Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is yet another very popular cryptocurrency that is widely traded and has reached a market capitalization of well into the Billions. Bitcoin Cash, just like Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, is traded through major crypto exchanges online, including Coinbase.
Coinbase facilitates the sale, purchase and trade of over 8 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. It is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash (BCH), is an alternative version of Bitcoin (BTC), forked from the same codebase. It was designed from a different set of features and rules than Bitcoin, and has a very different development roadmap.
The fork from Bitcoin took place on August 1, 2017 at 5:16:14 PST and on block #478558. At the time, the block size for BCH was set to 8 MB in contrast to Bitcoin’s limit of 1 MB. This was done to provide scalability and increase transaction speed by accelerating the verification process. Currently, Bitcoin has a very slow speed of 7 transactions per second.
The BCH fork (also known as the “hard-fork” from Bitcoin) came into being due to disagreement among the community over whether or not to incorporate something known as a segregated witness (SegWit2x) into the network. Basically, SegWit2x strips away signature data from each block for a transaction and instead of adding it to an extended block, thus removing data size by up to 65%. Not everyone agreed to the benefits of this approach for scalability, and hence BCH was formed which took on a different strategy for scaling in the future.
Bitcoin Cash on Coinbase
Since BCH was cloned from Bitcoin, everyone who owned Bitcoin before the hard fork on April 1 2017 also got to own an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. Coinbase automatically credited users’ accounts with additional BCH. So if you owned 1 Bitcoin prior to the fork, you would also have gotten 1 Bitcoin Cash token after it.
On Coinbase, Bitcoin Cash currently stands at $494.78, almost 12 times lower than Bitcoin. But similar to Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, it hit an all-time high during December 2017, peaking at around $3.5k. The currency has, however, dropped almost 20% in the last week, and around 58% since the last year.
Despite all this, Bitcoin Cash has a market capitalization of around $8.6 Billion and is averaging a trading volume of about $1 Billion a day. Like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash also has a mining limit of 21 Million coins. However, a slightly larger number of BCH tokens have been mined than Bitcoin (17.5 M vs Bitcoin’s 17.4 M).