Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash: What’s the difference?

It’s been years of rivalry between the Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash community.

And there doesn’t seem to be an end to it.

But we’re going to settle that right now and here.

In this post, we will identify the few things they have in common.

And discuss the key differences between the two chains.

So without much ado, let’s begin with a little history.

The history of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin is the first successful cryptocurrency that was launched on January 3, 2009.

The coin was created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.

According to Satoshi in the Bitcoin White paper:

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that allows online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

Satoshi created Bitcoin to give me and you, financial sovereignty.

To be able to send and receive money over the internet without going through a bank.

Thus effectively removing centralized government control from your money.

And making it possible to send and receive money at a fraction of the cost.

All while creating a trustless monetary and economic system.

Enters Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a cryptocurrency that forked from Bitcoin on August 1, 2017.

The coin was the result of a disagreement among the Bitcoin community over how to scale the network.

One side was in favour of scaling the network and the other was against it.

By scaling, we mean increasing the block size to accommodate more transactions.

Thus enabling the blockchain to handle higher transaction throughput. As well as reduce fees and accommodate more users.

Their aim was to make Bitcoin a truly peer-to-peer electronic cash according to the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto as contained in the Bitcoin Whitepaper.

The side in favour of scaling the network is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporters.

And the side that decided not to scale the network is the Bitcoin (BTC) supporters.

That is the simple and short story.

So what do the father and his son have in common?

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash: Similarities

  • They share the same genesis block and transaction history up until the split on August 1, 2017.
  • Both use the proof of work (PoW) algorithm to secure the blockchain and mine new coins.
  • They both run on their own independent blockchains.
  • Both share a similar average time between blocks of 10 minutes.
  • The same mining equipment can be used to mine both coins.
  • Both have the same maximum supply of 21, 000, 000 (21 million) coins.
  • They use the same difficult adjustment algorithm (DAA) that set the rules for mining difficulty adjustments. But with some modifications for BCH.
  • Both of them are in the top 10 of all cryptocurrencies by marketcap. With Bitcoin enjoying the #1 position since inception.
  • They can both be used for making payments for goods and services. But one is better at it (more on that later).
  • Both use the same whitepaper (surprising?)
  • They share the same mining reward system and the same halving schedule (every 4 years).
  • Both of them aim to become the “global currency”. But the BCH guys may disagree with that. As they say that BTC is officially ONLY a store of value and digital gold now.

 With so much in common, you would think they would easily agree right? Far from it.

But their disagreement stems mostly from their different interpretation of the Bitcoin whitepaper.

And they propose different solutions for the same problem of scalability.

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash: Differences

Below are the differences between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.

1. Launch

Bitcoin was launched on the 3rd of January, 2009 with Satoshi mining the genesis block (block number 0).

While Bitcoin Cash came into existence on August 1, 2017, through a hard fork of Bitcoin.

2. Coin symbol or ticker

Bitcoin uses the BTC ticker while Bitcoin Cash is identified as BCH.

3. Founders

Bitcoin was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto.

While the developers that instigated and executed the Bitcoin Cash fork include ftrader, deadalnix, singularity87, among others.

4. Block size

Bitcoin has a maximum block size of 1 MB to 1.4 MB.

While Bitcoin Cash has a maximum block size of 32 MB.

The block size determines how many transactions can be included in a single block.

Bigger block size means more transactions can be included in a single block.

This the scaling solution proposed by supporters of the Bitcoin cash fork.

And this is where the whole Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash problem started from.

5. Number of transactions per second

The Bitcoin network can process up to a maximum of 7 transactions per second.

So, as more people get to know and transact with Bitcoin, the longer you have to wait to get your transaction confirmed.

This is because there are more transactions to confirm but the amount of transaction that can be confirmed per second is limited.

Bitcoin Cash on the other hands can process up to 116 transactions per second.

Thus transactions confirmation is much faster on the Bitcoin Cash network compared to Bitcoin.

But both of them are not anywhere close to Visa’s 24,000 transactions per second.

6. Block production time

Bitcoin is solving its scalability problem with the SegWit upgrade and Lightning Network (LN) technology.

Whereas Bitcoin Cash is solving the same problem with its bigger and elastic block size.

As they feel that not only is Segwit, not effective, it was against the original vision of Satoshi.

And potentially undermines the decentralization of the Bitcoin network.

7. Use cases

Bitcoin is mostly used and regarded as “digital gold” and operates more as a store of value.

While Bitcoin Cash is used and regarded as “digital cash” which aims to be a payment method for everyday purchases.

8. Transaction fees

As at the time of writing this post (January 13, 2021, 10 AM UTC), the average and median Bitcoin transaction fees are $17.09 and $8.78 USD respectively.

Whereas the average and median Bitcoin Cash transaction fees are $0.0043 and $0.001 USD respectively ~source.

Thus it’s far cheaper to make payments using BCH than with BTC.

9. Value and popularity

Bitcoin is more valuable in terms of price and marketcap than Bitcoin Cash.

The premier cryptocurrency is also more respected and popular among both crypto and non-crypto users.

Outside the crypto community, Bitcoin Cash is not well known.

And its marketcap and price is barely 2% of Bitcoin’s.

As a result, investors are more confident in buying Bitcoin than Bitcoin Cash.

More so, Bitcoin is traded against every other cryptocurrency in the market.

Making it the base cryptocurrency for traders.

This exposes Bitcoin to higher liquidity and gives it a great advantage over Bitcoin cash which has fewer trading pairs on exchanges.

To put things in perspective, Bitcoin command 67.6% of the entire money in cryptocurrency. 

Whereas Bitcoin Cash market dominance is still a paltry 0.95%.

10. Transaction speed

The major problem most people have with Bitcoin is that it’s too slow to use for everyday payments.

This is because Bitcoin transactions can take between 10 minutes to 1 hour to confirm.

And when the network is severely congested, it could take days or even weeks to get a confirmation.

Bitcoin Cash on the hands will confirm your transaction in about 10 minutes to a few hours.

Both of them still have work to do in terms of transaction confirmation time, but Bitcoin Cash is generally faster.

In my own experience, the speed difference is not that significant.

And is arguably due to the fact that Bitcoin Cash network is not yet as busy as that of Bitcoin.

11. Token creation

You can easily create your own token on the Bitcoin Cash network at very low costs.

This functionality is not available on the Bitcoin network (yet).

12. Privacy enhancement

With its CashShuffle/CashFusion technology, Bitcoin Cash is able to provide enhance optional privacy to users of BCH who wants to keep their transactions from public eyes.

You can enjoy similar transaction privacy with Bitcoin using conjoin technology.

But you will have to trust third-party software and it’s somewhat more complicated for the average user.

plus the majority of them are either ineffective or outright scams.

13. Investment appeal

BTC is more expensive to purchase and will potentially produce a lesser percentage return on investment (ROI) compared to BCH.

For example, an inflow of an extra $50 billion capital into BTC will only give you a 3% increase in its price.

But that same $50 billion in BCH will produce a 357% returns on your investment.

Thus, in a bullrun, you’re more likely to make more money by investing in BCH than BTC.

Because its easier to move the price of BCH than it is to move the price of BTC with the same capital inflow.

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash summary

The disagreement between the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash community is mostly methodological and ideological.

Bitcoin Cash sees Bitcoin as deviating from the original vision of Satoshi.

Which is to be an electronic peer-to-peer cash system.

But instead, Bitcoin has evolved into a “digital gold”.

Both are working on a scaling solution for their blockchains but neither believes the other is doing it right.

But I think we can have “digital gold” and ‘digital cash” existing side by side peacefully, right?

Yes! we can.

So rather than focus on bashing each other, I think the industry will move much farther faster if both communities focus on developing a better user experience.

Because that’s what’s going to drive mass adoption.

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