What the Heck is Bitcoin Cash?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bitcoin is in the news lately. The incredible rise in value for the leading cryptocurrencies (read: digital currency systems) has caught the attention of the media and the public, and has turned heads with investors on Wall Street. Bitcoin is the leading horse in this race, accounting for some 50+% of the market cap of all cryptocurrencies. However, on August 1, Bitcoin suffered a sort of internal civil war, referred to as a hard fork, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin Cash (BCC or BCH) is a new cryptocurrency founded on the Bitcoin blockchain system, but unrelated to Bitcoin in any other way. Designed as a way to increase the possible number of transactions within each block of the blockchain, BCH is suddenly becoming a hot topic.

Those faithful to Bitcoin see BCH as a sort of internal mutiny. Shifting mining power to a new alternative coin may have lasting impacts that are unforeseen at this early juncture, they argue. And they may be right. Already the high volatility of Bitcoin Cash seems to indicate that the altcoin has the power to really grow substantially. This would, of course, remove support from Bitcoin, moving market presence and power in a different direction.

Those who support Bitcoin Cash see a strong reason for the creation of the new cryptocurrency as a new stop-gap for the scalability problems facing Bitcoin. When Bitcoin was first conceived by the infamous ‘Santoshi Nakamoto’ (a nom de plume for the original builder(s) of Bitcoin), the number of transactions was minuscule, and the 1 MB per block transacting power was way more than enough. However, with the huge rise in Bitcoin trading, the blocks are now being overloaded and transactions are taking more and more time. An attempt to scale Bitcoin, effective August 1, took place, but in a manner that wasn’t sufficient for many who see the nearly limitless support and application of the coin. A ‘hard fork’ or a user initiated split in the currency, allows for recreation of the rules that govern the new coin (BCH in this case), and makes scalability simple and easy.

Regardless of which camp users may have supported before August 1, the fork has occurred and the interest in Bitcoin Cash is astronomical. The value of the coin has doubled (.08 BTC to .16 BTC) in just over 24 hours, and the volatility and trading appears to continue to be consistently heavy for some time to come.

Holders of Bitcoin before the fork should have received the BCH automatically, though many wallets and exchanges were not willing to support the new currency. However, with the fork having occurred, Bitcoin Cash is going to be worth some serious cash, and users will likely want to find a way to access those funds. If readers are interested in purchasing BCH, a number of exchanges support the freshly minted BCH, and can be accessed either through the link above or through BCHs’ own website.

Jon Buck
Jon Buck
Jon Buck is based in Delhi, India. He enjoys researching, analyzing, and commenting on the cutting edge of the technology world, as well as palak paneer with veg fried rice.

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