Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – Complete Review

When it comes to cryptocurrency, nothing really compares to Bitcoin. Its name remains synonymous with cryptocurrency to the general public who are not aware of the fact that different cryptocurrencies even exist in this space.

However, since these other cryptocurrencies do exist and remain very popular amongst people who have some knowledge about the cryptocurrency industry, several new cryptocurrencies have come to surface in the past few years and have gone on to achieve success on their own.

While some of these new players on the market emerged from freshly launched platforms at the time, some held the distinction of being “forked” by Bitcoin. Being forked meant that they held the same structure as the world’s first cryptocurrency but with a few modifications within their code.

This need for new and modified cryptocurrencies based on Bitcoin rose from the scaling and transaction processing issues that Bitcoin faced from time to time. The network was built upon a foundation which worked very well on paper with limited users, but the kind of user base that Bitcoin finally obtained caused the network to crumble under the pressure of high demand and usage, which in turn resulted in it presenting longer transaction times and higher transaction costs.

Seeing this phenomenon, most of these “hard forks” vowed to resolve the presented issues and used Bitcoin’s name in the branding of their new ventures. This way, people could know that their product was based on Bitcoin, but with a new public blockchain created by people who believed in Bitcoin’s upgrade requirements.

One such name was of Bitcoin Cash, a Bitcoin hard fork that separated itself from the Bitcoin Core blockchain on the hopes that it will be able to address the issues that Bitcoin posed to its users.

Three years after its inception, Bitcoin Cash has garnered enough support through its community that it is now considered the third largest cryptocurrency in the world by market cap, and has been listed on various reputable cryptocurrency exchanges.

Therefore, it is only natural if you find yourself wanting to know more about Bitcoin Cash, its functionalities, its services and its overall value proposition for its users. Knowing this information helps you to hold or not hold the currency within your investment portfolio.

So without further ado, let’s go ahead to learn key facts and pertinent information about Bitcoin Cash, which could help you determine whether or not to go ahead with obtaining some of this cryptocurrency for your own.

Bitcoin Cash Review: What is Bitcoin Cash?

Conceptualized in the summer of 2017, Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that was hard forked out of the original Bitcoin Core blockchain.

The notion of forking out of the main Bitcoin blockchain came forward when the team of developers behind Bitcoin Core announced their plans to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit) on the blockchain, which caused a small part of the Bitcoin community to be concerned.

According to this section of the Bitcoin community, the problems being faced by the Bitcoin blockchain were not going to be solved by the simple implementation of something like SegWit. Instead, the team, which reportedly mostly comprised of developers from China, proposed that Bitcoin should have an increased block size so that this noteworthy modification could bring about an air of significant change for the prime cryptocurrency, resulting in lower transaction times and costs.

However, this proposition was not met with warmth from the larger part of the Bitcoin community and was effectively tabled, since it did not guarantee if increasing the block size could change something with Bitcoin remaining on its own platform and still operate upon structural issues that were seemingly causing the scalability problems to exist in the first place.

But the supporters of this new block size increment idea were adamant that the solution will work, and their efforts were fueled further when they received public support from popular figures in the cryptocurrency industry such as Bitcoin investor Roger Ver, who held stakes in various cryptocurrency ventures such as Kraken, Bitpay, Blockchain Wallet, and (an information site).

With Ver and various other individuals supporting the proposition, the Bitcoin Cash project went ahead to materialize into a tangible, separate cryptocurrency and forked out of Bitcoin Core on August 1, 2017.

Since then, the cryptocurrency has received various forms of criticism from all over the cryptocurrency community save for its loyal supporters, with its naysayers mentioning that Bitcoin Cash is really no different from Bitcoin Core, as it still operates on the same blockchain, on the same Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus, and with the same capabilities that Bitcoin has sported ever since it was introduced in 2009.

However, it would be unfair to say that Bitcoin Cash does not have anything to offer at all, since it does stay true to providing a lower transaction fee as compared to Bitcoin Core even if the difference remains marginal at times. This has been outlined in the following chart that shows the average transaction fees on both networks, recorded in their respective cryptocurrency units.

Statistics taken from CoinMetrics

It should also be kept in mind that Bitcoin has far more users than Bitcoin Cash, where the latter has yet to achieve a level of familiarity and worldwide adoption to really come toe to toe next to Bitcoin.

The real test for the new cryptocurrency would be to have the same amount of users and then see how it fares. Comparing stats where one end of the scale has more weight to bear than the other does not provide a fair comparison, and as a result, it skews the measurement efforts.

Bitcoin Cash Review: How Does Bitcoin Cash Work?

As mentioned above, Bitcoin Cash is simply Bitcoin by another name. It does not have any new features or developmental capabilities but instead remains a simple cryptocurrency, with the main difference between itself and Bitcoin being the block size.

Despite its name of “Bitcoin Cash”, it does not really deal with fiat transactions on the network and does not change fiat to cryptocurrency through collection points like the Stellar network.

In addition to the similarities mentioned above with its network consensus among other aspects, Bitcoin Cash operates on the SHA-256 hash function and also has the same number of total coins as Bitcoin Core (21 million).

The name of “Bitcoin Cash” comes from Bitcoin’s original whitepaper that was created by anonymous Bitcoin founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, who had described Bitcoin as a “Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in the paper.

Ever since Bitcoin started to face the transaction lag time issue, proponents of Bitcoin Cash increasingly mentioned that it was not a viable fit to be “electronic cash” anymore and had instead become a value saving asset. On the other hand, they were confident that their newly proposed cryptocurrency would fit the bill for “Electronic Cash”, which is how the new coin was dubbed as Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin Cash Review: Exchanges That Trade Bitcoin Cash

Despite its shortcomings in terms of delivering a solution very different from Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash has been able to hold its own in the cryptocurrency space.

In just a period of a few months, Bitcoin Cash has gotten listed on various reputable cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the ones outlined below:

Coinbase’s name is synonymous with cryptocurrency trading, which is largely due to its easy-to-use mobile app. Through the exchange, users can buy Bitcoin Cash through their credit card and take part in easy trading transactions even if they do not have extensive knowledge of the cryptocurrency space.

Binance is a success story like no other. Launched in 2017, the exchange has gone on to become one of the most widely used and recommended entities for cryptocurrency trading all over the world.

With immense security and extremely low fees, Binance is a choice solution for many to trade in their existing cryptocurrencies for Bitcoin Cash.

Kraken has been around the cryptocurrency industry for a few years now, and that experience has made it be a very propitious choice for experienced traders through its services including but not limited to fiat deposits via bank transfers all over the world – which means that users can purchase Bitcoin Cash easily via fiat transactions at this exchange.

Bittrex has crafted a niche for itself in this exclusive space by being one of those exchanges that always put transparency and adherence to local laws before anything else. This makes Bittrex a safe choice for those who want to trade in Bitcoin Cash without being worried about violating any regulations from pertinent authorities.

While Bitfinex has had its fair share of controversies in the past with Tether (USDT) and its customers’ complaints about not being able to receive their funds on time, it seems that the exchange has gotten its house in order with such issues now dying down.

Regardless of its past, it actually remains a very popular cryptocurrency exchange for global users who turn to use its services for their cryptocurrency trading needs, including those pertaining to Bitcoin Cash.

Ever since its acquisition by industry-level cryptocurrency facilitator Circle, Poloniex has improved its game for customer service and might soon go through a revamp to become Circle’s retail trading front. The exchange had been famous as it was, but now having a popular backer in the form of Circle has only added to its credibility as a viable platform for Bitcoin Cash transactions.

In addition to the aforementioned exchanges, Bitcoin Cash is also available on various other platforms, a list of which can be seen at this page by Unblock.

Bitcoin Cash Review: Wallets That Support Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash is also supported by a number of popular hardware and software wallet services, out of which, the most popular ones are being outlined below.

When it comes to hardware wallets, Ledger has established itself as a powerhouse of security and ease of use through its one of a kind hardware cryptocurrency information storage solutions. The wallet does not only support Bitcoin Cash but also provides support for various other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Another popular name in hardware wallets, Trezor is an established entity in providing storage solutions for cryptocurrencies including but not limited to Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and Dash. It remains the direct competitor to Ledger, and both companies provide solutions that are on par with each other’s services.

Coinomi is a mobile-based cryptocurrency wallet that employs security features of the highest level. Users can store their Bitcoin Cash information within Coinomi while also being able to exchange them using integrated exchange services from ShapeShift and Changelly through the app.

Jaxx is another software wallet solution that allows its users to exchange digital assets right through its wallet interface, with the exchange services being powered by ShapeShift. Jaxx is available on multiple platforms such as iOS and Android, as well as Windows, Mac, and Linux.

As the aforementioned details explain, Bitcoin Cash can be stored in other wallets, including those provided by some of the exchanges that were outlined above.

At the end of the day, it depends upon the user to decide which service they want to go with, but no matter what you do, always ensure that you get to pick a provider who is not just offering the services you need but does so with the assurance of security and credibility with them.

Bitcoin Cash Review: What Value Does Bitcoin Cash Have?

Bitcoin Cash currently remains the third largest cryptocurrency of the world in terms of market cap.

While it has fallen to hard times with being traded at $697 as of July, 2018, it had been consistent at over $1000 when the cryptocurrency market had not been going through this phase of draught that has affected almost all cryptocurrencies that are available in the market, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top 2 by market cap.

Statistics provided by Unblock

Apart from monetary value, Bitcoin Cash makes for a good instrument of value and does hold up to the mention of “Cash” in its name.

As opposed to other cryptocurrencies that debuted alongside it and are still striving by trading on obscure exchanges, Bitcoin Cash is supported by various credible exchanges which makes it liquidation very easy in case a holder or trader is in need of emergency funds and have some Bitcoin Cash units handy with them.

All of these points allude towards Bitcoin Cash being a viable second choice for any cryptocurrency investor who does not want to keep all their eggs in one basket and likes to diversify their investment portfolio by holding assets other than Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Bitcoin Cash Review: Is It Better Than Bitcoin?

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The situation is very nuanced to answer this correctly.

The simple answer to this would be that in the shorter perspective, yes, it process transactions on a slightly lower fee than Bitcoin, so it achieves the very purpose which it cited as the reason of its separation from its original network.

On the other hand, Bitcoin Cash leaves a lot to be desired in the form of a “new” cryptocurrency, since the only major difference and the one which users can see is the modification of block size as compared to the Bitcoin Core network.

Bitcoin Cash does not really bring anything new to the table in terms of usability, and with Bitcoin’s recent Lightning Network updates that seem to be working very proficiently in their initial run, it seems that Bitcoin Cash’s whole purpose of providing transactions with lower processing times and fees would not be that appreciated or required in the future.

As opposed to Bitcoin Cash’s solution of fixing transaction times by increasing its block size, Bitcoin’s Lightning Network adds a secondary layer to its existing blockchain in order to perform value transfer transactions off-chain. This does not only take the load off of the main blockchain but also performs transactions faster, something that has been validated by a third party as credible as Microsoft.

A commentary post by Alex Simons, Microsoft’s Director of Program Management, Identity Division, notes that “to support a vast world of users, organizations, and devices, the underlying technology must be capable of scale and performance on par with traditional systems.”

About the kind of solution that has been implemented by Bitcoin Cash, Simons mentions that “while some blockchain communities have increased on-chain transaction capacity (e.g. block size increases), this approach generally degrades the decentralized state of the network and cannot reach the millions of transactions per second the system would generate at world-scale.”

Whereas, the sort of solutions that Bitcoin brings to the table in terms of Lightning Network are commended by the tech experts. “To overcome these technical barriers, we are collaborating on decentralized Layer 2 protocols that run atop these public blockchains to achieve global scale, while preserving the attributes of a world-class DID system.”

This alludes towards the possibility that while Bitcoin Cash has provided a rapid solution to a once-prevalent issue, Bitcoin Core’s resolution to it could actually be the one which proves to be more permanent in the long run.

As of now, Bitcoin Cash remains as a harmless, ordinary cryptocurrency that does perform the actions for which it has been developed.

However, seeing that Bitcoin is on the way to surpass these solutions in a few months’ time, Bitcoin Cash would need to up its game and pull up a new trick that is not its block size in order to remain relevant in the cryptocurrency space.

Bitcoin Cash Rating: 4.5 - Review by