Back in the early days of Bitcoin, there were only a few smart people who identified the potential in the currency. However, as the currency has grown in popularity and more people hold bitcoins, it has started a movement to decentralize currency.
With just one problem.
Credit card transactions are fast, but bitcoin transactions are slow. Visa can process around 1700 transactions per second and processes almost 150 million transactions in a day.
Bitcoin can process seven.
Not seven thousand. Not seven million. But seven transactions a second. This adds up to just over 600,000 transactions a day.
In an attempt to mitigate the issues of time-lags and extensive delays, in 2017, Bitcoin Cash (or BCH) arrived. Using the same codebase but a much larger Blocksize limit, BCH could process around two million transactions a day.
It was, in many ways, the next evolution of bitcoin as a global currency.
Bitcoin Cash merchant directories such as Marco Coino popped up, to let users know where they could spend their Bitcoin Cash. Collecting user-generated information, Marco Coino shows where you can trade in BCH, and for a while, looked like a promising endeavor. Proponents of BCH hailed this as the inevitable rise and success of BCH around the world.
Where did it all go so wrong?
In the beginning, it seemed like Marco Coino could help the widespread acceptance of BCH as an international currency. The Bitcoin Cash merchant directory seemed ready and willing to be a central hub for data sharing, and the numbers looked promising.
By October 2018, there were 500 businesses listed. By May 2019, there were over 1000.
However, behind the scenes, all was not going well.
Users reported waiting over three months to see their businesses approved - if they were at all. And while BCH was taking off in Japan and North Queensland, other parts of the world were falling far behind. In Europe, Slovenia has the highest number of BCH accepting properties with over 500 - but in the rest of mainland Europe, there aren’t even 100 vendors.
Updates to the app take many days, and when completed, they are often misconfigured or drop vital information. The enthusiasm shown by businesses wanes when after months, they still don’t see themselves featured in the directory.
When BCH was introduced as a speedier alternative to Bitcoin, Marco Coino cannot live up to the BCH early promise.
If reliability and accessibility are an active struggle, and a business cannot put its faith in Marco Coino, then with BCH no longer seems like a sound investment of time or resources.
Outside of BCH evangelists, people are unlikely to spend the time and effort to support the currency.
Even more troubling than the delays are the potential security and safety issues associated with Marco Coino.
One user has reported receiving an early-morning phone call from somebody trying to confirm their listing from somebody cursing and issuing bizarre threats. While this might not be an everyday occurrence, that it happened even once is enough to challenge the legitimacy of BCH.
The unvetted nature of adding merchants (that is, anybody can do it without proof) means that businesses could quite easily be listed that don’t and never have been open for BCH.
Comments will be approved before showing up.