Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash was the result of a forceful split in the Bitcoin network, an event referred to as a hard fork. As Bitcoin’s user base gained traction in 2015, the network became very congested and transaction confirmation times increased significantly. That triggered what has been described as the “block size debate” — an ongoing discussion about the trade-offs related to increasing Bitcoin’s block size in order for more transactions to be allocated into one block. Since mining BTC is a capital intensive activity, miners want to maximize the number of transactions on a per block basis to increase their level of profitability from transaction fees. The easiest way to achieve that is by increasing Bitcoin’s block size, which has been 1MB since the coin’s inception. Although the core development team understands the need for faster transactions, they fear that merely increasing block size could affect the underlying safety of the protocol. Another recurring argument against a simple block size increase is the possibility of further mining centralization, which in itself is concerning for the community, whose general philosophy revolves around decentralization. In light of these challenges, Bitcoin core released in November of 2016 a solution to increase transaction speed without necessarily increasing block size. This came to be known as SegWit or Segregated Witness — a change in Bitcoin’s code that optimizes block size by removing unnecessary information from each Block, leaving more space for transaction data and ultimately reducing confirmation times. The update was welcomed by most of the community, but several prominent figures of the Bitcoin mining industry characterized SegWit as an inefficient solution. In April of 2017, mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain was the first to suggest a hard fork and the idea for Bitcoin Cash begun getting support. In the following month, the Bitcoin ABC Project (Adjustable Block Cap) announced it was developing a full node implementation of the Bitcoin protocol that is compatible with Bitcoin Cash. The project’s goal was to support a version of Bitcoin that rejects SegWit, and that increases the block limit to 8MB. The fork happened on August 1, 2017, and the first Bitcoin Cash block was mined 6 hours after Bitcoin block 478558 by ViaBCT, a Chinese digital token exchange and mining pool. Since most exchanges did not provide support for Bitcoin Cash immediately after the fork, only 2% of the total supply of Bitcoin Cash tokens was in circulation, and prices were based on the limited supply in circulation. Bitcoin Cash reached its all-time-high on August 2, when it topped $747, but as exchanges started adding support for the token, prices have decreased significantly. As of this date, a total of 84 exchanges support Bitcoin Cash. However, it is important to note that the majority of Bitcoin holders that store their tokens in desktop-based wallets are still unsure as to how to get an equivalent balance of Bitcoin Cash. As more information about that process becomes available, we expect further downward pressure on the price of Bitcoin Cash.