How to Compare Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH): A New Perspective

One year ago, a storm of debate around sizing Bitcoin ensued and out of it came Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Bitcoin Cash followers viewed the traditional high fees, caused by blocksize supply constraints, as prohibitive to mass-scale adoption. By hard forking the dominant bitcoin blockchain, BCH became a life raft for those who desired larger blocks to lower fees.

While it would be insincere to claim the price of a coin doesn't matter, it's only one of several ways to measure the success of a blockchain network. Looking at these in aggregate offers a more useful outlook than obsessively checking U.S. dollar exchange rates on your phone every hour.

CoinDesk Research's crypto-economic compass shows more activity going on than just price movements. It collects a variety of different sub-factors to make up four other composite measures: developer, network, social, and exchange.

The most observed metric, price, saw very little deviation; it remained around twelve percent to that of BTC. The price saw all-time-highs of around twenty percent of bitcoin in the fall rally but slowly diminished back down to normalcy. Rather than overpriced from hyperbolic speculation or underpriced due to FUD, it would appear that investors have priced BCH inline with other KPIs in relation to BTC.

Surprisingly, bitcoin cash saw high levels of social activity, reaching about fifty-seven percent of BTC’s social activity. A subfactor driving much of the posting on the r/btc subreddit. Another key social media advantage has been the commandeering of the @bitcoin twitter handle with its 800,000+ followers.

Bitcoin cash supporters would contend that while demand is down, the seeds of growth are being planted. Efforts to develop engaged offline communities through event meetup groups appear to have steady growth. Other growth can be seen in the development of new businesses and apps. Many of these entities are emphasizing the ability to perform low fee microtransactions and building consumer-facing products.

One such app is CoinText which allows users to send and receive BCH through text messages. Its CTO, Vin Armani, said

“when high fees and slow confirmation times began plaguing BTC, I shelved Bitcoin projects that I had been working on steadily for years…I know I wasn’t alone in walking through 2017 feeling discouraged…In this past year, Bitcoin Cash has brought hope and creative exploration back to Bitcoin.”

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