Bitcoin Cash 101
What is Bitcoin Cash and how does it differ from the almighty Bitcoin?
How did Bitcoin Cash come about?
In the springtime of 2017, before the upgrade to the Bitcoin network known as SegWit, any transactions made through the Bitcoin blockchain took a really long time. We are talking days on average, (up to 4.) This was because the original coders decided to lock in a block size of 1 Mega-byte.
It was obvious to the cryptocurrency community, specifically the volunteer Bitcoin development team, this would simply not work in the long run. It was still possible for a transaction to be made with a higher priority, however, for this to be done, a miner fee of roughly $28 would need to be added. This made the use case for Bitcoin very tough to prove, especially regarding smaller purchases.
Sometime between 2012 and 2013, the Bitcoin network passed a huge milestone of over 1,000,000 transactions per month. This proved that the scalability of Bitcoin needed some serious work if Bitcoin was to actually take on the role it was meant too, and become a worldwide payment system. A Digital Gold. Any trade or store of value, like money, needs to be used without the fear of massive fees or the system simply will not become adopted. People will not pay a $28 fee to transfer $5. It just isn’t reasonable.
In July of 2017, the Bitcoin community integrated Segwit, which was a Bitcoin improvement meant to bolster the original 1 Mb blocksize which only allowed 4.4 transactions per second. This was a “Soft Fork” of Bitcoin. A soft fork is an upgrade to the systems software without changing or creating a new blockchain. A “Hard Fork” is when the blockchain splits at a certain point, usually creating a new network.
On August 1, 2017, however, Bitcoin Hard Forked into the cryptocurrency we now know as Bitcoin Cash. This was due to a dispute from the development and miner community. Bitcoin Cash has all the Bitcoin history in its ledger up until the fork whereas each Crypto and their blockchains went their separate ways. Block # 478,558 was the last block that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash shared. Block # 478,559 was Bitcoin Cash’s first individual block and thus started it’s new blockchain.
There is a large debate in the cryptocurrency mining and development community on which crypto is the true Bitcoin. Both currencies are available on many different exchanges, and it seems as though both have their supporters. There is enough room in the crypto community for both, for now, although only time will tell if one true coin will rule them all.
Image Credit: https://www.bitcoincash.org/graphics/