In the beginning, a thought emerged from the darkest recesses of Satoshi Nakamoto's mind. That idea is known merely as Bitcoin held no merit or worth. Only a small pocket of individuals known as cypherpunks saw the potential of Satoshi Nakamoto's dream of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology.
It wasn't until January 2009 when the Genesis Block of Bitcoin appeared only after a paper was released explaining the “peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” The small band of followers of the Bitcoin realized the potential Satoshi Nakamoto's idea held and knew it would be the beginning of the end for physical money. They knew one day, they would be living in a digital world where paper cash was non-existent.
However, Bitcoin was released during one of the worst financial crisis to hit the United States and the world since the Great Depression of the 1920's. During this fragile time, banks were closing their doors to customers, loans were difficult to get, and the housing bubble that created the doubt in the paper currency had exploded.
The only thing Bitcoin had going for it was the fact that it was the worlds first digital currency not backed by banks or any government. The Bitcoin was immune to the financial woes and pressures of said institutions and was a plausible payment option outside of the financial world.
While hopes draped over the Bitcoin to turn the financial world upside down, ten years later it seems the only thing torn is the Bitcoin itself. Constant infighting and bickering back and forth for what was once a unified movement and community continues today.
The Fork In The Road
The online ledger which documents every transaction known as the blockchain of bitcoin split on August 1, 2017. The new spawn of the division turned out to become Bitcoin's bitter rival known as Bitcoin Cash. The separation which took place was known as a ‘hard split' for the digital currency. Simply put, Bitcoin Cash shared the same ledger or blockchain history up until the time of the split. Once the split occurred, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash were then considered two separate entities are working independently of each other.
From that first hard split, other splits have followed forming entirely new digital currencies such as Bitcoin Gold and Bitcoin Private. Despite the divisions of the Bitcoin into so many factions, none have been more alienating than that of Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash was split from Bitcoin to solve two pressing issues that surrounded Bitcoin as the digital currency grew in popularity. Bitcoin Cash's purpose was to fix the slow transaction times that plagued Bitcoin as well as stifle the high fees that are associated with Bitcoin.
When the split of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash came to be (see the difference between BTC vs BCH vs BTG here), it didn't just split the cryptocurrency. A lot of the people that brought the digital currency into the world were forced to take sides. Now while the new digital currency is only worth about 15 percent of what Bitcoin is, it has improved what Bitcoin lacked. Those who have been following the Bitcoin since its conception believe the Bitcoin Cash is the only Bitcoin that should be used.
Roger Ver, also known as “Bitcoin Jesus” and Bitcoin Cash's most prominent advocate believes that Bitcoin Cash has the ideals and characteristics that make up the heart of Bitcoin. According to Mr. Ver, Bitcoin Cash works better as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
Battle In Cyberspace
In 2015, Mr. Ver began to realize that some of the core supporters of Bitcoin favored the higher fees. The increased fees per transaction meant that some crypto-currencies agencies would see increased profits.
Of course, the increase in profits to said companies went against everything that Bitcoin stood for and Mr. Ver became more and more disillusioned with Bitcoin as the fees last year reached $28 per transaction. The cost is so high, made it virtually impractical for everyday people to use Bitcoin as digital cash.
Mr. James Howells, another vocal supporter for Bitcoin Cash and the IT specialist from Newport, Wales believes that the Bitcoin has started to cater to investors and major financial corporations.
Mr. Howells has made a statement saying that Bitcoin is no longer interested in being a day-to-day crypto-currency and only wants to remain as a store of value. However, to stay as a store of value, one must be able to use it in the real world. That is where Bitcoin Cash comes in as the new rival of Bitcoin Core.
The controversy continues as each side of the Bitcoin blockchain try to discredit the other even though they share the same history before the split. Most of the battle that is being waged is on forums like Reddit and social news sites that have encompassed the crypto-currency community since the birth of Bitcoin.
As the war wages between the feuding digital currencies, Bitcoin Cash has made statements in said forums that it is the victim of censorship. Those that support Bitcoin Cash claim their posts in the chatrooms and online have been deleted while those supporting Bitcoin Core believe that the community that follows Bitcoin Cash is on a campaign to spread false information to steal the Bitcoin brand.
The BCH vs BTC Crypto Battle Rages On
While some will claim that the issues that first arose with Bitcoin are being handled, others still don't see how anyone would continue using Bitcoin core with such high fees per transaction. But even as we speak, such issues are being addressed to make Bitcoin core stand above the rest. The only people who seem to have any grudges against Bitcoin Core are the ones who have just jumped into the world of cryptocurrency. The loyal followers who have stuck with Bitcoin core since its inception, can't be bamboozled by the marketing ploys of Bitcoin Cash.
On the other side of the coin though, those who support Bitcoin Cash believe wholeheartedly that Bitcoin Cash is sticking with Satoshi Nakamoto's original idea and vision of how and where the digital currency should take us in the future.
As the battle between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash continues to take casualties from both sides, it is Mr. Ver who is sticking by the thought that Bitcoin Cash will be the one to swallow Bitcoin by 2020. However, with nearly 3,500 different cryptocurrencies now in play on the market, there may just come a new star to outshine both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
The New Frontier
Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash both have hailed from the same tree of the digital currency tree. Many other crypto-currencies have branched off of the blockchain and created different and more usable currencies. However, those that have sprung up over the years still can't hold a candle to the first ever crypto-currency. And while followers of Bitcoin will have to wonder if Bitcoin Cash does have a stronger hold on the investors and public, will those with Bitcoins be left with digital versions of Beanie Babies no one wants to buy? Only time will tell which digital currency will win out.
But like the different nations of the world, perhaps the future of digital currencies is to allow all of them to exist. After all, the world has the United States Dollar, Europe the Euro and Pound, and then there are the Japanese Yen. Why not have different digital currencies for people to choose to invest in?