Bitcoin Cash Next Hard Fork: Good or Bad?
The hard fork talk saw Bitcoin Cash rally to an April high $1,578.3 from early April’s $600.1 low, with the 15th May hard fork getting plenty of airtime this month, coinciding with the passing of the U.S tax deadline in mid-April and a relatively quiet period from a regulatory news perspective.
When compared with the direction of Bitcoin through the month, it’s very evident that the announced hard fork contributed to the gains as Bitcoin up just 50% since April’s $6,500.2 low, paling in comparison to Bitcoin Cash’s 163% bounce.
There have been plenty of debate over whether Bitcoin can continue to hold on to the top spot or whether Bitcoin Cash can force its way through, transaction speeds and fees ultimately the key area of focus when it comes to a cryptocurrency looking to go mainstream to compete with fiat money in the real world.
What’s Gonna Happen?
The Bitcoin Cash hard fork, which has been labeled Bitcoin ABC, will increase Bitcoin Cash’s block size from 8MB to a whopping 32MB. In addition to the significant increase in the block size, the fork will also remove the SegWit protocol.
Unlike the Bitcoin hard forks that have resulted in Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, and even Bitcoin Diamond, the planned Bitcoin Cash fork has come from a collaborative effort to improve on Bitcoin Cash’s offerings resulting from the August 2017 hard fork.
As far as the ABC Team and the Bitcoin Cash community is concerned, it’s all about delivering upgrades that support the network to process more transactions, with other functionalities also thrown in to make it even more attractive than market leader Bitcoin.
The reactivation of smart contracts that had been deactivated on Bitcoin’s network, will be an added feature, which is similar to the ERC-20 token feature used in ICOs on the Ethereum network.
Transaction times are expected to improve to under 3-minutes per transaction, which is significantly faster than Bitcoin’s 10 minutes.
The inclusion of smart contracts allow the Bitcoin Cash community to store, archive and track the record of assets that have been digitalized, including but not limited to titles to property, vehicles, stocks and just about anything else that has a deed or title associated with ownership.
Other upgrades that are anticipated in next month’s hard fork include:
- Time stamping data, the upgrade allowing users to digitize and add documents to the blockchain to permanently record their existence within the Bitcoin Cash ledger.
- Upper turn size increase from 40 to 220 bytes, need to facilitate the archiving of documents on the blockchain, which are not verified by miners and result in the creation of colored coins.
The hard fork is certainly an ambitious one, with the ABC Team looking to deliver the crypto community with a one-stop shop blockchain that, is not only a more viable alternative to Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat money, but also competes against the likes of Litecoin with transaction times and Ethereum with its smart contract capabilities, the need for the significantly larger blockchain being to not only improve transaction times, but to also to cater for the additional features that will be released in the hard fork upgrade.
If You Own Bitcoin Cash…
The anticipated enhancements to Bitcoin Cash will certainly have contributed to the April rally, but as had been the case with the Bitcoin hard forks of 2017 and Litecoin’s hard fork this year, the news wires continuing to suggest that a new coin would not result and be given to those holding Bitcoin Cash coins at the time of the hard fork.
Successful adoption of the new upgrades will leave existing coin holders with an improved, but not new blockchain.
If the movements across the other cryptocurrencies are anything to go by, underlying capabilities of a particular blockchain tech have yet to become the primary focus of investors. Speculative investor disappointment could see Bitcoin cash take a tumble following the hard fork, in the event that new coins are not created and the upgrades are adopted by the Bitcoin Cash community.
A hold at current levels post fork, could ultimately bring Bitcoin Cash to the front of the pack, though much will depend upon how quickly users take on the offerings and users begin to store and archive titles and document, while also increasing the use of Bitcoin Cash as an alternative currency in the real world.
One thing is for certain and that is the fact that the Bitcoin Cash community is not going to sit back and let Bitcoin Cash gather dust. One can anticipate continued upgrades along the way as the Bitcoin Cash community search for a competitive edge that would leave the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum in its wake.
Is the real world ready to store anything and everything in digital format on a platform that has only really drawn the attention of the non-crypto world over the past 12-months?
Time will tell, but it is the way of the future and, with banks and institutions have already adopted the technology for various functions, including international wire transfers in place of the likes of SWIFT, it should only be a matter of time. If it’s good enough for money transfers, it’s ultimately going to be good enough for titles and anything else important to be stored or archived on a decentralized platform that cannot be manipulated. The Bitcoin community is moving forward, trying to improve and overcome Bitcoin. It’s a coin competition and improvements will be coming constantly.