Since its creation through a hard fork on August 1, 2017, the value of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has soared.
That day, holders of Bitcoin were given with the same amount of BCH that they held in BTC. And Uphold was one of the first sites to allow its members to take advantage of the cryptocurrency equivalent of a BOGO! Following the recent change of plan for the SegWit2x fork, BCH exploded, increasing more than five-fold in the next 2 days, with a market cap today around $19bn+.
BCH was created because, since the launch of Bitcoin, there has been ongoing concern from members about its scalability. Specifically, that the size of blocks – set at 1 megabyte (MB), or 1,000 bytes, in 2010 – would slow down transaction processing times. Any slowdown would limit the currency’s potential. Transactions on the Bitcoin network are confirmed by Bitcoin “miners” which group transactions into "blocks" and add those blocks to the Bitcoin "blockchain" – the shared historical record of all transactions. The high demand for transactions had led to a delay of up to 20 minutes for confirmation of these transactions - certainly not the instantaneous vision of the Bitcoin founders.
It took some time for a solution to this problem to be agreed (there is no central organization responsible for Bitcoin, so the community has to reach consensus), and this solution was BCH. BCH increased the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB, allowing many more transactions to be processed considerably quicker. The August 1 fork was the event that enabled this to happen.
This had the welcome effect for Bitcoin owners that, if you own Bitcoin and control your private keys, the same private keys can be used to spend BCH. Simply put, Bitcoin split in two and doubled your cryptocurrency holding. Uphold members woke-up on August the 1st to find a new Bitcoin Cash card in their Uphold wallet, with an equivalent number of BCH (1:1) to their Bitcoin card.
Uphold members were among the first to be able to buy, hold, convert and transact in BCH. While other exchanges publicly wavered (and still don’t support trading of BCH), on September 20, Uphold enabled transactions to and from BCH. We did this after diligently monitoring the market and determining that BCH had achieved the stability and liquidity required to graduate from Tier Four to Tier Three in our reserve. This was the catalyst to allow members to freely trade in and out of this currency, in the same way that they could for Bitcoin, Ethereum and any of the 30+ other currencies we support. Additionally, those members who held value in BTC in their Uphold wallets on August 1st were issued the equivalent number of BCH coins and could access those funds.For the last 2 months, Uphold members have been able to:
- Buy BCH directly from their Uphold Wallet;
- Convert to BCH from any other currency in their Uphold Wallet;
- Hold BCH in any value for any length of time for FREE;
- Send BCH from any external wallet into your Uphold Wallet.
In the last 4 weeks, BCH trading has really taken off, with daily volumes having reached all-time highs and BCH’s market cap peaking at $32bn+. Cryptocoinsnews reported in late October that “..the South Korean cryptocurrency market has accounted for over 65 percent of global BCH trades.” But, trading really took off in the second week of November, amid growing institutional investor interest as well as an expected “hard fork”. Recently, the SegWit2x hard fork faction said that they would suspend a proposal to increase the size of Bitcoin blocks from 1MB to 2MB. But there is still a market expectation that a small group of miners may go forward with the SegWit2x fork. If this is the case, then this will lead to new value for BTC holders, in the same way, that BCH did in August. This could be the real driver behind the increase in liquidity and the market cap of BCH.
Roger Ver, the self-styled ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ is quoted in Coin Telegraph as saying that “Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin and will have the bigger market cap, trade volume and user base in the future.” If true, this presents real opportunities for cryptocurrency investors to diversify from Bitcoin and into BCH, as well as moving into a currency that has yet to reach the valuation highs of the currency that spawned it.
Which begs the question: did Bitcoin give birth to the very offspring that might challenge it for primacy?