Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is hard fork (a community-activated update to the protocol or code) of Bitcoin that took effect on August 1st, 2017 that increased the block size to 8MB, to help the scale the underlying technology of Bitcoin.Nov 16th 2018: BCH was hard forked again and split into Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. Bitcoin ABC became the dominant chain and took over the BCH ticker as it had more hashpower and majority of the nodes in the network.
Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency which works on a completely decentralized network known as the blockchain. The blockchain network consists a link of blocks that are secured using cryptography and record all the transactions. Bitcoin was first presented to the world in 2009 by an anonymous identity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. As Bitcoin works on a decentralized network, it is completely free from the involvement of third-party financial institutions or central banks. The Bitcoin blockchain facilitates instant peer-to-peer transactions at minimum transactions fees required to maintain the network. The total number of Bitcoins is fixed at 21 million with its smallest unit being referred to as Satoshi. Each Satoshi represents a hundred millionth part of Bitcoin which means that 100,000,000 Santoshi = 1 BTC. Additional Bitcoins are generated by a process known as mining. Bitcoins are mined by professional miners solving complex computational equations. For each Bitcoin mined, the miners are rewarded with either more coins or transaction fees. The miners also validate all transactions on the Bitcoin network as well as look after the network security. Bitcoin can be exchanged with fiat currencies or other digital currencies. There are over 100,000 merchants and vendors accepting Bitcoin all over the world.
Bitcoin Cash trades on digital currency exchanges including Bitstamp, Coinbase, Gemini, Kraken, Bitfinex, and ShapeShift using the Bitcoin Cash name and the BCH ticker symbol for the cryptocurrency. On 26 March 2018, OKEx removed all Bitcoin Cash trading pairs except for BCH/BTC, BCH/ETH and BCH/USDT due to "inadequate liquidity". As of May 2018, daily transaction numbers for Bitcoin Cash are about one-tenth of those of bitcoin.
To keep the block generation time equal to ten minutes on average, both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash use an algorithm adjusting the mining difficulty parameter. This algorithm is called the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA). Originally, both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash used the same difficulty adjustment algorithm, adjusting the mining difficulty parameter every 2016 blocks. Since 1 August 2017, Bitcoin Cash also used an addition to the DAA, called an Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) algorithm. EDA was used alongside the original DAA and it was designed to decrease the mining difficulty of Bitcoin Cash by 20%, if the time difference between 6 successive blocks was greater than 12 hours.
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EDA adjustments caused instabilities in mining difficulty of the Bitcoin Cash system, resulting in Bitcoin Cash being thousands of blocks ahead of Bitcoin. To address the problem with stability, a change of the Bitcoin Cash DAA was implemented and the EDA cancelled. The change took effect on 13 November 2017. After the change, the Bitcoin Cash DAA adjusts the mining difficulty after each block. To calculate the difficulty for a new block, the Bitcoin Cash DAA uses a moving window of last 144 blocks.
Bitcoin Cash was launched in August 2017, as a direct response to small block sizes on the Bitcoin code. 1MB block sizes were not meeting the demand of the growing community, so a group of dissatisfied crypto enthusiasts decided to create a ‘hard fork’ of the Bitcoin blockchain, with an increased 8MB block size. No one person currently takes credit for the token’s creation; rather it is attributed to a de-centralized group of developers.