Bitcoin Cash

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Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin Cash.png
Ticker symbol BCH[lower-alpha 1]
Precision 10−8
 ​1100000000 satoshi
Coins Unspent outputs of transactions[lower-alpha 2]
Implementation(s) BitcoinABC, Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitcoin XT[1]
Forked from bitcoin
Genesis block January 3, 2009 (10 years ago) (2009-01-03)[2]
Block #1 January 9, 2009 (10 years ago) (2009-01-09)[3]
First block after split (block #478559) August 1, 2017 (20 months ago) (2017-08-01)
Timestamping scheme Proof-of-work (partial hash inversion)
Hash function SHA-256
Issuance decentralized, block reward
Block reward 12.5 BCH[lower-alpha 3]
Block time 10 minutes
Block explorer
Supply limit 21,000,000 BCH
Exchange rate Increase 1075.28 USD (as of 20 April 2018)[4]
Market cap Increase 18.36 billion USD (as of 20 April 2018)[4]
  1. The code "BCC" is also used on several exchanges.
  2. any multiples of satoshi
  3. from July 2016 to approximately June 2020, halved approximately every four years

Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency and worldwide decentralized payment system, meaning that it works without a central bank or government.[5] In mid-2017, the developers not content with the Segregated Witness feature implemented a change to the bitcoin code. The change, called a hard fork, took effect on August 1, 2017.[6] As a result, the bitcoin ledger called the blockchain and the cryptocurrency split in two.[7][8] At the time of the fork anyone owning bitcoin was also in possession of the same number of Bitcoin Cash units.[9]

History[edit | edit source]

In May 2017, bitcoin transactions took up to four days to complete.[10] In order to speed transactions, users could pay a transaction fee, which at the end of 2017 averaged about $28.[10] The delay and especially the fees made bitcoin impractical for everyday use to make small purchases.[11]

Idea forms[edit | edit source]

Up until July 2017, bitcoin users maintained a common set of rules for the cryptocurrency.[12] On July 20, 2017 at block height 476768 Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91 was locked in (i.e. scheduled to activate at block height 477120).[13][14] It was designed to reject blocks created by miners not supporting Segregated Witness (SegWit).[13][14]

Some members of the bitcoin community felt that adopting BIP 91 without increasing the block-size limit favored people who wanted to treat bitcoin as a digital investment rather than as a transactional currency[12][15] and devised a plan to increase the number of transactions its ledger can process by increasing the block size limit to eight megabytes.[16][17] CoinDesk said that these motivations might have been behind the development and launch of Bitcoin Cash:[18]

  • Some users wanted an increase in bitcoin's block size limit parameter
  • SegWit was likely to activate and some users wanted to avoid the feature
  • The likelihood that SegWit2x would not launch in 2017

The Bitcoin Cash name was originally proposed by Chinese mining pool ViaBTC.[19][20]

Development[edit | edit source]

The first implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol called Bitcoin ABC was revealed by Amaury "Deadal Nix" Séchet at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, Netherlands.[19] Subsequently, Bitcoin Unlimited made its first release of Bitcoin Cash compatible software, named BUCash[21] and Bitcoin XT also released before the Bitcoin Cash fork.[22] This meant that 3 full node clients were available before the Bitcoin Cash hard fork on August 1, 2017.

These clients implemented the following changes from bitcoin:

  • Increase maximum block size to 8 megabytes.
  • Modification of the transaction signature hashing algorithm. This provides replay protection for Bitcoin Cash transactions against the original bitcoin chain.
  • Replaced the original bitcoin difficulty algorithm (a difficulty adjustment every 2016 blocks), with the new Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm. EDA was intended to allow difficulty to more quickly respond to drastic drops in hashrate presumed to occur immediately post fork.

Launch[edit | edit source]

Upon launch, Bitcoin Cash inherited the transaction history of the bitcoin cryptocurrency on that date, but all later transactions were separate. Block 478558 was the last common block and thus the first separate Bitcoin Cash block was 478559. Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency wallets started to reject bitcoin blocks and bitcoin transactions after 13:20 UTC, August 1, 2017 because it used a timer to initiate a fork. One exchange started Bitcoin Cash futures trading at 0.5 BTC on July 23; the futures dropped to 0.1 BTC by July 30. Market cap appeared since 23:15 UTC, August 1, 2017.[15][23] Per the site, the price of BTC on August 1, 2017 was USD$2,718.26[24] and the price of BCH was USD$380.01,[25] which suggests the BCH split ratio to be 0.12265. The launch of Bitcoin Cash has created an ideological divide over which chain is the true bitcoin.[26][27]

Move of hashpower and difficulty adjustment[edit | edit source]

On August 9, 2017 it was 30% more profitable to mine on the bitcoin chain.[28] As both chains use the same proof-of-work algorithm, miners can easily move their hashpower between the two. As of August 30, 2017 around 1,500 more blocks were mined on the Bitcoin Cash chain than on the original one[29] as the high profitability periods[30] attracted a significant proportion of total processing power.[31] Due to the new Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm used by Bitcoin Cash,[32] mining difficulty fluctuated rapidly, and the most profitable chain to mine switched repeatedly between Bitcoin Cash and mainline bitcoin.

A fix for these difficulty, hashrate, and profitability fluctuations was introduced on November 13, 2017 at 7:06 p.m. UTC.[33] The EDA algorithm has been replaced with a new difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) that hopes to prevent extreme fluctuations in difficulty while still allowing Bitcoin Cash to adapt to hashrate changes faster than the original bitcoin algorithm adjusting the difficulty every 2016 blocks.[34]

Market acceptance and naming[edit | edit source]

By the end of August 1, 2017, Bitcoin Cash became the third largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization.[10]

Cryptocurrency exchanges[edit | edit source]

Bitcoin Cash has been adopted by digital currency exchanges. Exchanges such as Coinbase,[35] CEX.IO,[36] Kraken,[37] ShapeShift[38] and many others use the Bitcoin Cash name and the BCH ticker symbol for the cryptocurrency. Bitstamp and Bitfinex temporarily used the name Bcash,[39][40] but after being criticized, they switched the name back to Bitcoin Cash.[41][42]

Bittrex,[43] Binance,[44] and Huobi exchange[45] use BCC as Bitcoin Cash's ticker symbol instead. BCC is more commonly used as the ticker symbol for Bitconnect.[20]

Cryptocurrency wallets[edit | edit source]

A Bitcoin Cash wallet running on a smart phone, next to a Satoshi Nakamoto Whitepaper booklet

Cryptocurrency wallets such as the Ledger hardware wallet,[46] KeepKey hardware wallet,[47] Electron Cash software wallet[48] and software wallet[49] support Bitcoin Cash, using either BCH or BCC as the ticker symbol for it.[50] Bitcoin Cash is also supported by the Trezor hardware wallet[51][52] and the wallet.[53]

Payment service providers[edit | edit source]

The cryptocurrency payment processor Bitpay added support for Bitcoin Cash on March 28, 2018.[54]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Hertig, Alyssa (August 1, 2017). "Bitcoin Cash: Who Supports the Fork And Who Doesn't". CoinDesk. Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  2. "Bitcoin Cash Block 0". Retrieved 13 February 2018. 
  3. "Bitcoin Cash Block 1". Retrieved 13 February 2018. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations". Retrieved 20 April 2018. 
  5. Smith, Oli (21 January 2018). "Bitcoin price RIVAL: Cryptocurrency 'faster than bitcoin' will CHALLENGE market leaders". Express. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 
  6. Smith, Jake (11 August 2017). "The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Will Show Us Which Coin Is Best". Forbes. Retrieved 11 March 2018. 
  7. Larson, Selena (1 August 2017). "Bitcoin split in two, here's what that means". CNN. Retrieved 22 January 2018. 
  8. Thieme, Nick (4 August 2017). "Bitcoin Has Split Into Two Cryptocurrencies. What, Exactly, Does That Mean?". Slate. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  9. Selena Larson (1 August 2017). "Bitcoin split in two, here's what that means". CNN Tech. Cable News Network. Retrieved 2 April 2018. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "What is Bitcoin Cash?". Cointelegraph. Retrieved 2 April 2018. 
  11. Annie Nova (2 March 2017). "Bitcoin takes on cash, as more places accept the cryptocurrenc". CNBC. Retrieved 13 April 2018. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Popper, Nathaniel (July 25, 2017). "Some Bitcoin Backers Are Defecting to Create a Rival Currency". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Aaron van Wirdum (July 20, 2017). "BIP 91 Has Locked In. Here's What That Means (and What It Does Not)". Bitcoin Magazine. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Hertig, Alyssa (July 21, 2017). "BIP 91 Locks In: What This Means for Bitcoin and Why It's Not Scaled Yet". CoinDesk. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 Wong, Joon Ian (July 25, 2017). "There's a strange new twist in bitcoin's "civil war"—and a way to bet on the outcome". Quartz. Retrieved July 28, 2017. 
  16. Nakamura, Yuri; Kharif, Olga (4 December 2017). "Battle for 'True' Bitcoin Is Just Getting Started". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 19 December 2017. 
  17. Nguyen, Jimmy. "All Merchants Want For Christmas Should Be Bitcoin Cash". Huffington Post. Retrieved 24 December 2017. 
  18. Hertig, Alyssa. "Bitcoin Cash: Why It's Forking the Blockchain And What That Means". CoinDesk. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 van Wirdum, Aaron (27 July 2017). "The Future of "Bitcoin Cash:" An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet". Bitcoin Magazine. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 van Wirdum, Aaron (7 August 2017). "Bitcoin Cash or Bcash: What's in a Name?". BitcoinMagazine. 
  23. "Bitcoin Cash (BCH) price, charts, market cap, and other metrics - CoinMarketCap". 
  24. "Coin Market Capitalizations". Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  25. "Cryptocurrency Market Capitalizations". Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  26. Laura Shin (23 October 2017). "Will This Battle For The Soul Of Bitcoin Destroy It?". Forbes. Retrieved 14 April 2018. 
  27. What is Bitcoin, “Bubble Territory” or “New Gold”?. Cointelegraph. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  28. "Coin Dance - Bitcoin Cash Block Details". 8 August 2017. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. 
  29. "". 
  30. "". 
  31. "". 
  32. "Technical specifications". 12 November 2017 – via GitHub. 
  33. "Bitcoin ABC - Home". Bitcoin ABC - Home. 
  34. Rizzo, Pete (13 November 2017). "Bitcoin Cash Hard Forks In Bid to Ease Mining Difficulties". CoinDesk. Retrieved 13 February 2018. 
  35. "Coinbase - Buy/Sell Digital Currency". Retrieved 2017-12-20. 
  36. "CEX.IO blog". 
  37. KrakenFX. "Bitcoin Cash and a Critical Alert for Bitcoin Margin Traders". Retrieved 27 July 2017. 
  38. "Bitcoin Cash support announcement on Twitter". Retrieved 25 April 2018. 
  39. van Wirdum, Aaron (7 August 2017). "Bitcoin Cash or Bcash: What's in a Name?". Bitcoin Magazine. 
  40. Young, Joseph (6 December 2017). "Bitstamp Criticized For Listing Bitcoin Cash as Bcash, Despite Community Outrage". CoinTelegraph. 
  41. "Bitstamp". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  42. "Bitfinex". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  43. "Cryptocurrency Exchange -". Retrieved 13 February 2018. 
  44. "Cryptocurrency". Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  45. "Statement about Huobi's attitude to BTC and Bitcoin Cash". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  46. "Cryptocurrencies". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  47. "Bitcoin Cash Update 8/29/17". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  48. "Electron Cash". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  49. "Get a Free Wallet". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  50. "Bitcoin Cash Wallets. Beginners' Guide". CoinTelegraph. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  51. "Which coins are currently supported?". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  52. Maloney, Conor (4 April 2018). "Hardware Wallet Trezor Confirms Upcoming Cashaddr Support for Bitcoin Cash". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 24 April 2018. 
  53. Sterlin Lujan (23 August 2017). " to Support Bitcoin Cash". Retrieved 14 March 2018. 
  54. Goodbole, Omkar (29 March 2018). "Major Cryptocurrencies Are Hitting 2018 Lows Today". CoinDesk. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

External links[edit | edit source]

  • Media related to [[commons:Category:{{#property:P373}}|Bitcoin Cash]] at Wikimedia Commons
  • Official website