Bitcoin Cash is up some 20% today, suddenly jumping from around $310 to as high as $397 before stabilizing at around $370 at the time of writing.
While its trading volumes have ballooned to near $1 billion, twice higher than eth’s, with the vast majority coming from South Korea, Bithumb alone so handling $375 million in trading volumes during the past 24 hours.
So, what exactly is happening here? Well, the currency has been ignored for quite some time as others take the show. Now, it appears, at least for today, it’s BCH’s showtime.
The potential reasons are, firstly, bitcoin.com has suddenly decided to call Bitcoin Cash as the real bitcoin. They say:
“Based on the above comparisons between the various versions of Bitcoin, the whitepaper, and the years of common understanding that Bitcoin was always meant to be an electronic cash system, it is the position of this website that Bitcoin Cash is the version of Bitcoin that most closely adheres to the original design.
The position that Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin is based on its adherence to the design goals and intended purpose that Bitcoin was created to fulfill.”
It’s a bold statement by one of bitcoin’s biggest website read by millions, but it would have had more persuasive power if it provided an actual definition of what is bitcoin and how it can be determined.
The only such objective definition is the longest chain with the most proof of work, but it’s not a perfect definition because arguably a more than 21 million bitcoins chain would not realistically be called bitcoin.
However, that’s a hypothetical that raises the question of whether a more than 21 million bitcoin can actually become the longest chain with the most proof of work.
We have not seen any such instance, nor are we sure we will see it, therefore until the definition is proven false it is a perfectly fine way to define bitcoin. If it is proven false then we’ll pass that bridge when we get there.
For now, there is no other good alternative to the question what is bitcoin. One that has been suggested by some is whatever Bitcoin Core releases, but that’s of course incredibly centralized as just one individual, the maintainer, ultimately decides what goes into Bitcoin Core.
Moreover, we can easily see a situation where current or future Bitcoin Core developers do increase the 21 million limit because they lack ordinary incentives with open source code being a bit like a commune, as opposed to the purely capitalist mining market.
Bitcoin Cash, therefore, can’t really be called bitcoin, at this stage, by ordinary definitions, not least because its difficulty algorithm is quite a mess and doesn’t meet even one of bitcoin.com’s subjective requirement for fast transactions since Bitcoin Cash confirmations can take hours.
However, they are working on a new difficulty algorithm, with another boost for Bitcoin Cash being the mining of a 1GB block on the gigablock testnet.
That made quite the rounds, including in South Korea, as the currency showed they have plans and ambitions to accommodate incredible scale decades or so down the line if the network is so fortunate to need that much capacity.
It also made the 1Mb and 2MB debate look like child’s game. So telling them 1MB is not cool, you know what’s cool? 1GB!
So the currency spikes and takes the show. How long, how high, who is to know? All we can say is they have the stage, at least for the day. Let’s see what they do with it.