The three-year scaling war that plagued the world’s biggest cryptocurrency Bitcoin is finally over, for now. A conflict which deeply divided its community has now reached an outcome – a blockchain split.
There are two groups with different views and split interests with regards to Bitcoin’s future. Where one side, a grand portion of the mining pools, want to see bigger sizes on the blocks flowing through the blockchain, whereas others; primarily bitcoin developers, want to keep blocks small. Both sides have put forth arguments and suggestions for over three years without a single unifying solution in sight. Now, parts of the community, mainly miners, have forced through a Bitcoin hard fork, essentially a split from the original blockchain, something that many have feared would happen.
On the 1st of August a hard fork was made, thus creating a new virtual currency in the process called “Bitcoin Cash”, in short BCH. It increases the block size from 1MB to 8MB, something miners always have been lobbying for. According to coinmarketcap.com, within 48 hours from the creation of BCH it reached a market cap of around USD $7 billion, neatly placing itself as the third largest cryptocurrency in the world. At the time of writing, the value of BCH sits around USD $395, just over 14% of Bitcoin’s current value and standing in 4th place of all the virtual currencies.
Several exchanges have begun accepting BCH and some of them have even added several trading pairs. Exchanges such as Kraken, Bitfinex and Bittrex are currently allowing BCH trading. There are also exchanges that have chosen not to add the new currency at this time, e.g. Bitstamp and Poloniex.
Even though the hard fork marks a major turn point in Bitcoin’s history, it’s interesting to note that the price of Bitcoin remained relatively stable during the commotion. This is something that was unexpected. The conundrum that is a split blockchain have put strains on currencies in the past. However, the community fears that people will dump all their Bitcoin Cash as soon as they can, as everyone who owned Bitcoin at the time of the fork are eligible to an equal amount of BCH. For now, the future of Bitcoin Cash remains uncertain and the number of supporters is still small. Only time will tell if more miners will choose to support it, rather than the original Bitcoin. In the end, we’ll just have to wait and see if this hard fork is enough to stop the infamous scaling conflict for good, or not…
What do you guys think? Can these giga-cryptocurrencies co-exist, or is Bitcoin Cash destined to fade away into obscurity? Leave a comment below and let us know!