What is Bitcoin Cash? Where it came from and where it’s going

Find out where Bitcoin Cash came from and what makes it different than Bitcoin.

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Bitcoin Cash physical coin

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Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which is sometimes called Bcash, was created on August 1, 2017 as a fork of Bitcoin (BTC).

It’s similar to Bitcoin in many ways but has some technical differences that also makes it very different.

This guide explains what Bitcoin Cash is, how it works and what makes it different than Bitcoin.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.

Quick guide: How to buy BCH

  1. Register for an account with a cryptocurrency exchange like Kraken.
  2. Verify your account.
  3. Enable two-factor authentication.
  4. Click "Funding" then "Deposit."
  5. Select a currency as the payment option, then choose your transfer method.
  6. Transfer funds into your account.
  7. Search for the desired cryptocurrency market.
  8. Enter the amount you want to buy.
  9. Review the transaction details.
  10. Click “Buy.”
Go to Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange's site

This is our quick guide to just one way to buy BCH. Compare some other options in the table below.

What is Bitcoin Cash?

Icon Symbol Initial release date Algorithm type Max. supply
Bitcoin Cash symbol BCH, BCC, Ƀ 1 August 2017 SHA-256 21 million BCH

How is Bitcoin Cash different from Bitcoin?

Just like Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, which can be sent directly to anyone, anywhere in the world without the use of a third-party intermediary.

There are two differences between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin:

  • Bitcoin Cash has a larger block size, which results in lower transaction fees and faster transfers on average.
  • Bitcoin is much more valuable than Bitcoin Cash

Because of these differences, many people think of Bitcoin as a kind of digital gold, and Bitcoin Cash as a kind of digital cash.

What makes Bitcoin Cash better than Bitcoin?

Bitcoin Cash has some technical differences that make it cheaper to use than Bitcoin.

Specifically, it has a 32MB (megabyte) block size, while Bitcoin has a 1MB block size. This means the Bitcoin Cash blockchain can carry a lot more transactions, which keeps its fees low even in times of high use.

By contrast, in times of high activity the Bitcoin blockchain fills up and transactions have to start queuing, which slows down transfer times and raises fees.

In a nutshell, BCH is much faster and cheaper than BTC.

What makes Bitcoin Cash worse than Bitcoin?

The main technical downside of larger blocks is that they’re harder for miners to digest, which can lead to problems like unintentionally splitting the blockchain into multiple branches. It also gives an extra advantage to the miners who are able to digest them more easily, which increases the risk of a blockchain centralizing around those kinds of miners.

Fortunately, in the case of Bitcoin Cash this is more of a theoretical problem than an actual one, as 32MB is not large enough to cause these kinds of problems.

The main reason BCH is worse than BTC is simply because BTC is worth a lot more, so more people use BTC than BCH.

In fact, Bitcoin Cash has never even come close to fully utilizing its large block size.

In cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, the value of a coin is also functionally very important because it determines how secure and reliable the network is. This is because the more valuable a coin is, the more miners it can support.

The chart below shows the mining power, known as hashrate, of Bitcoin (blue) vs. Bitcoin Cash (red).

Bitcoin Cash Hash Rate

As you can see, Bitcoin consistently has a much higher hashrate than Bitcoin Cash, and so is more resistant to certain types of attacks.

Still, despite the huge difference, Bitcoin Cash is still believed to have sufficient hashrate to withstand realistic attacks.

Why is Bitcoin worth more than Bitcoin Cash?

But if Bitcoin Cash is cheaper and faster, why is Bitcoin worth more?

No one knows for sure, but there are two main theories: an economic one and a social one.

The economic theory

One theory holds that frictions, such as higher fees and slower transfers, are actually good for maintaining the value of assets.

This is because it makes it more difficult and expensive to dispose of, either by selling or spending. These high fees and slow transfers subtly encourage people to hold onto their Bitcoin instead of spending it, which reduces the total amount of Bitcoin available on the open market and drives prices upwards.

The social theory

The social theory is that people are simply more attracted to Bitcoin because it’s worth more, which in turn makes it even more valuable and more attractive.

BTC also bears the original Bitcoin name, which helps increase its brand recognition.

How Bitcoin Cash is developing

Current development in Bitcoin Cash is largely geared towards utilizing its large block size for purposes other than simply carrying BCH transactions.

The large block size creates ample room to carry smart contract type programs on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, although there are some challenges associated with adapting the underlying Bitcoin framework for smart contracts, which other blockchains don’t have to contend with.

What to consider before buying Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash functionally performs much better than Bitcoin and its larger block size hasn’t resulted in any significant downsides. But is that enough?

When considering Bitcoin Cash…

  • As a store of value. The cryptocurrency market has shown a clear preference for BTC over BCH, and despite the functional benefits of BCH, it has far fewer users than BTC. When viewed as a store of value people can believe in, Bitcoin Cash appears to be getting outclassed by Bitcoin.
  • As a digital currency. The functionality of payment-oriented cryptocurrencies like BCH is limited by their volatility, while stablecoins do not have this problem. Bitcoin Cash, as well as Litecoin, DASH and many more, may be outclassed by stablecoins and other developments outside of cryptocurrency. However, BCH’s volatility may also be seen as an advantage for those who want a digital currency whose value is completely independent of existing fiat currencies.
  • As a digital currency. As a holistic utility blockchain, the rigid framework underpinning Bitcoin Cash may put it at a disadvantage compared to more smart-contract-specific blockchains such as Ethereum. Similarly, its comparatively small developer community may limit the pace and scope of application development on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Where to get Bitcoin Cash

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Supported Cryptocurrencies
Wire transfer
Online banking
USD
BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH, LTC, ETC, ADA, MIOTA, XLM, EOS, NEO, TRX, ZEC, XTZ
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Electronic Funds Transfer
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, DASH, XMR & 15+ more
Buy, sell and trade a range of digital currencies on this high-liquidity exchange – suitable for beginners right through to advanced traders.

UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading, Kraken offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
Cash
Credit card
Debit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, ETC, BCH, LTC, ADA, QTUM, XRP
Buy coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash with credit card.
Paybis Cryptocurrency Exchange
AdvCash
Credit card
Debit card
Neteller
Payeer
USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, JPY
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCH, XLM, BNB, NEO, TRX
Buy Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies with credit card or debit card on this digital cryptocurrency exchange.

US residents: Restricted in the following states - NY, CT, NM, WA, HI, AL, VT, FL, AK, NV.
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
USD
BTC, BCH, MIOTA, XVG, NEO, ADA, XRP, TRX, ONT, ZIL & 580+ more
CoinSwitch allows you to compare and convert over 250 cryptocurrencies across all exchanges.
Cryptocurrency
BTC, XBT, ADA, BCH, EOS, ETH, LTC, XRP
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Trade cryptocurrency derivatives with high liquidity for bitcoin spot and futures, and up to 100% leverage on margin trading.
Bank transfer (ACH)
Credit card
Bank transfer (SEPA)
Faster Payments Service
AUD, USD, EUR, RUB, GBP, DZD, AOA, SGD, KRW, CAD & 120+ more
BTC, BTG, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC & 3+ more
Disclaimer: Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk.
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Bank transfer (ACH)
Bank transfer
Cryptocurrency
Debit card
Wire transfer
USD
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, USDT, BNB, ADA, ZRX, LINK & 10+ more
Get a US$15 bonus when you trade US$100 or more of any supported crypto. T&Cs apply.
Trade with USD on Binance.US, the American dollar onramp of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Non-US residents can read our review of Binance's main exchange here.
Cryptocurrency
-
BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, XVG, LTC, ADA, MIOTA, TRX, & 100+ more
Buy and trade 100+ cryptocurrencies on this global cryptocurrency exchange.
Bank transfer
Credit card
Cryptocurrency
Wire transfer
USD, EUR, JPY
BTC, ETH, BCH
With options to buy bitcoin and popular altcoins through credit card, wire transfer and more, BitfFyer offers users the choice of paying with cryptocurrency or USD, EUR and JPY.

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A comprehensive guide to buying BCH

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AnsuJune 11, 2018

    I made a mistake and bought Bitcoin cash and they was sent to my wallet address and I contact the Bitcoin wallet developers and no one is responding how can I get my Bitcoin cash to turn into Bitcoins is there any way you guys can change my Bitcoin cash into Bitcoins to my wallet because its not showing nothing on my wallet and I also have my receipt from the Bitcion Merchant I purchase the Bitcoin cash from.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJune 12, 2018Staff

      Hi Ansu,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I believe you want to change your Bitcoin Cash to Bitcoin. Unfortunately, we can’t change your BCH to BTC since we are a comparison website and don’t handle digital coins directly.

      If you want to turn your BCH to BTC< you just need to sell or trade your BCH to BTC again. All you need to do is find someone who wants to make a deal with you. You may also look for an exchange that will let you sell your BCH for BTC.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    kalMarch 27, 2018

    Hi,
    I bought bitcoin cash instead of bitcoin on coinbase, how do I rectify this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AshMarch 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Kal,

      Thank you for visiting finder.

      For every transaction that you will place in Coinbase, you will be receiving a confirmation to ensure that you allow the purchase to be processed. You may cancel your transaction by not confirming the prompt after you place your purchase for the Bitcoin Cash. Another option is to sell your Bitcoin Cash then buy the Bitcoin that you prefer.

      You may also read this page for more information regarding Coinbase.

      I hope this helps.

      Let us know if there is anything else that we may assist you with. Enjoy the rest of your day!

      Cheers,
      Ash

  3. Default Gravatar
    MoforFebruary 2, 2018

    Is there, as of now, any website for mining bitcoin cash.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RonFebruary 5, 2018Staff

      Hello Mofor,

      Good day! Appreciate you contacting finder regarding your inquiry today.

      You may refer to this page – https://www.finder.com/bitcoin-mining, for a comprehensive guide regarding bitcoin mining. As well, you can see there and compare Bitcoin cloud mining providers. You can click on the green “Go to site” button for each of the providers and you will be redirected to their website.

      Hope this helps!

      All the best,

      Ron

  4. Default Gravatar
    susuDecember 1, 2017

    I want to buy bitcoin cash and use this to buy electronic goods from a supplier who only accepts bitcoin cash as payment. How do I buy bitcoin cash for this purpose and how do I use this?

    • Default Gravatar
      ArnoldDecember 2, 2017

      Hi Susu,

      Thanks for your inquiry

      The page above shows you where and how you can obtain Bitcoin Cash. It also shows where you can use your Bitcoin Cash as payment. Please check the information on this page to know more about this.

      Hope this information helps

      Cheers,
      Arnold

  5. Default Gravatar
    PinkyNovember 11, 2017

    Hello.I just want to find out how do I go about buying Bitcoin cash and what the platforms where a person can buy n sell bitcoin cash.

    • Default Gravatar
      DanielleNovember 11, 2017

      Hi Pinky,

      Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

      You are on the right page. You may review and compare the offers available on the table above. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Danielle

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