get both coins at the time of the possible schism and have the immediate ability to trade away the coins you don’t want, you ought to send your BCH to an exchange that will be supporting both split coins, like Coinex.

Whatever you decide to do, you may want to do it before November 15th as many wallets, exchanges, and other services will be freezing all BCH transactions as November 15th gets closer, in preparation for the possible schism. Also, if the chain split occurs and a new BCH competitor is born, the new coin will not have what is called “replay protection” and the “replay attack” will be possible. This makes it dangerous to send BCH transactions until wallet providers can update their software to ensure safety or until the coins themselves add replay protection. It would be wise to be patient after a chain fork, don’t move your funds, and stay connected to the crypto community to learn more as it develops.

If you’re in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, please join our Telegram chat and our Meetup group. If you have any questions it’s always a good idea to crowdsource the answers as in situations like this, opinions can range. No one is an expert and no one can predict what might happen.

I hope you found this article informative and thank you for reading this far. Good luck with the fork – if it even happens!

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Red Arrow Diner Nashua Adds Bitcoin Vending Machine + Keene BVM Moves

New Bitcoin Vending Machine at Red Arrow Diner in Nashua

New Bitcoin Vending Machine at Red Arrow Diner in Nashua

Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire has launched another Bitcoin Vending Machine (BVM), this one in Nashua at the brand new Red Arrow Diner.  Located at 149 Daniel Webster Hwy, the Red Arrow’s Nashua location is just the latest opening in the New Hampshire family of diners that stretches back nearly one hundred years to its founding in Manchester in 1922!  The small NH-based chain recently opened restaurants in Concord and Nashua in addition to its downtown Manchester and Londonderry locations.  However, Nashua is the only one with a Bitcoin Vending Machine on-site.

Earlier this year, during the COVID-related crackdown on freedoms that attacked local businesses and continues to harm them, the Embassy’s long-running BVM at Murphy’s Taproom in Manchester became very hard to access. This was due to Murphy’s shutting down as a result of the insane restrictions and threats against restaurants from the governor’s gangsters.  It looked as though Murphy’s was going out of business as its owner, Keith Murphy had posted a goodbye note to his social media.  Sadly, I immediately started looking for a new venue to house the Bitcoin Vending Machine and the first place I thought of was the Red Arrow.  Pre-COVID it was always a highly renown 24/7 diner with locations across the most populated areas of New Hampshire.  Lots of people are familiar with Red Arrow’s friendly brand and their humongous menu.

Two-Way CVM at Campus Convenience

Two-Way CVM at Campus Convenience in Keene

As it turned out, Red Arrow’s co-owner George Lawrence had heard of Bitcoin and was interested in taking on the machine at the just-opened-in-May Nashua location.  Located just across the border from Massachusetts, the Nashua restaurant is an ideal spot for a BVM.  It would be even better if Red Arrow was 24/7 again, but unfortunately due to the fear being perpetrated against the populace by the government gang and its media sycophants, it’s hard for Red Arrow to find the workers needed to return to 24-hour operation.  That said, the Nashua location is open as early as six am to late-night seven days a week and hopefully will eventually get back to it’s once-prominent position of being New Hampshire’s premiere 24/7 diner.

Thankfully, Murphy’s was able to re-open in Manchester and so instead of moving the machine from there to Red Arrow, we upgraded the machine in Murphy’s to a newer model and installed another brand new General Bytes BATMTwo unit at the Red Arrow in Nashua.

In other New Hampshire BVM news, the top-of-the line unit that was located at Thirsty Owl in Keene has moved across Winchester Street to Campus Convenience, which has even better hours as it opens in the morning all seven-days-per-week.

More exciting local crypto news to come. Please keep watching this blog for the latest.

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Car Detailing, Vietnamese Food, and Cleaning Now Available for Crypto in Keene Area

KD Prestige Detailing

KD Prestige Detailing – Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies

Businesses now accepting cryptocurrency in the Keene area had a major expansion last month, with a professional car detailer “KD Prestige Detailing“, a rendezvous Vietnamese Pho chef “EuPHOria“, and professional cleaner “Pure Bliss Clean” all set up to accept multiple cryptos from customers. 

Labeled “Crypto Mecca” in articles at Forbes and Bitcoin.com, the little college city of Keene, New Hampshire continues to be remarkable in its community adoption of various cryptocurrencies and boasts one of the highest concentrations of crypto-accepting businesses-per-capita on the planet.  Now, that concentration is even higher with three new businesses onboard.

Businesses in New Hampshire are empowered to accept more cryptocurrencies than just Bitcoin (BTC) as the Portsmouth-based “Anypay Cash Register” app easily allows local owners to accept multiple cryptos at their point-of-sale, like DASH, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and even Bitcoin SV (BSV).  Anypay was the first crypto payments processor that allowed businesses a choice back in 2017 when they launched with BTC and DASH.  Anypay has since become the best real-life crypto payments platform, and they are located right here in New Hampshire.

The acceptance of multiple cryptocurrencies is one thing that sets New Hampshire’s businesses apart from many around the world.  Many businesses globally were set up to take just one crypto, usually by someone who is a fanatic of that one particular crypto.  However, we understand that businesses need to be flexible and that there will never be just one crypto, so business owners are encouraged to take the top few cryptos that are focused on payments, like DASH and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).  Bitcoin (BTC) these days is just too expensive for most small purchases due to its large fees by comparison.  Businesses want to use what works best for their customers and customers want a choice, not a crypto cult that only promotes “one true crypto”.

Coinmap 2020-02-07

Coinmap.org for downtown Keene as of February 2020

With her new business, “EuPHOria”, the founding chef of Keene’s “Pho Keene Great”, Isabelle Rose, has struck out on her own and is now regularly meeting customers in Keene with hot Vietnamese food cooked-to-order. Another recent addition is Pure Bliss Clean, a professional cleaning service that handles home and small businesses.  Also, Kenzy Dietz of “KD Prestige Detailing” recently won our radio giveaway contest we ran for months on 92.7 Bratt FM and decided to set up Anypay Cash Register shortly thereafter.  Dietz had already been introduced to cryptocurrency by someone close to her and was elated to be the winner of the $500-worth-of-crypto giveaway.  When asked what her reasons were for accepting cryptocurrency at her car detailing business, Dietz said, “Cryptocurrency is the currency of the future, so I am delighted to be a local business that accepts it as payment. Not only is it easy to accept, but it’s a great way to broaden my businesses acceptance of alternatives to paying with just cash, checks, or debit. The future is coming.”

One legitimate objection to accepting cryptocurrency at one’s business is that it’s subject to wild swings in price.  When a business needs to pay its vendor quickly and that vendor’s not yet onboard with crypto, that means some of the crypto needs to be converted to the dreaded government “fiat” currency – the US Dollar.  Central Bank money like US Dollars do not go up in value by design and only lose value over time through inflation. While crypto can be wild ride, it does have the potential to go up over time, and in fact has. For those business owners who need quick crypto-to-dollar service, Anypay recently made it possible with their new ACH service that deposits the day’s cryptocurrency purchase dollar value into your bank account, within 1-2 business days.  If you’re in the Keene area and want to explore how you can begin accepting cryptocurrency from your customers, it’s easier than you think.

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Longtime Campus Convenience Store Now Accepting Cryptocurrency

My Campus Convenience

My Campus Convenience, Keene – Now Accepting Cryptocurrencies!

As of last week, Keene now has two well-known and busy convenience stores that are accepting multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), DASH, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Corner News, the Main Street icon for over 100 years has been accepting crypto since 2013 for various convenience items and smoking accessories, but they now have a crypto-accepting competitor in the form of My Campus Convenience.

“CampCo” has been in business a long time and is very conveniently located to the Keene State College campus, located at its northwestern end, at 152 Winchester Street in Keene, right across from Thirsty Owl, a crypto-accepting bar. Thirsty Owl’s owner, Darren Humphrey, recently took over management of My Campus Convenience and immediately implemented accepting cryptocurrencies as one of his first changes.

It’s a no-brainer. Humphrey has obviously had a good experience with cryptocurrency acceptance at the Owl. Receiving crypto from customers means a business gets 100% of every sale, unlike credit cards that take away about 3% of every sale, and an even larger percentage of the profit. Unlike US Dollars or other fiat currency that go down in value due to constant inflation, Cryptocurrency also has the potential of going up – or down – in value, so many local business owners like Humphrey are holding it for the long-term. Though it’s not difficult to turn cryptocurrency into US Dollars, if that’s what the business owner wants to do.

The new addition of Campus Convenience to the growing roster of crypto-accepting Keene-area businesses solidifies our place as one of the top few cities in the world for businesses-per-capita that are accepting crypto. We beat even the “Bitcoin Cash City” of Townsville, Australia where a conference will be held this week to promote that area.

Stickers at My Campus Convenience

Crypto Stickers at My Campus Convenience

There’s no doubt what Townsville’s crypto community have accomplished is impressive, but their city’s population is over 178,000, while Keene’s is about 23,000. That means with 78 BCH-accepting businesses, according to the “Marco Coino” app, Townsville has one business for every 2,293 people while Keene’s 14 BCH-accepting locations gives it a ratio of one business for every 1,642 people. That’s great, but we are bested in the Bitcoin Cash acceptance category by Ljubljana, Slovenia where a payment processor called Elipay is having tremendous success getting allegedly as many as 220 area businesses including at least one grocery store to accept cryptocurrency including Bitcoin Cash. With 279,631 in population, that gives Ljubljana a ratio of one business for every 1,271 people.

The other main crypto spent on-the-ground here in Keene is DASH, which has been accepted by businesses across Keene since 2017. It was with DASH that New Hampshire-based Anypay pioneered their “DASH-Back” program , which pretty consistently gives instant 10% rebates to customers making a purchase at merchants who run the Anypay system. In Keene almost every business that accepts cryptocurrency from customers in real life is using Anypay’s point-of-sale. Eventually, Anypay launched a Bitcoin Cash-back system as well. Both of their crypto rebate robots are funded by donations and are active at the time of this writing.

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Bitcoin Embassy NH Launches in Keene, Offers Free “Bitcoin 101” Classes

Bitcoin 101 Class at Bitcoin Embassy NH

Bitcoin 101 Class at Bitcoin Embassy NH

Keene, New Hampshire has already established itself as a world leader in real-life businesses accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at their cash register. Now local area cryptocurrency advocates have taken the next step and opened an educational center to help people learn about crypto – the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire.

The Bitcoin Embassy NH joins others around the globe, and is the second in the United States. The first Bitcoin Embassy in the US was Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy, which opened earlier this year.

With the goals of education, networking, and inspiration, head ambassador and instructor Chris Rietmann opened the doors to the Bitcoin Embassy NH in October and has already created a “Bitcoin 101” class that is free to take! Though, donations are certainly welcomed if you find the class valuable. Classes are also available for those looking to learn how to accept crypto at their businesses.

Already the Embassy has received coverage in the Keene Sentinel, NH Public Radio, and a front page feature in the Monadnock Shopper News.

The Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire is open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday and is located inside Route 101 Local Goods at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene, NH.

Of course, the Bitcoin Embassy NH is just the latest development in the area. We already have an active Meetup group with meetings every six days and Telegram chat room, so please connect with either or both of those to join the cryptocurrency community in the Monadnock region.

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People spending DASH at NH retail are getting instant rebates, aka “DASH-Back”. Here’s why and how it works.

Chart of USD's fall over 100 years.

The dollar’s not going back up from here.

UPDATE October 2020:  The DASH-Back program is over, but this article will remain online for historical purposes.

One of the biggest challenges that cryptocurrency needs to overcome in the market is the tendency of its adopters to hold and never spend their crypto. It’s called Gresham’s Law, the idea that bad money drives out the good from circulation. That means given two choices of which money to spend, the consumer, understandably, will choose to spend the inferior currency. Here, the inferior form of currency is the government money – the U.S. Dollar – and the better form is cryptocurrency. Since crypto users know there is a chance their crypto could go up in value and we all know the U.S. Dollar is sure to go down in value over time – due to politicians inflating the supply of U.S. Dollars – the smart thing to do in that situation is to spend the dollars and hold the crypto.

This is a difficult situation because the more people who only hold crypto, the less useful of a currency it is! Thankfully, New Hampshire-based merchant payment processor Anypay has come up with a solution to overcome Gresham’s Law and incentivize people to actually spend their cryptocurrency in these still early days of crypto.

What if, when you spent your crypto at local New Hampshire merchants, you instantly received some crypto back into your wallet? No filling out forms. No signing up for a program. No “points”. No waiting weeks or months for the payout. Just an instant rebate, right at the point of purchase – on anything you buy in the store or restaurant.

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