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Bitcoin | Bitcoin Guides

Difference Between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Author

Kayelee Rosales

Tags

Reading time

4 mins
Last update

Author

Kayelee Rosales

Tags

Category

Bitcoin / Bitcoin Guides

Reading time

4 mins
Last update

Author

Kayelee Rosales

Tags

Reading time

4 mins
Last update


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Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a spin-off of Bitcoin (BTC), which was created in 2017 due to a disagreement within the Bitcoin community.
  • Bitcoin Cash offers faster transactions but might be less secure due to its smaller network size. Bitcoin prioritizes stability over speed.
  • While BCH claims faster transaction speeds, it has lower adoption, speculative scalability at high volumes, and potential security risks. The future of Bitcoin Cash as a relevant alternative remains uncertain.

Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin. The name is synonymous with cryptocurrency. But did you know there’s a close relative challenging for attention? Enter Bitcoin Cash, born from a disagreement within the Bitcoin community. This breakdown explores the origins and key differences between these two digital currencies.

Bitcoin

In July 2017, Bitcoin miners (who verify transactions) overwhelmingly voted for SegWit. This tech minimizes transaction data, allowing more transactions per block. Additionally, the block size limit was increased (with a new “block weight” unit) to potentially speed up transaction processing.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) emerged in 2017 from a disagreement within the Bitcoin community. BCH miners and developers felt that Bitcoin’s SegWit upgrade wasn’t enough to handle future growth.

Their solution? Bigger blocks. Bitcoin Cash blocks can hold 8MB of data, compared to Bitcoin’s 1MB. This theoretically allows BCH to process transactions faster and cheaper. They even upped the limit to 32MB in 2018.

However, the jury’s still out on BCH’s speed and cost benefits. While it can handle more transactions per second, it hasn’t reached its full potential yet. In fact, Bitcoin still processes more transactions daily.

So, Bitcoin Cash offers an alternative approach to scaling, but it remains to be seen if it can truly outpace Bitcoin.

Is Bitcoin Cash the Same as Bitcoin?

While Bitcoin Cash (BCH) originated from Bitcoin through a hard fork in 2017, they’ve forged their own path since then. The key difference lies in how they handle transaction processing:

  • Bitcoin: Maintains a smaller block size (1MB) to prioritize security and decentralization.
  • Bitcoin Cash: Opts for larger blocks (initially 8MB, now 32MB) to potentially enable faster and cheaper transactions.

This difference reflects a main debate in cryptocurrency: scalability vs. security. Bitcoin Cash prioritizes faster transactions, while Bitcoin prioritizes stability.

What is the Downside to Bitcoin Cash?

There are a few limitations to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to consider beyond just not capturing the same level of attention as Bitcoin (BTC):

  • Security Concerns: Increasing block size while enhancing transactions can make the network more vulnerable to malicious attacks. A larger blockchain requires more storage space and processing power for miners, potentially centralizing control over the network.
  • Lower Adoption: While BCH offers faster transactions, Bitcoin still maintains a higher daily transaction volume. This wider adoption translates to greater merchant acceptance and liquidity for BTC.
  • Unproven Scalability: Though BCH has a larger block size, it hasn’t reached its supposed potential for faster transaction speeds. Real-world usage hasn’t necessarily translated to the improvements some expected.
  • Uncertain Future: The Bitcoin community is currently debating scaling solutions, making it unclear whether BCH will remain a relevant alternative in the long run.

Is Bitcoin Cash Safe?

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) security has some trade-offs compared to Bitcoin (BTC) due to its smaller network size. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Smaller Network: Compared to Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash has a less extensive network of miners and users. This can make it more vulnerable to malicious attacks, as it would require less computing power to overpower the network.
  • Lower Liquidity: With fewer users actively trading BCH, there may be less liquidity, making it harder to buy or sell your holdings quickly. This can be especially true during periods of high volatility.
  • Security vs. Scalability Trade-off: Bitcoin Cash’s larger block size is a double-edged sword. While it allows for faster transaction processing, it also increases the storage requirements for miners. This could lead to centralization, as only miners with significant resources could participate in securing the network.

Overall, Bitcoin Cash offers potentially faster transactions, but these come with security and liquidity risks. It’s important to consider these trade-offs before investing in BCH.

Final Thoughts

Bitcoin Cash was established as a challenger to Bitcoin in 2017, prioritizing faster and cheaper transactions through larger block sizes. However, Bitcoin Cash hasn’t lived up to its full potential, with lower adoption and unproven scalability benefits. Its smaller network size also raises security concerns. While Bitcoin Cash offers an alternative approach, Bitcoin’s established dominance, focus on security, and ongoing scaling efforts cast doubt on Bitcoin Cash’s long-term viability.