104 merchants drop ‘worthless’ Bitcoin – but is it just a BCH stunt?

A double spend attack on the Anypay crypto payment network saw it drop Bitcoin payments calling them ‘worthless’. But is it just a BCH stunt?

The Anypay retail crypto payment processing network has dropped Bitcoin as an option..

Co-founder of the New Hampshire crypto processor, Steven Zeiler said in a video announcement yesterday that BTC was “worthless for payments”, given transactions can be easily canceled.

The decision played out – or was performed depending on your point of view – in the comments section of a YouTube video.

BCH fan takes aim at Bitcoin

The video shows an easy ‘double spend’ exploit carried out in Thailand by Bitcoin Cash fan Corentin Mercier, who said he’d been directly inspired by Australian BCH proponent Hayden Otto’s attack on TravelByBit.

The exploit used Blue Wallet on iOS which has Replace By Fee enabled by default.

This meant Mercier could pay for goods at a merchant that accepts 0 confirmation payments using a low fee, then simply press a button to cancel the transaction (using a higher fee), while Anypay’s system still cites the transaction as ‘paid.

Mercier said he’d contacted Anypay: “I notified the PoS company Anyway before releasing this video and they immediately disabled BTC on their platform. As far as I know, no goods were stolen using this method.”

Zeiler commented below the video: “The good news is almost nobody uses BTC on Anypay! … BCH is #1 in payment volumes as of this month” and “Probably the best response is disabling BTC altogether.”

Bitcoin has accounted for 6% of transactions on the network, which processed a little more than 2000 payments across 104 active merchants in the last 90 days.

Dash has historically been the most popular payment, accounting for 74% of their all time spend, followed by Bitcoin Cash (19%).

Roger Ver quickly weighs in

Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver was among the first to comment, taking aim at RBF: “This used to be impossible on Bitcoin, but the “Core Developers” added this as a “feature”.

While the incident attracted a lot of attention from Bitcoin Cash supporters on Reddit, others weren’t so impressed with the “press conference to a completely empty room”.

Baconcheesburgian and others said it showed a failure of Anypay’s system rather than a fault with Bitcoin: “They failed to measure the risk and address the potential issues with using 0 confirmation transactions,” he wrote .

A similar double spend exploit is also technically possible on Bitcoin Cash, but more difficult and expensive than simply clicking a button.

Coordinated by BCH fans?

The exploit was carried out by a BCH proponent in a Youtube video which immediately got Roger Ver’s attention. He was one of the first to comment.

It was then reported by Libertarian blogger Ian Freeman – whose Free Talk Live radio show is sponsored by Ver – and BCH fans immediately sent through to Micky.com.au as we’d broken the news of the first attack on TravelByBit.

Ver was also the second person to comment Freeman’s Reddit post about the story.

It’s hardly a conspiracy, given how open they’ve been about it, but it does suggest some degree of coordination at least about publicising the event.

Freeman’s report in Free Keane, took a dig at ‘BTC-only fantatics’.

“It’s too bad the Bitcoin programmers forced Anypay’s hand by making BTC less useful over time,” he wrote.

“Once upon a time Bitcoin was useful for payments, as it was originally intended. Sadly, those days are long gone. Bitcoin (BTC) may still be the king crypto, but if it’s not useful for payments, is it really a currency?”

Micky readers - you can get a 10% discount on trading fees on FTX and Binance when you sign up using the links above.