Bitcoin cash vs bitcoin

On 1 August 2017, bitcoin hard-forked into two separate cryptocurrencies: bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Find out more about them, and how they compare. 

Compare bitcoin and bitcoin cash


Bitcoin cash

Maximum block size of 1MB

Maximum block size of 8MB

Allows for 250,000 daily transactions

Allows for two million daily transactions

Uses a scaling tool called SegWit2x

Bigger blocks eliminate the need for a scaling tool

Average block processing time of ten minutes

Block processing time adjusts automatically in response to network conditions

What is bitcoin cash?

Bitcoin cash is a standalone digital currency, created as an offshoot of bitcoin in August 2017. While similar to bitcoin in many ways, it operates under its own unique set of rules and with its own blockchain.

How did bitcoin cash come about?

For years, bitcoin miners have been anticipating problems in the scaling of bitcoin, and its 2017 surge in popularity brought this to a head. Bitcoin traders were facing increasingly long approval times, and were obliged to pay additional fees if they hoped to speed up the process.

There was widespread disagreement within the bitcoin mining community over how to solve these problems. While some miners wanted to implement a scaling tool known as SegWit2x, others felt this went against the spirit of the cryptocurrency and preferred to expand the block size.

This disagreement ultimately led to a ‘hard fork’ in the blockchain, which enabled one group of miners to implement one set of changes to the existing bitcoin, and another group to create new rules altogether for its offshoot – now known as ‘bitcoin cash’. 

What the bitcoin cash fork meant for bitcoin owners

When bitcoin forked on 1 August, many bitcoin owners automatically received one bitcoin cash token for every bitcoin they owned. But if an exchange did not support bitcoin cash, it neither duplicated bitcoin into the new currency nor recognised it.

Upon launch, bitcoin cash was valued at a fraction of what bitcoin was worth – around $400 a unit to bitcoin’s $2800. There were huge swings in its price during the first week of trading, and this was volatility that showed no signs of abating in the following months. In short, the long-term future of bitcoin cash was unclear from the outset, and still remains to be seen. 

Open an account now

It’s free to open an account, takes less than five minutes, and there’s no obligation to fund or trade.


Will bitcoin cash impact bitcoin?

For the first few months of cash’s existence, it looked unlikely to trouble its more established rival in any major way. Bitcoin, after all, is the first cryptocurrency, as the original boasts a substantial reputation.

In November 2017, though, a failed fork for bitcoin meant that the much-anticipated Segwit2x was not implemented as planned – and led to a major rally for cash at the expense of bitcoin.

Will bitcoin cash survive?

It’s not clear what the future holds for bitcoin cash, but the cryptocurrency looks likely to survive in the near term. Whether it will maintain a substantial value, however, is a more significant point of debate: there are over 900 cryptocurrencies on the market, with many more yet to be minted, and it could be vulnerable in a growing market. 

You might be interested in...

IGA, may distribute information/research produced by its respective foreign marketing partners within the IG Group of companies pursuant to an arrangement under Regulation 32C of the Financial Advisers Regulations. Where the research is distributed in Singapore to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or an Institutional Investor, IGA accepts legal responsibility for the contents of the report to such persons only to the extent required by law. Singapore recipients should contact IGA at 6390 5118 for matters arising from, or in connection with the information distributed.

This information/research prepared by IGA or IGA Group is intended for general circulation. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. You should take into account your specific investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs before making a commitment to trade, including seeking advice from an independent financial adviser regarding the suitability of the investment, under a separate engagement, as you deem fit. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. In addition to the disclaimer above, the information does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. Any views and opinions expressed may be changed without an update.

See important Research Disclaimer.

Contact us

Our office is open 5 days a week Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. Support line is available 24hrs a day from 8am GMT Saturday to 10pm GMT Friday

+65 6390 5118

You can also email us

Visit our storefront office at 9 Battery Road