Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash
Curious about the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash? You’re not alone. These two crypto assets share many similarities apart from just their names.
In fact, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was created through what’s called a “hard fork” of Bitcoin (BTC), meaning the two assets share a common code base, design scheme and transaction history.
Stepping back, know that most cryptocurrencies are based on open-source code, meaning any developer can propose changes to the software users run. This includes the ability to copy the code base, change a few features and start an entirely new project.
Bitcoin sees its goal as offering an alternative to government monies and central bank control of their issuance. So, its developers de-prioritize changes that might weaken this value proposition, such as altering the amount of time it takes to create new blocks.
Bitcoin Cash was created by users who felt Bitcoin should add features that would make it more competitive with traditional payment systems like Visa and PayPal, such as increasing the block size and by lowering the fees users pay to send transactions.
So, while they may have started from the same code base and user group, know that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (BTC vs. BCH) are quite different today, particularly in their approach to overall design philosophy. Learn more about Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash below.
The difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin is an open-source software that allows its global user base to manage a digital money supply outside the control of any government or central bank.
It was created in response to the 2008 global economic crisis as a means to combat inflation. In fact, the first mined block contained the message: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks,” a message many believe signifies the project’s revolutionary intent.
The Bitcoin software enables the computers running it to manage a ledger (the blockchain) that accounts for all transactions made using its currency (BTC) by enforcing a variety of rules.
The Bitcoin blockchain is a full record of the network’s transaction history validated by nodes, or individuals running its software. This ensures that each BTC cannot be copied or modified, and that bitcoins cannot be created or used in a way that is against its rules.
Bitcoins are scarce, divisible and transferable, making them a valuable alternative money.
Bitcoin Cash shares many of the same goals as Bitcoin. Where it differs is in how it makes design decisions to realize those goals.
For instance, supporters of Bitcoin Cash believe that Bitcoin’s value was closely tied to its utility as a means of payment, and that Bitcoin needed to make changes to preserve these properties.
At the time, Bitcoin was seeing widespread use, and the fees required to settle transactions on the blockchain were rising, sometimes into the hundreds of dollars.
To lower Bitcoin’s fees, Bitcoin Cash supporters wanted to increase Bitcoin’s block size to 8 MB, up from 1 MB, increasing the number of transactions that could be included in each block.
Bitcoin supporters generally rejected the idea, believing that it could have dire consequences for the economics of the network. The counter argument was that many successful internet startups subsidized consumer activity, and that this approach might make sense for Bitcoin early on.
As a result, Bitcoin Cash supporters created a new blockchain to test the theory.
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