Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that is fork of Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is a spin-off or altcoin that was created in 2017. In 2018 Bitcoin Cash subsequently split into two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. Bitcoin Cash is sometimes also referred to as Bcash.
Rising fees on the Bitcoin network contributed to a push by some in the community to create a hard fork to increase the blocksize. This push came to a head in July 2017 when some members of the bitcoin community including Roger Ver felt that adopting BIP 91 without increasing the block-size limit favored people who wanted to treat bitcoin as a digital investment rather than as a transactional currency. This push by some to increase the block size met a resistance. Since its inception up to July 2017, Bitcoin users had maintained a common set of rules for the cryptocurrency. Eventually, a group of bitcoin activists, investors, entrepreneurs, developers and largely China-based miners were unhappy with Bitcoin’s proposed SegWit improvement plans meant to increase capacity and pushed forward alternative plans for a split which created Bitcoin Cash. The proposed split included a plan to increase the number of transactions its ledger can process by increasing the block size limit to eight megabytes.
The would-be hard fork with an expanded block size limit was described by hardware manufacturer Bitmain in June 2017 as a “contingency plan” should the bitcoin community decide to fork; the first implementation of the software was proposed under the name Bitcoin ABC at a conference that month. In July 2017, the Bitcoin Cash name was proposed by mining pool ViaBTC. The change, called a fork, took effect on 1 August 2017. As a result, the bitcoin ledger called the blockchain and the cryptocurrency split in two.
A Hong Kong newspaper likened this to a new version of word processing software saying:
Bitcoin cash is like a new version of Microsoft Word, which generates documents that can no longer be opened via the older versions.
Bryan Kelly, a stock analyst likened it to a software upgrade:
Bitcoin cash is doing a “hard fork” or “effectively a software upgrade,” Kelly said on “Fast Money.” “When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing.”
At the time of the software upgrade (also known as a fork) anyone owning bitcoin was also in possession of the same number of Bitcoin Cash units. The technical difference between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin is that Bitcoin Cash allows larger blocks in its blockchain than Bitcoin, which in theory allows it to process more transactions per second.Bitcoin Cash was the first of the Bitcoin forks, in which software-development teams modified the original Bitcoin computer code and released coins with “Bitcoin” in their names, with “the goal of creating money out of thin air.” In relation to Bitcoin it is characterized variously as a spin-off, a strand, a product of a hard fork, an offshoot, a clone a second version or an altcoin. On 1 August 2017 Bitcoin Cash began trading at about $240, while bitcoin traded at about $2,700.
In 2018 Bitcoin Core developer Cory Fields found a bug in the Bitcoin ABC software that would have allowed an attacker to create a block causing a chain split. Fields notified the development team about it and the bug was fixed.