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.

Understanding Bitcoin Cash

The difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is philosophical.

As Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto proposed, Bitcoin was meant to be a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency used for daily transactions. Over the years, as it gained mainstream traction and its price surged, Bitcoin became an investment vehicle instead of a currency. Its blockchain witnessed scalability issues because it could not handle the increased number of transactions. The confirmation time and fees for trade on bitcoin’s blockchain surged. This was mainly due to the 1MB block size limitation for bitcoin. Transactions queued up, waiting for confirmation because blocks could not handle the increase in size for transactions.

What is the ticker symbol for Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin Cash is represented by several different ticker symbols depending on the service or wallet.

BCH or BCC is the most popular ticker, with XBC being used to meet the International Standard for currency codes (ISO 4217).

Bitcoin vs. Bitcoin Cash: An Overview

Since its inception, there have been questions surrounding bitcoin’s ability to scale effectively. Transactions involving the digital currency bitcoin are processed, verified, and stored within a digital ledger known as a blockchain. Blockchain is a revolutionary ledger-recording technology. It makes logs far more difficult to manipulate because the reality of what has transpired is verified by majority rule, not by an individual actor. Additionally, this network is decentralized; it exists on computers all over the world.

The problem with blockchain technology in the Bitcoin network is that it’s slow, especially banks that deal with credit card transactions. Famous credit card company Visa, Inc., for instance, processes close to 150 million transactions per day, averaging roughly 1,700 transactions per second. The company's capability far surpasses that, at 65,000 transaction messages per second.1

How many transactions can the bitcoin network process per second? Seven.2 Transactions can take several minutes or more to process. As the network of bitcoin users has grown, waiting times have become longer because there are more transactions to process without changing the underlying technology that processes them.

Ongoing debates around bitcoin’s technology have been concerned with this central problem of scaling and increasing the speed of the transaction verification process. Developers and cryptocurrency miners have come up with two major solutions to this problem. The first involves making the amount of data that needs to be verified in each block smaller, thus creating faster and cheaper transactions. In contrast, the second requires making the blocks of data bigger so that more information can be processed at one time. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was developed out of these solutions. Below, we'll take a closer look at how bitcoin and BCH differ from one another.