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What is Bitcoin Cash?

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2018 09:07AM EST

As you may have guessed from its name, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is very similar to Bitcoin. In fact, BCH is a derivative of Bitcoin as it resulted from a “hard fork” of the Bitcoin protocol. Because of this, BCH is very similar to Bitcoin.

In 2017, many people saw problems with the Bitcoin network, as transaction speeds were slow and fees were high. In response, a group of Bitcoin developers, miners and members of the Bitcoin community created a new protocol to address these concerns. The major changes to the Bitcoin protocol were to (i) increase block size from 1 MB of data per block to 8 MBs of data per block and (ii) allow for the difficulty of the bitcoin mining algorithm to fluctuate, depending on the number of miners supporting the network. These changes would have allowed the Bitcoin network to move much faster with lower costs.

There was large-scale disagreement over whether these protocols should be implemented and since Bitcoin is decentralized, no single person or institution could make a decision settling the dispute. Because of this, on August 1, 2017, the Bitcoin blockchain underwent a “hard fork,” resulting in two very similar but unique Bitcoin protocols. The original protocol remained as “Bitcoin” and the new protocol was branded Bitcoin Cash. Each wallet address which had Bitcoin at the time of the fork automatically possessed a corresponding amount of Bitcoin Cash.


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