The cryptocurrency market is experiencing a complex shakeup this weekend, with a recently created digital token called Bitcoin Cash (BCH) up nearly 130% in two days, even after retreating substantially from an even bigger spike. Meanwhile, the original Bitcoin (BTC) is down by roughly 15% over the same span. Bitcoin Cash’s total market value, after briefly overtaking Ethereum’s to make BCH the second most valuable cryptocurrency, now stands at $25 billion.
More profoundly, Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate, or network-wide cryptographic processing power, has surpassed Bitcoin’s.
The swings come in the wake of this week’s cancellation of a ‘hard fork,’ or forced split, of Bitcoin. The proposed fork would have created a new version of Bitcoin, known tentatively as Bitcoin 2x after the upgrade plan behind it, Segwit2x. Bitcoin Cash appears to be attracting investors and network operators, or miners, who had supported the 2x fork.
As recently as September, Segwit2x was being touted as a strong solution to Bitcoin’s years-long block size dispute. Bitcoin upgrades are implemented democratically, but the block size fight has resisted consensus solutions, even as the problem it seeks to address — slow confirmation of Bitcoin transactions— has become increasingly serious…