BSV is up 163% in the last month despite the crypto community debating whether its the making of an exit scam or genuine investor demand.
The Curious Case of BSV
Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV), conceived after contentiously forking from the Bitcoin Cash codebase, is no stranger to controversy.
After Craig Wright filed lawsuits for libel against Twitter influencer Hodlonaut and podcaster Peter McCormack, several exchanges from Binance to ShapeShift decided to delist BSV.
Nothing has changed since then, however, as BSV proponents continue to condemn the mass delisting and other exchanges enjoy an increase in their volumes for the coin.
To the surprise of many, BSV has outperformed Bitcoin in the last month, sitting atop a monthly appreciation of 163% relative to Bitcoin’s 32% at the time of writing.
Bitcoiners and many other critics of BSV believe this is the beginning of an exit scam from the likes of Calvin Ayre and the other big players who were instrumental in forking the chain and funding BSV’s development efforts.
Is a $BSV exit scam in progress?
— Alistair Milne (@alistairmilne) January 11, 2020
This is supported in theory by Craig Wright’s continued efforts to stall the lawsuit filed by Ira Kleiman, which requires Wright hand over half of Satoshi’s mined stash that Wright claims is his.
Claims of “Utility” Driving the Price Jump
As expected, BSV proponents have been worked into a frenzy on crypto twitter as they view this price hike as the market acknowledging “Satoshi’s True Vision.”
Whether this is organic demand or a ruse orchestrated by whales is yet to be seen, but the order book volume is real and it’s at its highest level since May 2019. Even Bitcoin has failed to amass as much volume amidst choppy price action.
Those active within BSV communities have been calling for a move of this degree for over a year now. They opine that BSV provides real value in the form of a scalable base layer and far deeper functionality when compared to BTC.
In reality, moves like this, even if organic, often have little to do with the market suddenly realizing one coin is “better” than the other. It is near impossible to ascertain why prices went parabolic over the last few weeks.
Miner Incentives Lacking
Only in the last few days, as BSV priced exploded, did hash power start flowing back into the network, touching two EH/s level for the first time since November 2018. Given the increase in BTC’s hash power, it is likely that mining pools moved some of their capacity in BSV to BTC over the last year.
Incentives for miners to continue their operations on BSV are not of an economic nature — it is more ideological and emotional. Binance Research published a report highlighting that BSV miners surrendered $13 million in revenue to continue mining a less profitable chain.
Ayre himself has claimed that he alone can guarantee BSV’s longevity as he will continue to mine it no matter what. Albeit plausible since Ayre and Wright together control about 40% of BSV’s hash power, it doesn’t have the makings of a sustainable economic framework.
BSV’s suppressed fee schedule is another contributing factor here. As the block reward halves over time, miners need to be able to generate the lost revenue by way of an increase in fees.
Purely from an economic perspective, the reduction in fee per transaction could theoretically be offset by a massive increase in the number of transactions, but building a network on these assumptions today, when adoption is still low, threatens its immediate security while focusing on future scalability.
Mining BSV has largely been unprofitable because of the asymmetry in rewards. BTC and BSV have the same block reward in native units, but a large difference in their dollar prices would have miners choosing BTC over BSV. 12.5 BSV per block yields $2,500 at a market price of $200 as opposed to $107,000 per block with BTC at $8,500.
It should be noted that with the recent price surge, BSV mining is more profitable to mine than BTC.
Although inconclusive, all signs point to peculiar behavior both on- and off-chain. From Twitter marketing tactics to a massive leap in price, all of this appears like yet another scheme from the Wright and Ayre playbook.