Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash | What is the difference?

Although the BIP91 proposal was locked in, superseding the August 1 User-Activated Soft Fork (UASF), the contingency plan that was outlined by Bitmain will still be employed by ViaBTC. This means, that a User-Activated Hard Fork (UAHF), which will undoubtedly result in a chain split, will take place on the first of August.

Although everyone’s attention has been set on the debate itself, the price, the security risks and all the surrounding “drama”, not many are considering the differences between the two protocols. Although the industry has rallied behind the BIP91 SegWit, the BitcoinCash project is still one that should at least be understood.

So what exactly is BitcoinCash? BitcoinCash gets his name from the idea that the current Bitcoin is not suitable to be used as cash, an idea that is not new and is also supported by those that would like to see Bitcoin function as sort of digital gold, rather than a currency. The official website reads:

“Bitcoin Cash brings sound money to the world.  Merchants and users are empowered with low fees and reliable confirmations. The future shines brightly with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development.”

As so, BitcoinCash is a countermeasure for the congestion that is currently felt on the Bitcoin blockchain. In 2017, the limits imposed by the 1MB limit were harshly felt with transactions being stuck for hours or even days. BitcoinCash’s main goal is to increase the block size to 8mb in order to scale Bitcoin. The BitcoinCash website reads:

“Yes, In 2017, capacity hit the ‘invisible wall’.  Fees skyrocketed, and Bitcoin became unreliable, with some users unable to get their transactions confirmed, even after days of waiting. Bitcoin stopped growing.  Many users, merchants, businesses and investors abandoned Bitcoin. Its market share among other cryptocurrencies  quickly plummeted from 95% to 40%.”

The increase to an 8mb block size will allow for 8x more transactions to fit into a block, which means that fees can remain low and transaction speed high. However, it is also worth noting that SegWit2x, which seeks activate the SegWit softfork and a 2mb block size hard fork, is also an 8x increase, assuming the second hard fork to double the block size does take place.

Nevertheless, BitcoinCash proposes several new features, including the aforementioned increase to a 8mb blocksize and a new way of signing transactions (SigHash) that “improves hardware wallet security, and elimination of the quadratic hashing problem,” a problem that can lead to longer signature validation times.

Currently, there are several exchanges supporting BCC, namely ViaBTC, OKCoin, Bithumb, Huobi and others. Many wallets like Ledger and Trezor will also support BitcoinCash. If you’re wondering if you can get your BitcoinCash just by holding BTC, the best plan is probably to have your coins in a wallet in which you control your keys or in one of the exchanges cited on the official website.