Two years on from the hard fork and it may be time to admit that Bitcoin Cash has failed.
Bitcoin Cash was launched in a blaze of glory in late 2017, promising to fix the scalability problems with Bitcoin.
Two years on, its time to look critically at that claim.
At best Bitcoin Cash is a halfway house that’s nowhere near as popular as a store of value as Bitcoin, nor capable of anywhere near as many transactions as Bitcoin SV – which recently issued blocks with more than 800,000 transactions.
Sure, those transactions were almost entirely spam, but it proves that Bitcoin SV can do it.
Why do we need Bitcoin Cash?
So what is the rationale for Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin.com chair Roger Ver has often argued it’s ‘fast and cheap’ – but plenty of competing coins can claim that.
At launch, many made impassioned arguments and big promises about its 8MB block size, but the currency has never come close to filling this capacity, even as it expanded to 32MB.
The block size is currently at an anemic 111k, which would be an impressive capacity for my Casio digital watch from 1988, but seems a bit lame in 2019.
BCH processed an 8MB block a couple of weeks after it was launched but the last time Bitcoin Cash block size utilization topped 50% was in January 2018 when the block size briefly hit 59%.
Keiser sinks the boot in
Max Keiser, host of RT’s The Keiser Report, delivered the last rites earlier today on Twitter.
BCH is a wounded, volatile animal. A year from now it will struggle to stay above $100. The project was DOA from day-1. 90% of it’s market cap is the product of manipulation that will be impossible to meaningfully sustain.
— Max Keiser, tweet poet. (@maxkeiser) August 12, 2019
“BCH is a wounded, volatile animal. A year from now it will struggle to stay above $100. The project was DOA from day-1. 90% of its market cap is the product of manipulation that will be impossible to meaningfully sustain.”
Many of the transactions on Bitcoin Cash could be spam anyway. CoinTelegraph reported in May that a single address was responsible for more than half of the BCH transactions that month.
Terrible transaction fee revenue
If you need more proof that Bitcoin Cash is unsustainable, take a look at its revenue from transaction fees.
On July 31 Bitcoin raked in $540,000 in transaction fees in 24 hours.
In the past 12 months, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV have made $130,000 in transaction fees combined.
That’s a quarter as much revenue in a year, as Bitcoin makes in a day.
Signs of life
There are some signs of life, however.
In recent weeks BCH has been processing between 35,000 to 40,000 transactions per day, attributed to the thousands of Simple Ledger Protocol tokens which are a bit like ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum.
Still, it’s about equivalent to Bitcoin in 2011. Bitcoin is currently processing around 310,000 transactions per day.
Bitcoin Cash also has security issues. Blockstream’s mining capability has about three times more hash power than the entire BCH network, which means it could effectively take over the network if it desired.
And in June, Micky reported on leaked Telegram messages that suggest the BCH development team had just six or seven core members who were struggling to keep up with backports from Bitcoin, much less do any development work on the underlying technology.
About the only bright spot for Bitcoin Cash is the price, which has increased by 90% so far in 2019.