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‘Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin,’ Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre Declare

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:00 PM

Bitcoin cash proponents Roger Ver and Calvin Ayre have announced a plan to use their influence and considerable wealth to rebrand bitcoin cash as “bitcoin”.

Ver, an early bitcoin investor once nicknamed “Bitcoin Jesus”, has incurred the ire of much of the bitcoin community over the past several years, primarily due to his repeated support for contentious hard forks associated with the evolving block size debate. He owns and operates Bitcoin.com, a news and information outlet that critics claim gives new users the impression that it is an official Bitcoin resource.

Ayre, meanwhile, is a billionaire entrepreneur who made his fortune by founding an internet gambling and entertainment empire. He entered the crypto space several years ago, owns several small crypto news outlets, and has reportedly provided Craig Wright with financial backing.

bitcoin cash
Calvin Ayre with Roger Ver, Oct 2017 (PRNewsfoto/Calvin Ayre Media Group)

In a joint statement , variations of which were published on each of the entrepreneurs’ websites, Ver and Ayre announced that they consider bitcoin cash to be the true heir to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision and will begin referring to it as “bitcoin”. From now on, their websites will describe the incumbent blockchain as the SegWit chain, which will be divided into SegWit1x (SW1) and SegWit2x (SW2) following the November hard fork.

“Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin,” one variation of the statement declares, “based on its adherence to the design goals and intended purpose that Bitcoin was created to fulfill.”

That bitcoin cash purports to be the fulfillment of Satoshi’s vision of bitcoin is not new; indeed, the official bitcoin cash website  makes this claim in no uncertain terms. However, acknowledging that bitcoin cash is a separate cryptocurrency from the incumbent bitcoin blockchain, its developers added “cash” to its name to limit confusion, although critics deride it as “Bcash” to avoid letting it trade on the bitcoin brand.

With the advent of the impending SegWit2x hard fork, however, the bitcoin brand will be thrown into question. If the hard fork activates as planned, proponents of both blockchains intend to claim that their version is the true bitcoin while the other is an altcoin or a dysfunctional minority chain. Now — perhaps due to the chaos that will likely ensue following the fork — Ver and Ayre intend to throw bitcoin cash’s hat into the ring as a contestant for the rights to the bitcoin brand.

However, they claim that the move is based on a technical decision, alleging that the “SegWit chains” have altered the original properties of bitcoin so much that it is no longer recognizable:

“Bitcoin Cash (BCC) is the only fork of Bitcoin that resembles a natural continuation of the original Bitcoin invention,” the Bitcoin.com announcement continues. “All Segwit chains have altered so many fundamental properties of Bitcoin that it seems a stretch to refer to any of them by the Bitcoin name.”

Regardless of the outcome of the November hard fork, it is highly unlikely that bitcoin cash will emerge as “bitcoin” in the eyes of any but the cryptocurrency’s most ardent supporters. Nevertheless, the announcement triggered a brief bitcoin cash price rally, although this advance evaporated during Tuesday’s comprehensive crypto market pullback.

Featured image from Shutterstock.