Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) One Year Anniversary: How Has it Fared?

  • Today is Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) one year anniversary, but recent research shows that its network may be prone to transaction malleability.
  • There are reportedly only 716 merchants who accept BCH, compared to well over 100,000 merchants who accept Bitcoin (BTC)

Today is Bitcoin Cash’s (BCH) one year anniversary. Created exactly 1 year ago on August 1st, 2017 through a fork off of the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain - it is by no means the only bitcoin fork. 

In fact, there are well over 40 Bitcoin forks out there, however, Bitcoin Cash is the first and most dominant of them all based on its current market capitalization of over $13.2 billion, according to data from CryptoCompare.

Compared to BCH, other BTC forks such as Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) have not had nearly as much impact on the cryptocurrency market. On the other hand, Bitcoin Cash has captured the interest of a fairly large number of crypto devotees.

The Roger Ver-backed Bitcoin fork, however, has been accused by many of misleading crypto investors and traders, particularly the newcomers, because it is often promoted or talked about in a way that perhaps intentionally creates confusion between BTC and BCH.

Satoshi’s “True” Vision

Ver, who was an early cryptocurrency adopter and Purse.io investor, has used his Twitter account over the past the year to constantly criticize bitcoin’s slow transaction processing times and other challenges the flagship cryptocurrency has faced since it was created. Meanwhile, he has continuously praised Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and claims it’s “the real bitcoin.”

Many BCH supporters, including Ver and Civic.com CEO Vinny Lingham, argue that BCH has been implemented according to how Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, had envisioned it and how he had described it in his whitepaper. Bitcoin cash supporters also claim that BTC’s ongoing development has moved away from how Satoshi had wanted it to be.

Despite this controversial narrative, a recent research report shows that, “there is a declining incentive for miners to secure the minority [Bitcoin Cash] BCH network”, as reported by Crypto Globe on July 24th. Moreover, a number of crypto enthusiasts believe that BCH investors may face huge losses in the foreseeable future.

BCH Network May Be Vulnerable

The main argument, as presented by Dr. Wassim Alsindi, Director of Research at Parallel Industries, as to why Bitcoin Cash may be a vulnerable platform is that there’s currently no reliable protection on the BCH network against bad actors potentially manipulating transactions on its blockchain. Alsindi’s research notes that Bitcoin Cash may be insecure because it did not adopt SegWit.

Instead of incorporating SegWit, the Bitcoin Cash community decided to increase block sizes even more from its previous 8 MB to 32 MB via a hard fork on May 15th, 2018. The reason for increasing block sizes, given by the BCH community, was that it would not only allow for more transactions to be processed per block, but also result in lower transaction fees.

Bigger Block Sizes Not Necessarily Better

But bigger blocks may not necessarily be better, as security experts have noted that cryptocurrency platforms with large blocks require the full-node operators (or validators) to download more data before they can verify transactions. This can become quite challenging and even result in the platform’s blockchain ultimately becoming more insecure.

Moreover, many developers think that the better way to address scalability issues is to create sidechains, which can help to handle a lot of the processing load of the main blockchain on cryptocurrency networks. This is also the direction that the ongoing development and upgrades to the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain appear to  be heading toward.

Only 716 Merchants Accept Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Getting back to Bitcoin Cash, how does it measure up otherwise in terms of daily transactions per day and rate of adoption? Currently, there are about 20,000 BCH transactions per day, which is up significantly from the 5,000-10,000 daily transactions during the first few months of its existence.

In comparison, there are between 200,000-400,000 daily BTC transactions, which clearly indicates that its usage is much higher than that of BCH. Also, in 2015, it was widely reported that there were over 100,000 merchants who had been accepting Bitcoin (BTC). Given that Bitcoin and the crypto market in general is significantly more prevalent today, the number of merchants accept BTC may be a lot higher.   

Meanwhile, Bitcoin.com, a website that has been known to create brand confusion between the flagship cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Cash, claims that more than 10,000 merchants accept BCH.

This appears to be a bit of an exaggeration, however as acceptbitcoin.cash reports that there are only 716 merchants accept Bitcoin Cash.

Mining Pool BTC.Top Briefly Controls Over 51% of Bitcoin Cash's Hashrate

BTC.Top, a popular cryptocurrency mining pool, has recently hit a high of 54% of Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate, before seeing it recede. According to some users the mining pool has just been going after profitability, although any pool having over 51% of the hashrate could be cause for concern.

According to data from Coin.Dance, BTC.Top managed to mine over 54% of the blocks on the Bitcoin Cash network for a brief period of time, before seeing its hashrate go down. At press time, data shows in the last 24-hour period it mined 47% of blocks on the network.

Having over 51% of a network’s hashrate is seen as negative by many, as it could allow the entity controlling the majority of, in this case Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate, to pull an attack on the blockchain and double-spend coins.

This essentially means every network participant is forced to trust the mining pool not to attack Bitcoin Cash. Notably, BTC.Top is believed to have recently thwarted an attack on the network that sought to steal coins someone sent to a Segregated Witness (SegWit) address on the Bitcoin blockchain.

As such, network participants seemingly trust the mining pool was only mining the most profitable cryptocurrency on the SHA-256 algorithm, and wasn’t trying to act maliciously. This, however, doesn’t mean it couldn’t.

Various cryptocurrencies have suffered 51% attacks in the crypto space’s short history, including Verge (XVG), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Ethereum Classic (ETC). ETC suffered one of the most notable attacks, as hackers compromised one of the most popular networks in the space to double-spend coins worth over $1.1 million.

While BTC.Top heavily mines Bitcoin Cash, it revealed back in November of last year, before the hard fork that created Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) occurred, that it was apolitical and would support the blockchain with the most hahspower.

At the time Jiang Zhouer, the Chinese cryptocurrency mining pool’s founder, revealed BTC.Top’s goal was to recover stability for Bitcoin Cash, which at the time was engaged in a “war” between two sides.

On BSV’s side there are also concerns about a potential 51% attack. As covered, CoinGeek has reached the necessary hashrate to attack the network more than once, but hasn’t done anything malicious.