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Bitcoin Cash

Last Updated: January 31, 2024

Bitcoin Cash is a Bitcoin hard fork with the aim of building toward Bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system.”

It views cost-efficient peer-to-peer transactions as the core value proposition of the network and is dedicated to increasing block sizes (relative to Bitcoin) and on-chain transaction throughput in pursuit of this goal.

Background

Bitcoin Cash was born out of disagreements between the Bitcoin community over its ability to scale. When Satoshi Nakamoto developed the Bitcoin network, he limited Bitcoin’s block size to 1 megabyte to prevent people from spamming the network. In doing so, however, Nakamoto limited Bitcoin’s ability to scale. To solve the scaling issue, developer Pieter Wiulle proposed a solution known as segregated witness (SegWit). In short, SegWit is a process that increases the capacity of bitcoin blocks without changing their size limit by altering how the transaction data is stored. Members had differing views as to SegWit’s impact. Amid this back and forth, bitcoin developer Amaury Séchet decided to leave and create Bitcoin Cash along with American investor Roger Ver, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, crypto mining company Bitmain and others.

Launch

BCH was officially launched in August 2017 and was distributed to bitcoin holders at a ratio of 1:1, meaning each bitcoin holder was entitled to receive one BCH token for each bitcoin held.

How does it work?

Bitcoin Cash users send and receive BCH on the blockchain by inputting the public-key information attached to each person’s digital wallet. BCH uses the proof-of-work consensus, in which miners compete against each other using specialized computer equipment to be the first to discover new blocks. One of the things that makes Bitcoin Cash different from Bitcoin is its “difficulty adjustment” for block mining. In order to ensure that blocks are being mined consistently, the Bitcoin software adjusts the difficulty factor of mining for every 2,016 blocks mined.

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