Bitcoin Cash: A Tale of Unrealized Potential

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the popular hard fork of Bitcoin is more than a year old. While it is still early days for the virtual coin, it has so far been unable to live up to its potential as Bitcoin’s superior. The 2018 general market decline as well as timely upgrades to BTC’s protocols have seen BCH slide in both popularity and value.

A Little Bit of History

The fundamental premise behind BCH was a desire to develop a more efficient and cost-effective Bitcoin. In the end, both sides of the debate had vastly differing philosophical views about what Bitcoin ought to be. The side that favored seeing BTC as a payment means rather than a store of value, disappointed in their ability to cause a change internally, engineered a hard fork, splitting the network.

After the split, BCH performed well and achieved top-ten status in little time. Proponents like ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver continued to tout the superiority of BCH, calling it the ‘real Bitcoin’.

Suggested Reading : Learn even more about Bitcoin Cash and how it differs from Bitcoin here.

SegWit Protocol

BCH’s claim to fame was a larger block size, which allowed for more transactions to be included in a single block. Hence, transaction fees on its blockchain were significantly lower than that of BTC. At the time, BTC fees had reached a worryingly high level with transactions requiring an average of $50 to be processed.

However, this situation didn’t last for long, as the Bitcoin network finally adopted segregated witness (SegWit) protocol which materially diminished the fees paid to execute transactions. Bitcoin Cash had lost one of its core advantages over Bitcoin. In little time, SegWit transactions on the BTC network had outstripped the total number of BCH transactions, reasserting Bitcoin’s dominance over the hard fork upstart.

2018 Bitcoin Cash Price Decline

Like other coins on the market, Bitcoin Cash has endured a wretched 2018. As at press time, the fourth-ranked cryptocurrency is trading at $525, which is 88 percent down from its all-time high (ATH) of $4,355 in December 2017. BCH has also dipped by 81 percent since the start of the year, making it one of the worst declines of any top-ten coin.

Apart from its price decline, BCH has also experienced decreased use in online payments. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, BCH use in online payments fell from $10.5 million to $3.8 million between March 2018 and May 2018.

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