Cryptocurrency analyst. Founder and editor at btcpeers.com
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been big winners amid rocky economic environments in 2020. Roughly halfway through the year, Bitcoin’s already outperformed the S&P 500 index and gold.
But data’s been showing fork cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash have been reaping even better returns.
For example, Bitcoin Cash outperformed Bitcoin for the first few months of 2020. Forks like Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Gold have also outperformed Bitcoin in a notable manner as the year progresses.
Mimesis Capital CIO Louis Liu attributes the success of forks like Bitcoin Cash to a positive correlation with Bitcoin’s price inflation, coupled with high volatility.
Despite upswings, Delphi Digital research firm co-founder Kevin Kelly takes a more muted approach, remarking cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV are just being utilized as “speculative investments.”
The genesis of Bitcoin Cash dates back to August 1, 2017, when Bitcoin-ABC developers launched a Bitcoin hard fork to boost block size.
The new 8MB block Bitcoin Cash was celebrated as a solution to Bitcoin’s inevitable scaling issues due to the perceived restrictions of a 1MB block.
Developers have since upgraded the block size to 32MB while maintaining an adherence to decentralization to protect against attacks as the protocol further develops. Debates over the events that led to Bitcoin Cash still comes up for discussion, even years after the fork.
In June, Charles Hoskinson took time in an interview to dismiss claims by Bitcoin Core supporters that a jump in block size would have led to more centralization.
“Just an insane argument. And this is the intellectual dishonesty of that argument. So that's like saying: ‘network capacity, CPUs and hard disks are never going to increase in size. I mean, what is it? You created Bitcoin in 2009? What was the average bandwidth of a network connection? What was the average amount of disk storage and the CPU power person has? My cell phone today is as powerful as the most powerful gaming PC you could buy in 2009.”
Bitcoin Cash’s gained attention in recent months as people note the cryptocurrency’s slow path to recovery amid a multi-month symmetrical triangle formation.
As Bitcoin Cash’s protocol and network infrastructure continue to expand, a number of projects have chosen to build on or around the cryptocurrency’s chain. The total number of projects was more than 70 last year, ranging from games, merchant services, and social media.
General Protocols announced in May they raised more than $1 million in a seed funding round to further develop their AnyHedge decentralized finance (DeFi) platform based on Bitcoin Cash.
Current speculation among some, amid the flurry of project activity associated with Bitcoin Cash, is the cryptocurrency’s long-term price prospects can boost as certain high-profile projects make BCH trading pairs available on leading cryptocurrency exchanges.
One example is the Sensorium Corporation, a VR, AR, and entertainment content solutions developer. They added the SENSO token to the Bitcoin.com crypto exchange in late May, opening up purchasing options for the BCH/SENSO pair.
The Sensorium Corporation endeavors to capitalize on the projected massive growth in the global VR market, that’s thought to come as streaming services continue to increase in coverage. Sensorium’s social virtual reality is set to offer people from across the world uninterrupted synchronized VR content. The platform is AI-based and features a neural interface so it can learn from the behavior of users.
Bitcoin.com publishes and maintains a list of projects built around or with Bitcoin Cash. The list could be set to grow even more, as recent data from CoinCodeCap places Bitcoin Cash on the list of active open-source protocols with strong developer activity.
Some believe the lack of major activity against the Bitcoin Cash network is a bit of an anomaly.
Back in May, ARK Invest crypto asset analyst Yassine Elmandjra Tweeted she was “surprised we haven’t seen a large-scale attack yet” when reviewing Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate.
Elmandjra noted at the time Bitcoin Cash accounted for about 2% of the SHA-256 hashrate. Others, like BitcoinBCH founder Hayden Otto calculated a different amount and argued it’s actually easier said than done to attack Bitcoin Cash.
According to Otto, there’s no incentive from profit-seeking miners to attack Bitcoin Cash, especially since “Any attacker will be challenged by honest miners defending the chain, and the 10-block reorg protection neuters any attempt to secretly mine a longer chain.”
He argues these reasons are why Bitcoin Cash hasn’t seen an attack despite hovering at about 3.5% of Bitcoin’s hashrate for years.
The future prospects for Bitcoin Cash might hinge on looming debates over the block size limit.
Former Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver asserts he would have “enough of cryptocurrency [and] I’d be calling it a day” if Bitcoin Cash developers argue for a 32MB block size cap.
Arguments over block size have also been a feature of discussions and those invested in the Bitcoin Cash-Bitcoin SV debate.
Overall, Roger Ver argues that efficiency drives adoption by retailers and payment system customers would not care about decentralization.
Despite debates in the Bitcoin Cash community, supporters of the cryptocurrency usually find time to celebrate upgrades that usually take place on May 15th and November 15th.
In May, those in the Bitcoin Cash community heralded a chain limit extension and improvements through ‘Sigcheck’ implementation. Supporters are now discussing future improvements like Avalanche and UTXO commitments with an optimistic tone.
Disclosure: I am not a BCH holder, but I hold BTC. I don't have any other vested interests in any mentioned projects.