Bitcoin.com — an unofficial bitcoin news and information site owned and operated by Roger Ver — released an update to its mobile wallet on Monday. Included in this update was additional support for bitcoin cash, a bitcoin fork that claims to fulfill Satoshi Nakamoto’s true vision for cryptocurrency.
The change quickly caught the attention of the bitcoin community on reddit, not because it included support for bitcoin cash, but because the wallet also makes bitcoin cash the default in-app cryptocurrency.
Now, when users download the app, it will automatically create both bitcoin and bitcoin cash wallets. The bitcoin cash wallet appears first on the list.
When the user clicks “Receive,” it will automatically default to bitcoin cash and he or she must manually change it to bitcoin by clicking on the wallet button. Presumably, the experience is the same when clicking send, but I was unable to test this as I only downloaded the app as research for this article and do not have coins stored on this device.
In any case, this feature is not intuitive and could easily confuse a novice user who found the app by searching for “bitcoin wallet” on Google and is not privy to the scaling debate or the fact that BTC and BCH are distinct cryptocurrencies.
At present, the Bitcoin.com wallet ranks third on Google for that search term and in the top five at the Google Play store, so it is easy to imagine a new user — or even an experienced user in a moment of carelessness — purchasing bitcoin and accidentally sending it to their bitcoin cash wallet.
Users are free to delete the bitcoin cash wallet, which will cause the send and receive functions to default to the original bitcoin wallet, even if the user later creates another wallet for bitcoin cash. However, once again, a novice user will likely not realize they need to do this if they only want to use the wallet to store BTC.
‘Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin’
If viewed in isolation, this wallet update would appear a bit dumbfounding, as it increases the risk of user error. However, it makes more sense when viewed against the backdrop of Roger Ver’s recent “Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin” campaign, which seeks to rebrand BCH as “Bitcoin” and BTC as “SegWit Chain”.