Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was born on August 1, 2017, as a fork of Bitcoin (BTC). Over the last couple of years, a lot has happened, and what follows is a brief overview of that history, and how one regular user sees the current situation.
In the beginning: The start of BCH can be best characterized as one of pure speculation. First came the flippening narrative, followed by the rumors of operation dragonslayer, both of which helped BCH briefly become the #2 coin on CoinMarketCap, and later to an all time high of $4000 per coin after it was listed on Coinbase.
The bear market: 2018 was a bad year for pretty much all of crypto, and BCH was no exception. At the time, the community was still young, and unfortunately, still easily susceptible to bad actors peddling their brand of hopium. By giving a stage to players like nChain and Coingeek, a rift formed in the community between those supporting Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin ABC, who wanted to scale the network responsibly, versus those supporting nChain and Coingeek, who believe they can put the entire internet on the blockchain simply by raising the block size. Ultimately, this led to the Hash War of November 2018, causing the chain to split into two coins: BCH and BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision), and resulted in a further collapsing of the entire crypto market.
Post Hash War: They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and I strongly believe that this is very much the case for BCH. Though the community was significantly reduced in size, those who remained have managed to more than keep it alive. Over the last two plus years, BCH has had four successful upgrades, and are about to embark on their fifth in a matter of days. While BTC continues to stagnate as they wait for the lightning network to figure itself out, BCH has evolved significantly in a short period of time. With the help of new op codes, a bigger block size, and the community's emphasis on merchant adoption and improving 0-confirmation transactions, the future is looking bright. BCH hot spots are popping up around the world in places like Japan, Australia and Slovenia, and the recent Bitcoin Cash City Conference highlighted the organic way in which these communities can arise. We now have not one, but two BCH centered media outlets in the Bitcoin.com team, as well as the folks over at Coinspice. Projects like local.Bitcoin.com, read.cash, lazyfox.io, be.cash, cash script, Cryptophyl, as well as the further development of the SLP ecosystem and tools like the dividend calculator, demonstrate more entrepreneurs than ever are taking advantage of BCH's intrinsic qualities as peer-to-peer electronic cash.
The Current Landscape: Despite all the good things happening with BCH, there is still much work to be done. More adoption, more development of the protocol, more maturation of the community. We must choose our leaders wisely, and avoid letting bad actors once again splinter the community. In my view, our greatest enemy at this point is ourselves. We must support businesses that accept BCH, help educate newcomers, and attract new talent who can help take the network to the next level. We need to cooperate, as well as compete, not sabotage others who are putting in the hard work.
In my next article, I hope to further elaborate on how Bitcoin Cash can best make p2p electronic cash a reality.