Bitcoin mass adoption was once a simple enough prospect.
The Complexity of Second Layers
Get everyone you know to install a wallet. Get them started with a bit of coin. And that’s how things got going.
But now, in Bitcoin at least, there’s a lot more to it.
It would be dishonest not to point out, right here, that Bitcoin Cash is still as relatively simple as that. Bitcoin.com has done a lot to make it as simple as possible.
You can buy it there.
You can learn to use it there.
Download a decent wallet.
And then you can sell it back there, and even become a merchant:
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) January 5, 2020
The so-called Bitcoin Cash Register is an app that enables merchants to quickly get set up accepting Bitcoin Cash. The device above is still in production, but serves a similar, important function.
Merchants can provide an important source of liquidity for crypto markets. Even if the crypto price is down, it’s useful if it can be used against something like a gift card, to go shopping at a place like Walmart.
Onboarding someone into Bitcoin Cash is simple now. Point them at a Bitcoin Cash friendly wallet, and send them some BCH.
Bitcoin might be a bit more complex at this point. To effectively do the same process, you’re going to want to use Lightning Network, which can involve layers of complexity not found yet in Bitcoin Cash.
I don’t care if you use bitcoin.
I don’t care if you use a full node.
I don’t care if you use coinjoin or tor.
Personal responsibility is something you must choose to practice yourself. If you don’t care about your privacy and sovereignty – nobody else will.
— Matt Odell (@matt_odell) January 6, 2020
Bitcoin did $673 billion in adjusted on-chain transaction volume in 2019, according to @coinmetrics.
$673,000,000,000 in a single year.
That is 10x what Venmo did in 2018.
It is nearly impossible to deny Bitcoin's popularity globally.
— Pomp ? (@APompliano) January 2, 2020
In the near future, it won’t make sense to try and use on-chain Bitcoin transactions anymore. It will be very expensive to do so, as the Lightning Network will be consuming most of the network’s transactions and wrapping them into batch movements.
As such, you won’t just have to learn Bitcoin if you’re coming into cryptocurrency, you’ll also need to learn about the Lightning Network. From there, you’ll want to learn about sidechains, Liquid, and other technologies that have been built on Bitcoin.
Or you can just dive into Bitcoin Cash, which someone will likely be trying to push you to do. That’s the whole point of evangelism, after all. And Bitcoin Cash, once Lightning Network and the rest of the “second layer” tech is fully rolled out, will seem simpler.
It’s that simple. The more “layers,” the more complexity. The more complexity, the greater difficulty to on-board.
Therefore, if Bitcoin does everything it’s promising to do, Bitcoin Cash will not just seem simpler: it will be.