What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that aims to become sound global money with fast payments, micro fees, privacy, and high transaction capacity (big blocks). In the same way that physical money, such as a dollar bill, is handed directly to the person being paid, Bitcoin Cash payments are sent directly from one person to another.
As a permissionless, decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash requires no trusted third parties and no central bank. Unlike traditional fiat money, Bitcoin Cash does not depend on monetary middlemen such as banks and payment processors. Transactions cannot be censored by governments or other centralized corporations. Similarly, funds cannot be seized or frozen — because financial third parties have no control over the Bitcoin Cash network.
What is Bitcoin Cash used for?
Bitcoin Cash combines gold-like scarcity with the spendable nature of cash. With a limited total supply of 21 million coins, Bitcoin Cash is provably scarce and, like physical cash, can be easily spent. Transactions are fast with transaction fees typically less than a tenth of a cent. Anybody can accept Bitcoin Cash payments with a smartphone or computer.
Bitcoin Cash has various use cases. In addition to peer-to-peer payments between individuals, Bitcoin Cash can be used to pay participating merchants for goods and services in-store and online. Very low fees enable new micro-transaction economies, such as tipping content creators and rewarding app users a few cents. Bitcoin Cash also reduces the fees and settlement times for remittances and cross-border trade. Other use cases include tokens, simplified smart contracts, and private payments with tools such as CashShuffle and CashFusion.
Is Bitcoin Cash different from Bitcoin?
In 2017, the Bitcoin project and its community split in two over concerns about Bitcoin’s scalability. The result was a hark fork which created Bitcoin Cash, a new cryptocurrency considered by supporters to be the legitimate continuation of the Bitcoin project as peer-to-peer electronic cash. All Bitcoin holders at the time of the fork (block 478,558) automatically became owners of Bitcoin Cash.
Unlike Bitcoin BTC, Bitcoin Cash aims to scale so it can meet the demands of a global payment system. At the time of the split, the Bitcoin Cash block size was increased from 1MB to 8MB. An increased block size means Bitcoin Cash can now handle significantly more transactions per second (TPS) while keeping fees extremely low, solving the issues of payment delays and high fees experienced by some users on the Bitcoin BTC network.
Development to further optimize the Bitcoin Cash network continues on the Bitcoin Cash roadmap, led by the Bitcoin ABC full node team. Planned upgrades take place every six months to put into effect the latest network developments.
How do you mine Bitcoin Cash?
Mining is the process in which new Bitcoin Cash transactions are confirmed and new blocks are added to the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. Miners use computing power and electricity to solve complex puzzles. By doing so, they gain the ability to produce new blocks of transactions. If one of their blocks is accepted by the network, the miner, or mining pool, earns a block reward in the form of newly-issued Bitcoin Cash.
Mining is highly competitive. As the price of Bitcoin Cash in the marketplace rises, more miners are incentivized to bring more hash rate into the ever-increasing miner competition to produce blocks and have them accepted by the Bitcoin Cash network. More miners make the network more secure by increasing and distributing the hash rate. This prevents a single miner from having control over the network.
Anyone can mine Bitcoin Cash. Mining requires specialized hardware called mining equipment, which can either be bought or rented. Miners also need to run a full node software (with the majority of miners currently running Bitcoin ABC) to build blocks and connect to the rest of the Bitcoin Cash network. Mining can be done independently but miners often pool their hash rate together and share proportionally in the earned block rewards.