Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a hard fork off of the original Bitcoin cryptocurrency, is set to hard fork again November 15 – and that’s leading to a lot of inside baseball discussion on how forking works, and how consensus operates. It’s also leading investors to think about the difference between investing in ‘Bitcoin regular’ or some version or derivative coin.
Last year, Bitcoin Cash forked off of Bitcoin in order to increase block size to 8 MB and facilitate two million transactions per day. The new hard fork is said to be geared toward allowing a much bigger block size, which triggers all sorts of speculations on why you should or shouldn’t make block sizes larger.
Some of the big arguments against increasing block size are based around centralization of an inherently decentralized cryptocurrency system. Those who understand the centralization of Bitcoin in China, for example, argue that creating larger maximum block sizes means mining will continue to centralize in China at the expense of more independent and peripheral mining operations.
Then there’s the rank-and-file commentariat looking at preferences between BTC and BCH.
For that, we can take a look over on Reddit where regular Bitcoin users trash Bitcoin Cash as a garbage coin and talk about how it’s not worth Satoshi’s legacy (or various bodily excretions.) If you can get past the stuff about the guy complementing his wife’s anatomy and some of the other goofy comments, you can see that one of the Bitcoin loyalist’s arguments is criticism of Bitcoin Cash being aggressive and promoting itself everywhere – with the implication that it’s really not what it’s hyped up to be.
There’s also a third reason to consider why BCH might not be such a great idea.
Essentially, most people have heard of Bitcoin (BTC) and very few people in contrast have heard about BCH. That’s not to say that altcoins can’t triumph in today’s markets – but it’s hard to generate large-scale buying for something so obscure as one of the various hard forks off of the much larger Bitcoin.
BTC has become shorthand for cryptocurrency for most of us. We know, for example, that Bitcoin’s value tracks around $6,500 right now, but most of us don’t know what the altcoins are worth unless we look into it.
To put it another way, we’re not talking about the SEC approving ETFs for Bitcoin Cash – and that’s the difference: the ETFs are going to greatly increase the diversity of the investor pool, and decrease limitations and eliminate all kinds of barriers.
You see that kind of opportunity with Bitcoin, but you don’t see it with BCH, so unless you have a rather sophisticated play on Bitcoin Cash, it’s probably better to wade in with BTC. For more, though, you can look at characters like Roger Ver and all of the investors weighing in on one side or the other, and figure out what the sentiment of the community is, and that can be valuable, too.