Bitcoin Cash for beginners: A step-by-step guide to BCH | finder.com

What is Bitcoin Cash? A step-by-step guide to BCH

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Bitcoin Cash has rapidly become one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world. Here’s why.

In an effort to improve the efficiency of transactions, Bitcoin Cash broke off from the original bitcoin network on August 1, 2017. Bitcoin Cash aims to take bitcoin in a new direction geared toward faster transaction speeds and lower fees.

Learn more Buy Bitcoin Cash

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What is Bitcoin Cash?

IconSymbolInitial release dateAlgorithm typeMax. supply
BCH, BCC, Ƀ1 August, 2017SHA-25621 million BCH

Built upon the bitcoin model, Bitcoin Cash is a digital currency that is:

  • Decentralized. The network is spread out across many different computers all over the world.
  • Peer-to-Peer. Person A can send Bitcoin Cash directly to Person B from anywhere in the world without needing an intermediary, like a bank.
  • Secure. Bitcoin Cash uses strong encryption to prevent hacking, fraud, and cyber attacks.
  • Open. The history of all Bitcoin Cash transactions is logged on a publicly accessible blockchain that can be viewed and verified by anyone.

How is Bitcoin Cash different from bitcoin?

Bitcoin Cash was created as a result of diverging viewpoints within the bitcoin community about how to scale the network. As more people began to use bitcoin, the network struggled to keep up with the volume of transactions. As a result, many bitcoin users were waiting hours, sometimes days, before seeing their transactions go through.

There was a lot of debate around how to solve this problem, and that led to a split between two groups with opposing viewpoints: those in favor of increasing the size of blocks in the blockchain versus those in favor of restructuring the way data was stored in the existing blocks.

The hard fork

To make transaction speeds faster, one group within the bitcoin community wanted to increase the size of blocks on the bitcoin blockchain. This group, consisting primarily of bitcoin miners, could not get enough support from the larger bitcoin community to form the consensus needed to move bitcoin in this direction. As a result, this group split off (or “hard-forked”) from the original bitcoin blockchain and formed Bitcoin Cash as a new currency.

Bitcoin Cash recognizes the same blockchain as bitcoin up until the time of the fork, August 1st, 2017. After the fork, Bitcoin Cash transactions started to be recorded on a new blockchain, specific to Bitcoin Cash, while bitcoin continued to maintain the original bitcoin blockchain.

What does Bitcoin Cash do differently?

The biggest difference between bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash has to do with the size of blocks on the blockchain. By increasing block size from bitcoin’s 1MB up to 8MB, Bitcoin Cash allows many more transactions to be processed in one block. The idea is to process larger transaction volumes faster and for lower fees.

Another significant difference between the two currencies is that the level of difficulty involved in mining Bitcoin Cash varies depending on how many miners are active on the network. Many bitcoin miners have migrated over to Bitcoin Cash for this reason, because it allows them to generate larger profits at a faster rate than mining bitcoin.

Where can I use Bitcoin Cash as payment?

Many cryptocurrency exchanges have taken steps to integrate Bitcoin Cash, and it’s possible that merchants will begin to follow suit as the currency continues to grow. For those looking to use cryptocurrency to buy goods and services, Bitcoin Cash is not currently accepted by most vendors, including many of those that do accept bitcoin.

How to get Bitcoin Cash

There are a few ways to get your hands on some BCH.

  • You might already have some. If you owned bitcoin before the August 1 fork, you might already have Bitcoin Cash. Any bitcoin holdings you had prior to the split, unless they were kept on an exchange, can also be claimed as Bitcoin Cash. The same private keys associated with your bitcoin wallet can be used to access equal holdings in Bitcoin Cash.
  • Buy from an exchange. Initially, many of the most prominent exchanges in the US were hesitant to support Bitcoin Cash. However, due to an increase in value and consumer demand more and more exchanges are beginning to open their doors to this new currency. Some popular exchanges that support BCH include Kraken, Bitfinex, and Bittrex. Coinbase has also stated that it will begin to issue Bitcoin Cash starting in 2018.
  • Mine it. Bitcoin Cash has received a lot of support from miners, many of whom have switched over from mining bitcoin. The opportunity to earn generous amounts of BCH through mining is an incentive for more people to participate in the network.
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What should I consider before buying Bitcoin Cash?

Cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile, and it’s impossible to say for certain whether the value of Bitcoin Cash will go up or down. Since its initial release, BCH has grown to become one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world, but it has also seen major price fluctuation from one day to the next.

From a trader’s perspective, the stability of Bitcoin Cash needs to be reviewed. Many skeptics believe that it will not be able to replace bitcoin as the leader in this space, and therefore it may not survive in the long term. On the other hand, supporters of BCH believe it offers an improvement over bitcoin and will therefore gain value in the long term and ultimately overtake its predecessor.

What to watch out for

Bitcoin Cash is still very new, and it has seen major price variations in its early days. There’s ongoing debate about the real value of Bitcoin Cash, how much support it has, and whether its solution to bitcoin’s scaling problem is ultimately a success.

What’s next for Bitcoin Cash?

The future of Bitcoin Cash remains unclear. Its value has grown substantially despite its comparatively short existence, but Bitcoin Cash faces several challenges and uncertainties moving forward. Bitcoin Cash is hailed by its supporters as a “new and improved” system that will replace the original bitcoin.

At the same time, many prominent voices in the cryptocurrency space have suggested that Bitcoin Cash does not have the same level of support driving bitcoin. As bitcoin moves to implement its own solutions to the scaling issue, we will likely get a much clearer picture of how these two competing currencies will develop into the future.

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8 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    kalMarch 27, 2018

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

    • Staff
      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

  2. Default Gravatar
    MoforFebruary 2, 2018

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

    • Staff
      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

  3. 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?

    • Staff
      ArnoldDecember 2, 2017Staff

      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

  4. 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.

    • Staff
      DanielleNovember 11, 2017Staff

      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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