A Fork on The Road: Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Pursues Bigger Block Size

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is one of the top cryptocurrencies in the market and it is a derivative of Bitcoin through a hard fork that took place on August 1, 2017. It was the result of developers not being happy with the segregated witness feature.
Swati Goyal
A Fork on The Road: Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Pursues Bigger Block Size

Cryptocurrency forks are no longer a new concept especially owing to the many that have happened recently. The Bitcoin Cash is the latest cryptocurrency to benefit from a hard fork, with the main goal being the expansion of its block size and enhance the functionality of its network.

Hard forks are software changes that involve the creation of a new blockchain which springs off from the previous one. There are also soft forks in blockchain technology but they occur when changes are made to a blockchain without resulting in the creation of a new blockchain. Hard forks are implemented when the changes are being made at the most essential levels of the blockchain.

The Bitcoin Cash hard fork was scheduled for May 15, 2018, and one of its main aims was to expand the network’s block size from 8 MB to 32 MB. This highlights the same reason why Bitcoin Cash exists, which is because the Bit code block size of Bitcoin was 1 MB of data for each block and an average of 3 transactions per second.

A Reddit user known as Steve Shadders revealed that the new upgrade to the Bitcoin Cash network paves the way for future adoption and also for the addition of new functionalities such as op-nodes.

Some developers have argued that increasing block size would result in the operation of full nodes being more expensive, thus causing less decentralization on the Bitcoin Cash network. Although most hard forks are known to create a new cryptocurrency, the new hard fork involving Bitcoin Cash did not result in the creation of a new coin and it also did not rectify an existing problem. Instead, it innovated in two different ways. That was the catalyst of Bitcoin Cash’s exponential rise since the fork announcement. Bitcoin Cash dropped 12.35% of its value post-May 15th, the hard fork day.

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The first major change was geared towards raising the block size from 8 MB to 32 MB as mentioned earlier so that it can accommodate more transactions for each block. The change involves scaling up while retaining its proof of work model. The second major innovative change involving the Bitcoin Cash hard fork is the reactivation of machine-scripting operation nodes also known as op-nodes. These provide developers with the tools that they need to create smart contracts. The Bitcoin Cash Community calls them “Satoshi Op-codes” and they allow developers to implement metadata in different ways.

Developers can leverage the above-mentioned capabilities to create representative tokens, otherwise known as colored coins. Such tokens can be tagged in a specific manner so that they will correspond with stocks, metals, bonds, commodities and other virtual or physical objects. The new Bitcoin Cash hard fork is expected to result in new and creative ideas such as those of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. However, it is still too early to tell what will result from the new functionality.

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