Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. The bitcoin scalability debate led to the hard fork on August 1, 2017, which resulted in the creation of a new blockchain.
On July 20, 2017 at block height 476768 Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91 was locked in (i.e. scheduled to activate at block height 477120). It was designed to reject blocks created by miners not supporting Segregated Witness.
Some members of the bitcoin community felt that adopting BIP 91 without increasing the block-size limit favored people who wanted to treat bitcoin as a digital investment rather than as a transactional currency.
The plan to do a hard fork was first announced by Bitmain. The project was originally referred to as UAHF: A contingency plan against UASF (BIP148) by Bitmain on their corporate blog, which the ASIC bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer would launch if BIP 148 (a User Activated Soft Fork) succeeded. Subsequently, some developers took interest in the project. The Bitcoin Cash name was originally proposed by Chinese mining pool ViaBTC.
A stated goal of the fork was to increase the number of transactions its ledger can process by increasing the block size limit to eight megabytes. CoinDesk said that these motivations might have been behind the development and launch of Bitcoin Cash:
- Some users wanted an increase in bitcoin’s block size limit parameter
- SegWit was likely to activate and some users wanted to avoid the feature
- The likelihood that SegWit2x would not launch in 2017
Bitcoin Cash Development
The first implementation of the Bitcoin Cash protocol called Bitcoin ABC was revealed by Amaury “Deadal Nix” Sechet at the Future of Bitcoin conference in Arnhem, Netherlands. The Bitcoin Cash hard fork was announced to take place on August 1, 2017.
Bitcoin Cash Launch
Upon launch, Bitcoin Cash inherited the transaction history of the bitcoin cryptocurrency on that date, but all later transactions were separate. Block 478558 was the last common block and thus the first Bitcoin Cash block was 478559. Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency wallet started to reject BTC block and BTC transactions since 13:20 UTC, August 1, 2017 because it used a timer to initiate a fork. It implements a block size increase to 8 MB. One exchange started Bitcoin Cash futures trading at 0.5 BTC on July 23; the futures dropped to 0.1 BTC by July 30. Market cap appeared since 23:15 UTC, August 1, 2017.
Bitcoin Cash Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash
- Fast – Transact in seconds. Get confirmed in minutes.
- Reliable – A network that runs without congestion.
- Low Fees – Send money globally for pennies.
- Simple – Easy to use. No hassles.
- Stable – A payment system that’s a proven store of value.
- Secure – World’s most robust blockchain technology.
The Best Money in the World
Bitcoin Cash brings sound money to the world, fulfilling the original promise of Bitcoin as “Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash”. Merchants and users are empowered with low fees and reliable confirmations. The future shines brightly with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development.
All Bitcoin holders as of block 478558 are also owners of Bitcoin Cash. All are welcome to join the Bitcoin Cash community as we move forward in creating sound money accessible to the whole world.
On Chain Scalability – Bitcoin Cash follows the Nakamoto roadmap of global adoption with on-chain scaling. As a first step, the blocksize limit has been made adjustable, with an increased default of 8MB. Research is underway to allow massive future increases.
New Transaction Signatures – A new SigHash type provides replay protection, improved hardware wallet security, and elimination of the quadratic hashing problem.
New Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) – Responsive Proof-of-Work difficulty adjustment allows miners to migrate from the legacy Bitcoin chain as desired, while providing protection against hashrate fluctuations.
Decentralized Development – With multiple independent teams of developers providing software implementations, the future is secure. Bitcoin Cash is resistant to political and social attacks on protocol development. No single group or project can control it. The bitcoin-ml mailing list is a good venue for making proposals for changes that require coordination across development teams.