What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash is peer-to-peer electronic cash for the Internet. It is fully decentralized, with no central bank and requires no trusted third parties to operate.
Is Bitcoin Cash different from ‘Bitcoin’?
Yes. Bitcoin Cash is the continuation of the Bitcoin project as peer-to-peer digital cash. It is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain ledger, with upgraded consensus rules that allow it to grow and scale.
If I own Bitcoin, do I automatically own Bitcoin Cash too?
Anyone who held Bitcoin at the time Bitcoin Cash was created became owners of Bitcoin Cash. This means that Bitcoin holders as of block 478558 (August 1st, 2017 about 13:16 UTC) have the same amount of Bitcoin Cash as they had Bitcoin at that time. If your Bitcoins are stored by a third party such as an exchange, then you must inquire with them about your Bitcoin Cash.
Any transactions after the August 1st ledger split are completely separate between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. This means any Bitcoin acquired after the split does not include any Bitcoin Cash, and any Bitcoin Cash does not include any Bitcoin.
How is transaction replay being handled between the new and the old blockchain? Bitcoin Cash transactions use a new signature hashing algorithm indicated by the flag SIGHASH_FORKID. These signatures are not valid on the legacy blockchain. This prevents Bitcoin Cash transactions from being replayed on the Bitcoin blockchain and vice versa.
Why was a fork necessary to create Bitcoin Cash?
The legacy Bitcoin code had a maximum limit of 1MB of data per block, or about 3 transactions per second. Although technically simple to raise this limit, the community could not reach a consensus, even after years of debate. Was the 1 MB block size limit causing problems for Bitcoin?
Yes, In 2017, capacity hit the ‘invisible wall’. Fees skyrocketed, and Bitcoin became unreliable, with some users unable to get their transactions confirmed, even after days of waiting.
Bitcoin stopped growing. Many users, merchants, businesses and investors abandoned Bitcoin. Its marketshare among other cryptocurrencies quickly plummeted from 95% to 40%.
Does Bitcoin Cash fix these problems?
Yes. Bitcoin Cash immediately raised the block size limit to 8MB as part of a massive on-chain scaling approach. There will be ample capacity for everyone’s transactions.
Low fees and fast confirmations will resume with Bitcoin Cash. The network will be allowed to grow again. Users, merchants, businesses, and investors will return.
Why didn’t Bitcoin raise the block size if it was easy?
Some of the developers did not understand and agree with the original vision of peer-to-peer electronic cash that Satoshi Nakamoto had created. Instead, they preferred Bitcoin become a settlement layer.
Many miners and users trusted these developers, while others recognized that they were leading the community down a different road than expected.
These two very different visions for Bitcoin are largely incompatible, which led to the community divide.
Which Development Team is In Charge of Bitcoin Cash?
Unlike the previous situation in Bitcoin, there is no one single development team for Bitcoin Cash. There are now multiple independent teams of developers.
This decentralization of development (and decentralization of software implementations) is a much needed and important step forward.