Your guide to what affects the value of Bitcoin Cash and where the BCH price might be headed in the future.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is an alternative to bitcoin and one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world. Created in August 2017 as a hard fork of bitcoin, BCH is designed to offer faster and more affordable transactions than its older brother.
Bitcoin Cash regularly features in the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, but if you’re thinking of buying BCH, it’s essential to first consider all the factors that could potentially have an impact on its price. To find out what those factors are and the effect they could have on BCH’s price, read on.
|Coin name||Bitcoin Cash|
|Launch date||1 August 2017|
Bitcoin Cash price prediction
Cryptocurrencies are renowned for their volatility, and they’re also highly complicated assets influenced by myriad internal and external factors. Before buying any cryptocurrency, it’s crucial that you conduct a balanced assessment of the issues that could potentially contribute to a growth or decline in its value.
If you’re thinking of buying BCH, consider the following:
What could drive Bitcoin Cash’s growth?
- Scalability problems with bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash was created to offer an alternative to bitcoin’s increasing transaction wait times and fees. If these scalability issues continue to create problems for bitcoin, this could be good news for Bitcoin Cash.
- Miners shifting from BTC to BCH. Bitcoin Cash is much more lucrative for miners than bitcoin, so if this prompts more miners to switch from BTC to BCH then this could lead to further growth for BCH.
- Links with bitcoin. BCH’s shared history with bitcoin means it’s closely linked with the biggest cryptocurrency in the world. This creates trust with investors and also suggests that this is a coin built on a strong platform.
- Supply. Just like bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash has a total supply of 21 million. According to CoinMarketCap, at the time of writing (16/02/2018) there were 16,969,825 BCH in circulation. Consider the impact this limited supply could have on the coin’s value before you buy.
- Availability. BCH is listed on a wide range of exchanges and also supported by several crypto wallets. This ease of access gives the coin credibility and is an important factor when determining the demand for a currency. You can also find a list of sites and merchants that accept Bitcoin Cash at the Accept Bitcoin Cash Initiative.
What could hold Bitcoin Cash back?
- Bitcoin’s dominance. Bitcoin is easily the world’s biggest cryptocurrency and is very well established. Bitcoin Cash is a direct competitor, so if you expect Bitcoin to continue its market dominance then this could potentially have a negative impact on BCH.
- Other competitors. BCH and BTC are far from the only two digital currencies designed to act as peer-to-peer electronic cash, with some even offering lower fees and faster transactions than BCH. As a result, competition from other coins could potentially limit the uptake of Bitcoin Cash.
- Lack of adoption. Just like any other crypto coin, the value of BCH will be influenced by the level of adoption cryptocurrencies achieve among the wider community.
- Mining centralisation. Some BCH critics have pointed to the centralisation of BCH mining as one of the key drawbacks for a project that aims to create a decentralised cryptocurrency.
Where to buy Bitcoin Cash
What’s coming up in the Bitcoin Cash roadmap?
There are several independent development teams working on Bitcoin Cash. On 28 November 2017, one of the leading development teams, Bitcoin ABC, released its Bitcoin Cash roadmap for the next 6-12 months. The developers have been working and communicating with developers and representatives from a variety of different projects, including Bitcoin Unlimited, Bitprim, Nchain, Bitcrust, ElectrumX, Parity and Bitcoin XT. The key priorities outlined in the roadmap are:
- Increasing usability. From the roadmap announcement: “We want to make it more reliable, more scalable, with low fees and ready for rapid growth. It should ‘just work’, without complications or hassles. It should be ready for global adoption by mainstream users, and provide a solid foundation that businesses can rely on.”
- Enabling enhanced features. Examples include timestamping, representative tokens and more complex transaction scripting, but these features will only be added when they do not detract from the primary function of Bitcoin Cash as money.
The developers then announced plans to schedule a protocol upgrade for 15 May 2018, and a subsequent upgrade for six months later on 15 November 2018. The code and features to be included in the first upgrade will be finalised by 15 February 2018 and are tentatively slated to include:
- An increase to the default block-size limit and a move towards adaptive block size limit.
- A move toward canonical transaction order, with the first step to potentially involve the removal of transaction ordering consensus.
- Improving the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (this determines the time it takes for each new block to be mined).
- Re-activating some deactivated opcodes, and adding protocol extension points to help facilitate future opcode upgrades.
Bitcoin Cash’s competition
The competition a currency faces from other similar coins can have a huge influence, either positively or negatively, on its value. As a peer-to-peer currency, Bitcoin Cash faces competition from several other projects, including:
- Bitcoin. The world’s most-traded cryptocurrency and the coin which Bitcoin Cash aims to improve. However, while the main focus of BCH is to provide fast, cheap payments, the bitcoin community is more focused with BTC being a store of value. You can find more about the differences between bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in our guide.
- Litecoin (LTC). Sometimes referred to as the silver to bitcoin’s gold, Litecoin was launched in 2011 as a faster alternative to bitcoin. At the time of writing (16/02/2018), it was also one of the top 10 crypto coins in terms of market cap and trading volume.
- Dash (DASH). Dash is a privacy-based cryptocurrency designed to provide instant, secure and convenient payments online or in-store.
- Monero (XMR). Another privacy coin, Monero is a cryptocurrency designed to offer secure, anonymous and untraceable transactions.
- Zcash (ZEC). Zcash is yet another cryptocurrency that places a strong emphasis on privacy and security. It is also a fork of the bitcoin protocol.
Beyond 2019: What does the future hold for Bitcoin Cash?
Looking even further into the future, Bitcoin Cash can build on some important strengths but will also face a few key challenges. While it does offer some key advantages over bitcoin, such as faster and cheaper transactions, it will also face stiff competition from a host of other coins, some of which have their own advantages when compared to BCH.
Its future performance will most likely also be linked to the performance of bitcoin. With the shared history and similarities between the two currencies, BCH is in some ways able to trade on bitcoin’s past success and credibility in the cryptocurrency world.
On the other side of this double-edged sword, Bitcoin Cash is a direct competitor to bitcoin and faces the challenge of competing with the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. However, if it can successfully overcome bitcoin’s scalability problems there’s arguably room for growth.
In more general terms, the global cryptocurrency market has experienced a great deal of volatility in recent months. From the highs of November and December 2017 to the correction that followed, the value of BCH and many other cryptos has seen large fluctuations.
With ongoing speculation about increased regulation and oversight, it remains to be seen whether cryptocurrencies will be able to break into the mainstream and offer a viable, widely accepted alternative to fiat currency.
Bitcoin Cash is a very interesting project and, as one of the world’s highest market cap digital currencies, clearly one that many crypto enthusiasts are watching with interest. If it can achieve widespread adoption not only among the cryptocurrency community but also in mainstream society, there may be potential for growth, and it does offer a few key points of difference when compared to bitcoin.
However, it’s far from the only peer-to-peer cryptocurrency out there, and BCH will face fierce competition from bitcoin and several other altcoins in 2018 and beyond. You’ll need to consider the pros and cons of BCH vs the competition, not to mention all the other risks associated with cryptocurrency, before deciding whether or not you should buy BCH.
Image source: Shutterstock