Bitcoin Cash's price is booming, nearly doubling since the new cryptocurrency split from the original Bitcoin on Tuesday.
It was trading at $817.89 per coin on Wednesday morning, up 94% from its first trading price, according to CryptoCompare, an exchange service. Meanwhile, Bitcoin was holding fairly steady against analyst predictions, trading around $2,750.
The first days of Bitcoin Cash are critical to whether or not it will be able to compete with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Independent developers brought forth the project following a years-long debate over the structure of Bitcoin's digital ledger called a blockchain. It came after a decision between Bitcoin developers and miners agreed on a plan that would alter the blockchain's coding and double its block size to increase the number of transactions able to be processed. Bitcoin Cash's blocks are eight times the size of the original Bitcoin's, which could make mining up to five times faster.
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Since Bitcoin Cash shares a common history with Bitcoin, everyone who had Bitcoins in a participating wallet or exchange received an equivalent number of Bitcoin Cash tokens. Over the past day, there has been $25 million in Bitcoin Cash transactions and $224 million in the original Bitcoin, according to CryptoCompare.
It took more than six hours on Tuesday for Bitcoin's blockchain to fork officially and create a new leg for Bitcoin Cash. Miners had challenges finding a block larger than the one-megabyte maximum block Bitcoin can hold and processing the block given that it had less computing power than Bitcoin. According to ViaBTC, a Bitcoin mining pool that said it was supporting the Bitcoin Cash movement, just before adding the first block, Bitcoin Cash had almost as much computing power as the original Bitcoin behind it. On Wednesday morning, however, Bitcoin Cash had only a fifth of the mining power as Bitcoin at ViaBTC.
Since then, miners have added 12 Bitcoin Cash blocks to the new leg of the blockchain, three of which were from ViaBTC and the rest from Genesis Mining, according to Coin Dance. That is more than 140 blocks behind the original Bitcoin's blockchain.
The largest Bitcoin Cash block, however, remains the first block mined at 1.9 megabytes. All of the others are less than half of one megabyte. One megabyte is the maximum block size on the original Bitcoin blockchain. This may suggest a larger block size may not be necessary for Bitcoin after all.
Sean Walsh, a partner at Redwood City Ventures who is bullish on Bitcoin Cash, told TheStreet that the cryptocurrency still is in its infancy. He said the goal of the cryptocurrency is to grow into a global currency, and the larger maximum size provides the space for Bitcoin Cash to grow.
"This is a pretty big milestone," Walsh said. "We want to see this thing grow into a global network, but...that [one megabyte] density of the fabric is too slow.
"It's going to take some time to really tally up a scoreboard in terms of winning and losing and what's going on," he continued. "Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? We have to be careful at what we're looking at with in the next few days."
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