The focus right now is on funding software developers.
But what about business?
Bear with me a sec while we flip this puppy around 180 degrees.
What is our Goal?
Let’s start from the goal and work backwards.
Maybe if we can organize ourselves around a big goal, and align our efforts behind that, maybe then we can stop fighting so much?
1 billion new Bitcoin Cash users in the next 10 years.
I like this goal. What about you?
What other worthy goal could there be to organize around?
- Increase the price. This is a fool’s errand.
- Develop X feature. This begs the question of what bigger goal requires it.
- Get 2 billion new users. You’re ambitious, I love it!
How do we get it?
That’s a big goal, George! Precisely how do you anticipate achieving that??
To answer this question, we need to know the intermediate steps. What does 1 billion new Bitcoin Cash users look like?
What the heck are they doing with the stuff?
They are going to be engaged in practical use cases. After all, the majority of the world is relatively poor. They don’t have excess time and money sitting around. They have bills to pay, mouths to feed and goals to achieve.
This is especially true in those parts of the world where the national currencies are at best iffy and the economic limits are the greatest — which is where they need Bitcoin Cash the most.
So what are these practical use cases?
- Safe haven / Store of Value?
- Buying coffee??
No. These are too frivolous to pull 1 billion people from the mass market into Bitcoin Cash.
How to Identify the Use Cases?
Take another step down. What are the characteristics of a practical use case that has the potential to generate 1 billion new Bitcoin Cash users within 10 years? How will we recognize it?
- Active Use. It requires active use. Otherwise they will use it once and delete the wallet, or worse intermediaries will use it and end users will never know they are benefitting from Bitcoin Cash.
- Holding. It incentivizes holding some Bitcoin Cash in the wallet, so the users won’t delete the wallet and can opportunistically spend it at merchants and pay debts.
- Big Market. There has to be a big, scalable existing market with lots of existing customers to whom we can provide real value right now. IOW, it has to be worth our attention.
- Income. It gets people receiving income in BCH.
- Clear Advantage. Using Bitcoin Cash for this use case has at least one clear benefit over fiat.
- Crossing Borders. It involves crossing borders, because that is where the value of crypto is greatest, since it is faster, cheaper and simpler.
- Denomination. It gets us closer to denominating prices in BCH. (This one is hard and will probably come last! Sorry!)
Oh for the love of Satoshi, is this George going on about remittances again??
Yes. Damn straight. Take your medicine!
- It’s a USD$689 billion business.
- There were $529 billion in remittance inflows to the developing world in 2018.
- Remittances to the developing world are growing.
- Remittances by definition cross borders!
- The big remittance companies, such as Moneygram and Western Union, are mostly cash businesses and are just starting to go digital. Since we are already digital, we have an added advantage.
- Average remittance fees are high globally, at 7-8%. If we knock 5 percentage points off of that, that means $26 billion more spending and investment in the developing world. That is nuts!
- Remittance fees into sub-Saharan Africa and Venezuela are considerably higher than the average, as high as 40%.
- Globally, remittances are 3 times greater than direct foreign aid.
- Remittances are also considerably larger than foreign direct investment (excluding China, 2018 data).
- Remittances is a repeat business. Thus, recipients are incenticized to hold onto their Bitcoin Cash wallets, and not delete them.
- If they keep the wallet on their phones, they might keep a small balance, especially if we incentivize them to spend at BCH merchants.
- Remittances are income. We can save people money by incentivizing them to spend their inflows directly at merchants, thus fertilizing strong and growing merchant adoption.
Let’s Go Bowling
The bowling pin strategy is from Geoffrey Moore’s book “Crossing the Chasm” which deals with how to get high tech products to be massively adopted by mainstream audiences.
We all are familiar with the chicken-and-egg problem of cryptocurrency. What comes first? Usability options or use?
Gah, I’m getting dizzy.
The bowling pin strategy is a solution. We find a niche where the problem is more easily solved. We solve it there. Then we move on to the progressively more challenging niches.
So what comes after remittances and merchant adoption?
- B2B buying: because once the merchant has some Bitcoin Cash, why not restock your store with it?
- International trade: the value proposition for crypto is strong here and lots of merchants restock from abroad today.
And there are many more bowling pins to follow.
That System Tho
OK, George, so we’re doing remittances and what is this system thing?
Now that we know where we’re headed (1 billion new users)…
Now that we know our vector for attacking that goal (remittances)…
Now, we can figure out how to get there.
- We need incentives.
- We need a way for anybody to input value into the system, even if they just have a few hours per week, so we can harvest the collective energies of ultimately hundreds of thousands of part-timers and hobbyists.
- We need some virality.
- We need a feedback mechanism.
- Payments should be in BCH and/or SLP tokens — so the workers can turn around and spend their newly earned Bitcoin Cash at merchants.
Enter the gamified adoption system. Check back soon for my article on that.
What development priorities arise from a remittances focus?
Here are a few ideas.
- great mobile app UX
- instant transactions
- three-way P2P liquidity transactions, where one person puts in fiat in one country and another person gets fiat in another country
- a DAI-like stablecoin for in-wallet stability swaps
What ideas do you have?
Nah, We’re Just Fine with the Status Quo
A system implies virality, feedback loop, metrics, the ability to try something, measure it, evaluate it and pivot.
It means we aren’t 100 hobbyists each freestyling it but we’re coordinating our labor towards a greater goal.
it implies global standards and best practices, even if local circumstances diverge.
Even just a merchant directory like Marco Coino is an early attempt at a mass adoption system.
A system means that when adoption hobbyists get busy, others can take up their slack.
It means we have procedures for verifying that adoption is real, that we can’t be fooled by scammers.
It makes everything we do enduring.
It means today’s investment is not wasted but can be maintained tomorrow and built on top of the next day.
Our Legs aren’t that Strong!
We can’t jump from where we are straight to where we want to be. There are a lot of intermediate steps. We need to plot them out step by step with input from domain experts.
Then we chart a path to get there.
It’s easy to keep busy with the “now” tasks, but we need to focus on building a system that will recurisvely and repetitively get the 20% of the work done that is going to have the 80% impact we need.
It needs to produce metrics and we need to fine tune it as we go.
We need a system for mass adoption.
And we need to raise the funds for it.
Anything less is a decision for stagnation.