Bitcoin has been the market leader by various metrics since its inception in 2009. Today, it still remains the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with over $1 trillion. Additionally, Bitcoin price has exceeded $60,000 recently, creating further interest for the digital asset. Today, the Bitcoin network has become simply too popular for any other to just overtake it, and it is available on basically every cryptocurrency exchange.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) came into existence much later and today ranks only in 11th place with a market cap of just over $10 billion. It has not proven to be as great of a success as the Bitcoin Cash community hoped it would. The BCH blockchain promised to increase transaction volume and reduce transaction fees.
Let`s take a closer look at the history, advantages, disadvantages of the original Bitcoin blockchain and the split – Bitcoin Cash.
What is Bitcoin?
As mentioned, Bitcoin is the first Blockchain or distributed ledger created. It has ever since been the largest digital currency with a price of over $60,000 and capitalization of over $1 trillion, with many analysts predicting BTS`s market cap to exceeding that of golds in the upcoming years as financial institutions are slowly but surely starting to invest some of their holdings.
Simply said, Bitcoin is a currency that runs on a blockchain network and is a great alternative asset class. Many compare Bitcoin to digital gold, and there are many who predict that Bitcoins market cap will eventually exceed the one of Gold.
Features of Bitcoin
- Proof-of-work algorithm
- Store of Value
- Most popular cryptocurrency
- Stability of price
Does Bitcoin Offer Smart Contracts?
No, Bitcoin does not offer smart contract functionality as BTC developers want to keep the blockchain as simple and stable as possible. Developers of the Bitcoin community believed that the blockchain would suffer a decrease in speed for transactions and contest the network due to the current block size limit.
What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash, or BCH for short, is an offshoot of Bitcoin. Digital currency offers a reduction in trading fees as well as trading times by offering a slightly upgraded blockchain technology. Over time Bitcoin Cash network has created much interest around the community, driving BCH price higher over time.
Increased Bitcoin cash block size allows for faster transactions and a decrease in trading fees while initially allowing the use of the same Bitcoin miner in securing the network. Ultimately, the BCH coin is a great alternative to Bitcoin, but it will likely never overtake the market size and popularity of Bitcoin.
During the time of launch, Bitcoin traded with a price of $2,700. BCH was given at an equal one-to-one ratio for any BTC holder with no restrictions on what to do with it once received. This caused massive price volatility at first, many rushed to simply sell the newly acquired BCH and purchase more BTC with the proceeds.
The price increase of BCH has let investors down
After some time, BCH price did stabilize around $250 and has ever since grown to a price of over $550. For most of 2019 and 2020, BCH`s price traded around the range of $200-$300, causing a huge letdown for those who wanted to profit from the cryptocurrency’s price increase.
The cause for stagnating prices is mainly due to high inflation for the coin. The demand in the market simply cannot outmatch the ever-increasing supply of the coin. This trend is likely to continue in the future. Therefore, if your goal is to capitalize on purely price increase, BCH is not the right option.
What is Bitcoin Cash used for?
Bitcoin Cash, due to its nature as a blockchain with increased block size and transaction speeds, is mainly used to transfer value between exchanges and wallets. The price increase for a single BCH is not worth the investment if you are seeking a return on capital. There are many altcoins that have performed and likely will perform better than Bitcoin Cash.
Features of Bitcoin Cash
- Proof-of-work algorithm
- Larger block size
- Smaller transaction fees
- Faster speed
- Bitcoin Cash node is easier to setup
- Allows for smart-contract writing
Does Bitcoin Cash Offer Smart Contracts?
Yes, Bitcoin Cash launched the capability of smart contract development in 2019 by using Cashscript, which is a specifically designed language that allows writing Bitcoin Cash contracts.
History of Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash
As mentioned, the Bitcoin network began to operate in 2009. An anonymous person invented it under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. There are debates about who the mysterious developer who created the original Bitcoin blockchain actually is.
Many developments have occurred during the more than 10 years of BTC`s existence. There have been attempts to stop, ban and disrupt the network over the years. However, as we can see today – Bitcoin still stands as the market leader with ever-increasing capitalization.
First use case – Black markets?
During the times when BTC had recognition only among hard-core information system specialists and enthusiasts of cryptography, a new group of people joined the ecosystem. It turned out that the semi-anonymous transactions of blockchain networks were the ideal payment option for black markets across the darknet, such as Silk Road.
This caused Bitcoin to move above the $10 mark in 2011, sparking even more popularity for the technology. People were not starting to buy Bitcoin as a way to profit yet, and trading was only just becoming popular. Several new exchanges were created to facilitate the demand for the ever-growing phenomenon.
The Segregated Witness issue
Much controversy was seen during 2017 as a new upgrade to the blockchain network called Segregated Witness was approved. Short for SegWit, this feature proposed a so-called “Soft fork” of the network that would allow bypassing several protocol restrictions.
This was done in order to deal with ever-increasing transaction volumes that congested the network. The solution using SegWit afforded was expected to allow for increased block size limits and increased speed for transactions.
After the community approved SegWit of developers and miners across the world, Bitcoin saw a huge increase in price. From just under $1,000 per coin in 2017, BTC`s price increased to over $13,000.
However, this new upgrade then created outrage for part of the developer and miner community who wanted to see the blockchain block sizes increased even further to allow for better speed and volumes.
Therefore, this conflict eventually resulted in two new blockchains – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The single BTC blockchain was essentially split into two, with the faction of Bitcoin developers and miners that wanted further progress now supporting Bitcoin Cash.
Hard Fork of Bitcoin Created Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash came into existence as a result of a split of Bitcoin blockchain, in a process called a hard fork. The reason for the split was simple – there was a divide about the future Bitcoin’s scalability would look like as it faced a scaling issue due to increased interest around the world.
Bitcoin Cash supporters saw issues in the way Bitcoin mining was done, and wanted maximum block size increased to allow for better speed, increase in revenue for mining pools, and a reduction in the hash power and mining difficulty needed to sustain the network.
Bitcoin Cash – launched in 2017 with promises to solve the scalability issue
Therefore, in 2017 Bitcoin cash was created as a hard fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. The coin was distributed to anyone who held Bitcoin on their crypto exchange or personal wallet without any additional cost. This created a lot of interest for the newly formed digital coin with BCH supporters such as Roger Ver creating Bitcoin Cash price prediction that would imply BCH eventually taking over BTC.
Bitcoin SV – just another fork?
Further down the timeline, a Bitcoin Cash fork was made, creating Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV, with SV standing for Satoshi Vision. Satoshi Vision refers to the original concept developed by Satoshi Nakamoto on how the network should operate and perform.
SV was proposed by an Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, who has claimed to be the Satoshi Nakamoto. Whether that is true is hard to prove. However, it did create another Bitcoin fork offering anyone with a Bitcoin Cash wallet some more free coin, just like during BTC`s first split.
2020 – The year institutional investors joined
As Bitcoin`s price saw exponential gains over the previous years, a new group of supporters joined. This time it was big – it was the Institutional investor with billions of assets. They were mostly interested in Bitcoin as it was the largest and offered to trade futures on the conventional financial markets and exchanges.
Cryptocurrency markets overall saw bad performance during 2020 as the market declined after the exponential moves seen in the previous bull cycle. Therefore, we might see the next market cycle push higher once again – this time with even more money from institutional investors.
That`s it for history – what are the differences?
Overall, the main difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is whether you want a store of value or fast transactions with low fees. BTC continues to be the market leader and is the best option for those who seek a return on their investment. On the other hand, BCH`s only real purpose is to transact fast with low fees as it has not had a substantial price increase over the past years when compared to many other altcoins.
As Bitcoin cash was derived from the same blockchain that Bitcoin uses, we could say that BCH is simply an upgraded alternative to Bitcoin. Many have called BCH a “beta-test” for Bitcoin and speculate that some of the features that Bitcoin Cash currently uses could eventually be implemented for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin cash advantages over bitcoin
BCH allows for transactions to be processed faster when compared to Bitcoin transaction speed and a reduction in trading fees. It has developed the capability of smart contract development and overall is a great alternative to Bitcoin if store of value and price gains are not your top priority when choosing.
Bitcoin cash disadvantages compared to Bitcoin
BCH is less known and does not have the capitalization of Bitcoin. It still frequently moves into the top 10 list of coins by market cap. However, ultimately, it is less secure and will likely underperform when compared to Bitcoin.
Technical similarities – Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash
Since both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash was derived from the same original blockchain, they are very similar. They both offer to transact on a distributed ledger called blockchain that uses a peer-to-peer network to maintain a semi-anonymous payment system.
The only real difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is in their block specification. Bitcoin Cash has increased its block limit, which allows for faster transaction speed and a larger volume of transactions to be stored per each block.
Mining both BTC and BCH was first done with pretty much the same ASIC miners and competed for miner power for some time. Over time some specialties developed, and they have become more technically different.
How high will the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash move?
Like in any other market, the price of both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash is determined by the demand and the supply of the market. As we see general interest for cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges increase over the years, we can expect that the demand for digital money and their exchanges to increase further.
Bitcoin max supply – 21 million
On the other hand, the supply for Bitcoin is slowly reducing. This is due to reward halving every 4-5 years to reach a total supply of 21 million BTC. Therefore, the supply of Bitcoin is diminishing, while the demand is increasing. Naturally, this should lead to an increase in price over time.
Similarly, BCH has a limited supply also as it uses the same principle of only ever having 21 million coins. Therefore, the same principles apply for Bitcoin Cash – if the demand for digital coin continues, we shall see an increase in price over time.
However, which of the coins will perform the best? It will likely be Bitcoin as it draws more attention day-by-day, and many institutional investors are ready to purchase millions worth of this cryptocurrency.
When will Bitcoin reach $100,000?
Estimates on when Bitcoin could reach to so-long awaited $100,000 mark are various. If the current market momentum persists, we might see Bitcoin reaching the $100,000 mark by the summer.
If there is another pullback, as seen over the beginning of this year, we might have to wait longer. Ultimately, the consensus is that we should see the market trading over $100,000 by the end of 2021.
When will Bitcoin reach $1 million?
Predicting when Bitcoin will reach the $1 million mark is a lot harder. Surely this will not be done in the current bull-cycle. Therefore, much depends on how high Bitcoin will go during the current long-term bullish cycle.
If Bitcoin can breach the $100,000 mark and continue its momentum towards $200,000-$250,000, we could see Bitcoin reach the $1,000,000 mark in the next 3-4 years. Much depends on what the price action will be during the current bull cycle.
Suppose institutional investor demand continues pushing the market higher and Bitcoin gets even more recognition as a solid investment, with whom to add extra returns to any portfolio. In that case, we might see BTC reach the $1 million mark by the end of 2025 for sure.
Where to buy Bitcoin Cash?
Both crypto-assets can be purchased on practically any crypto exchange as they are well-known and demanded. During the first weeks after the hard fork, BCH was not supported by every exchange, causing outrage for traders who held their coin on exchange wallets.
Bitcoin Cash available on most exchanges – Bitcoin on every exchange
The issue of BCH not being available drove traders and investors away from those exchanges. Therefore, over time, this issue was solved, and today, practically any exchange allows to buy and sell Bitcoin Cash without any restrictions. Consequently, you can pretty much choose any exchange if you want to trade or invest in Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash: Which One You Should Choose?
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages for both BTC and BCH. If what you are looking for is investing in a stable long-term coin that has the market size and popularity over the world to keep going higher over the years, choose Bitcoin. Alternatively, if you want faster transaction times and smaller transfer fees, then go for Bitcoin Cash.
Both of them are set to increase in value over time as they are the leaders of cryptocurrency markets. Bitcoin Cash is a popular option for those who hate to wait for their transaction to be processed from one wallet to another. Therefore, if you want speed – choose BCH. If you want a store of value – choose BTC.
Conclusion – Bitcoin is still the king
Bitcoin has been the blockchain cryptocurency that everyone has spoken about for the past years. Despite many Bitcoin deniers and critics’ attempts to prove that there are other alternatives, BTC continues to dominate the market with an ever-increasing market cap that recently broke the $1 trillion mark.
Many analysts predict that BTC has the potential to overtake the market cap of gold over in either this bullish market cycle or the next. Gold`s market cap is currently valued at around $10-$11 trillion. Therefore, Bitcoin still has more room to grow in order to reach this price prediction.
However, when considering how fast Bitcoins price has increased over the years, we are sure that the $11 trillion mark is more than a possibility for Bitcoin.
Alternatively, Bitcoin Cash does offer an interesting alternative it has developed more advanced features and offers a technologically better blockchain solution. However, the market simply does not recognize BCH and Bitcoin, and we can see many other projects outperforming BCH in the upcoming years.
That’s it – keep reading further!
That`s it for our guide on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. For further reading, see our long-term price prediction on Bitcoin as well as several other major cryptocurrencies such as Ripple, Monero, and Chainlink.