It's Bitcoin Cash's 1st Birthday!

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Staff member
Jan 30, 2018
Post by Kurt Wuckert Jr. of Crypto Traders Pro

It's been 365 days since the split of BCH and BTC after about a 3 year heated debate in the Bitcoin community. Full disclosure, I am a holder of both BTC and BCH in cold storage, but I am a vocal supporter of big blocks and Bitcoin Cash because I believe in using cryptocurrency every day as P2P money. That doesn't mean there isn't room for a store of value coin, and I hope not to paint anyone unfairly even though I am definitely on the green team.

For anyone interested in the history that led to Bitcoin Cash, read below:

In 2015, a debate started about how to continue to scale Bitcoin as it gained popularity. For years, block size went up as usage went up, but everyone knew that there was a hard-coded 1mb cap built into the Bitcoin Core software.

Some Core developers (Gavin Andresen, Mike Hearn, Andrew Stone and [at the time] Adam Back) believed that eventually a move to 2mb blocks and greater could happen slowly to maintain speed and low cost transactions key in worldwide adoption. And other Core developers (Peter Todd, Pieter Wiulle, Gregory Maxwell, Jameson Lopp) believed that the 1mb hard block size limit was important so that people running original Bitcoin nodes could run them in perpetuity - stating that distributed full nodes were key to decentralization.

In 2015, Bitcoin XT started running their software on the Bitcoin Network allowing 2mb blocks to run. Initially popular, debate arose and many prominent "small blockers" started saying that bitcoin processed by XT nodes were "alt-coins" and a PR-war started. Similarly in 2016 Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic experienced the same basic treatment with their 8mb blocks. To this day, XT and Unlimited can still process non-Segwit bitcoins on the BTC network, but both primarily support the BCH chain.

Amid the debate, employees from the newly formed Blockstream Corporation (Including the previously mentioned Adam Back) announced the Pieter Wuille had created Segwit as part of the upgrade path for Bitcoin. Lightning Network would be the next step for followers of the Bitcoin Core implementation, and Segwit would activate with acceptance of a block size increase to 2MB so that big blockers and small blockers could remain a community of compromise. Blockstream's olive branch of B2X and other decisions hammered out at the "New York Agreement" seemed to keep things together in the center, but there were members of the Core community who staunchly believed in the absolutism of 1MB blocks, and there were members of the ABC (Adaptable Blocksize Limit) community who believed that a minimum upgrade to 8mb block size was the only way to deal with the incoming surge of new users to Bitcoin in 2017.

Ultimately, talks broke down between the two sides. Segwit2X was rejected entirely. The 2 sides of the Bitcoin community decided that they would go their separate ways with what they all believed would be best for Bitcoin.

On August 1st, 2017, they split and went their separate directions.

Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic joined the developers from Bitcoin ABC and consolidated their nodes to accept bigger blocks that would be mined on a chain that hard forked (UAHF) from the Bitcoin code using the same mining and signature standards that had been used since the beginning but with new node implementations.

The Bitcoin Core team activated UASF, Segwit, and continued along with the 1MB block size limit, deciding not to upgrade the block size limit but rather to use a new signature standard and new mining incentives while keeping the original node implementations that had been used since the beginning. This was to be sure that no original nodes would be kicked off the network.

While both camps were unsure what would happen with the scheduled B2X upgrade of the Core implementation, many of the partisans remained on the sidelines. After the failure of B2X in late 2017, we saw the entrance of figures like Roger Ver on the BCH side (he was an early support of XT and Unlimited), and the debates started to heat up about which chain should justly be called "Bitcoin."

In the year since, BTC hit a $20k all time high, has seen Segwit proliferation, a series of new hard fork coins from the network and lots of proactive development of the Lightning Network, as well as establishing itself as the chain with higher hashing power and longer proof of work - maintaining the name and ticker of Bitcoin.

Meanwhile, BCH decided to focus on business integrations and the "cash" use-case; adding developers from nChain, Lokad, BitPrim, BitPay, Purse, Yours and lots of independent start-ups looking to take advantage of big blocks. BCH has also done a major network upgrade to run 32mb blocks and the re-activation of OP codes has allowed for the simple launch of on-chain social networks and tokenization/smart contract layers.

For the time being, both chains remain politically heated, but are clearly going their separate ways with a focus on their use-case-of-choice.

Happy Independence Day, Bitcoin community!
Likes: Adriaan Admin