As the popularity of crypto markets increase by leaps and bounds in the past year alone, investors (the early adopters) have begun to reconsider their decision to purchase Bitcoin (BTC) for Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Sometimes most of their decision hang only by dinner table conversations or twitter chatter.
Before the BCH fork (Split), BTC was the major cryptocurrency player.
Everyone who wanted to get into the crypto bandwagon had to purchase BTC indirectly and send their coins to an exchange for Altcoins.
That makes BTC somewhat a reserve-currency for cryptos.
Being the default gatekeeper for the other cryptocurrencies, had actually increased the load on the Bitcoin blockchain.
So in August 2017, due to internal disagreements and differing views on the Bitcoin, its community broke off into two distinct groups.
The block size of the Bitcoin blockchain has remained the same throughout the years since 2010 at ~1 MB. This will only allow ~250,000 transactions per day.
As the demand for Bitcoins increases, the average time to confirm each transaction has significantly increased up to 2 hours. And the average fee from ~$1 – $8.9.
This resulted in backlogs in the original blockchain transaction, as users had to wait for a longer period of time before the transaction gets verified.
So, a concerned group of bitcoin users initiated a “fork” on August 1st 2017, to increase the block size to 8 MB in order to achieve faster transactions.
In doing so, they created a new cryptocurrency out of thin air. Initial BTC owners received their BCH too in a 1:1 ratio.
But did increasing the block size solved the long term issues? Or created new profound problems?
Let’s find out…
Let’s dive deeper into the basics of the blockchain to help you better understand what triggered this fork.
In order to understand the need for bigger block sizes, we have to get into the details of what a block is and how does it affect user experience when transacting in bitcoin.
A blockchain stores a list of records which are linked and secured using cryptography. These blocks act as a universal public ledger that is inherently resistant to any modification of data.
So nobody is allowed to duplicate or cheat the system by adding new information into the records.
The size of the blocks would determine the amount of information which they can carry.
The size of each block used to be 36 MB before 2010.
Subsequently, the block size was reduced to 1 MB in order to protect the network against spam attacks.
The decrease in the size of the blocks meant that less information was present on each block.
With the ever increasing popularity of Bitcoin, the number of transactions initiated on the network were quadrupling each week.
Users had to wait for a longer period of time before their transactions got verified. Not to mention the increase in the average fee.
This prompted a vast divergence in belief among the core developers as well as long time advocates of Bitcoin.
Some decided to increase the block size, others continued to stick with the original core configuration.
Finally, those developers who believed that an increase in block size would solve Bitcoin’s current issue proposed a fork to split the original bitcoin network.
This triggered the creation of a variant of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, BCH.
The fork basically initiated the creation of a new cryptocurrency.
Just like how Christianity diverged into the Catholics and the Protestants.
Humans will always find a way to argue what their beliefs are, and that they have the ironclad solution.
So which exchanges can you buy/sell bitcoin cash?
There are quite a few exchanges that supports Bitcoin cash. Some of these exchanges include:
Most of these exchanges have already incorporated Bitcoin cash trading onto their platforms.
You can buy and sell Bitcoin cash easily through these exchanges.
Note: You can no longer receive Bitcoin cash automatically, unless you bought prior to the fork.
If you did, and you kept your BTCs in full node wallet or your own hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S, you would have automatically being credited with BCH.
If you’re on an exchange that does not support Bitcoin cash, then sad to say that you wouldn’t have any.
The Future of Bitcoin & Bitcoin Cash:
As bitcoin wins the popularity contest, it faces the standard growing pains of any technological revolution.
Although maintaining the original block size may be cumbersome to many, it doesn’t expose you or me to any kind of threat that leads to the loss of our Bitcoin.
It does if you are leaving a majority of your bitcoin holdings in an exchange site like coinbase. That responsibility for the safety of your money is at your fingertips.
Buy a cold wallet like the Ledger Nano S, and you will earn your peace of mind.
This technology is still in its infancy. It will continue to develop and evolve.
Give it time.
Cryptocurrencies have the potential to evolve.
They’re not tulips, tulips wither after their blooming period has ended.
This technology has the potential to scale and upgrade.
What it lacks is general consensus. That solves itself over time.
What the crypto community shouldn’t be doing is attacking each other.