The TechCrunch Shanghai 2017 conference has come and gone, and with recent political skirmishes in the crypto space, it’s no surprise Bitcoin Cash came to the fore of many of the conference’s discussions. BTCC’s Bobby Lee, Bitmain’s Nishant Sharma, and OKEx’s Lennix Lai headlined a particularly BCH-focused panel discussion at the conference.
Provocatively entitled “Whither Bitcoin: Is the First Coin Still Relevant?”, the panel in question was moderated by senior TechCrunch reporter Matthew Lynley. Participating in the discussion were three top industry players:
- Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, China’s longest-standing cryptocurrency exchange
- Nishant Sharma, International Marketing Manager at mining hardware producer Bitmain
- Lennix Lai, Financial Market Director at the OkEx crypto exchange
Lynley wasted no time in asking the executives what they thought about Bitcoin Cash specifically, getting to that question before even 30 seconds had passed from the start of the panel.
Lee jumped in first, noting his cautious acceptance:
“I’m surprised by the level of strong support it has. That caught me by surprise. And over the last few months I’ve come to a better understanding of why people actually like Bitcoin Cash. At one point I called it an altcoin, however having had some more thought on it, I don’t think it’s an altcoin. I do think it is a legitimate part of Bitcoin.
It would be an important part of Bitcoin history. So, I think time will tell whether the original so-called “BTC” Bitcoin versus the “BCH” Bitcoin Cash will rule them all. I think both have different purposes right now, being Bitcoin Cash is more for transactions with the higher block throughput. So that’s my initial remarks.”
To the point of “different purposes,” Bitmain’s Sharma later added that “I’m a firm believer of on-chain scaling. I believe that without on-chain scaling, there cannot be scalability of Bitcoin.” Sharma also went on to note that “I also believe that Bitcoin will remain the most precious commodity in this asset class because of its network effect.”
A Bitcoin Reunification Possible?
A little further into the discussion, Lynley asked if the participants thought the cryptocurrency community could ever “settle down” and see some sort of reunification or reconciliation between BTC and BCH.
Lee said the probability of that scenario was low:
“I don’t think that’s the case. I think … we already have multiple cryptos with Bitcoin being the lead. I think that’s how it is, it’s just that people have different choices. It’s just like in regular money, we have the choice of the most prominent currencies … People always have choice.”
Lai picked up from there:
“I believe you should, maybe we should think beyond currency. Maybe Bitcoin itself can be becoming a digital asset class that’s complementary, not a traditional, financial instrument … I think Bitcoin itself can have a different version that’s representing a very different kind of philosophy.”
On the FUDsters
Toward the end of the panel, there was a bit of a playful conspiracy theory bantered about — though for some in the crypto community, it will sound less like a theory and more like the shadowy reality of the space as it stands.
The discussion came as Lynley asked what it would take for financial big-wigs like Jamie Dimon to stop trashing BTC from the highest of bully pulpits. Then, the three executives all jovially and semi-seriously agreed that Dimon and his ilk have just been creating FUD (“fear, uncertainty, doubt”) to get lower crypto prices for their clients.
Nefarious that would be, but not impossible by any stretch of the imagination.
“Maybe they are saying it to short bitcoin, to drop the price as much as possible for their clients to buy.”
What’s your take? Watch the video above and let us know what you thought stood out from the panel in the comments below!
Images via YouTube; video via TechCrunch