BCH is a hard fork of BTC that broke off on August 1st, 2017. As such, it is not equivalent to BTC but rather, arguably, more in line with Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision for what peer to peer cash should be. Interestingly, since then, there have been several other forks from BTC, but none have been as successful as BCH. One BTC fork, Segwit2X, was canceled before its November 1st debut due to infighting among Bitcoin Classic stakeholders. At this time, blocks for the token are limited to 1 MB, though with Segwit in effect since July 2017, the volume is greater than this number technically, as signature data has been removed as a subset of this volume.

While Segwit's block size currently maxes out at 2 MB and is currently averaging about 1.2, BCH makes concessions for blocks up to 32 MB, ensuring scalability with respect to BTC up to a factor of 16. BTC requires layer 2 scaling along with lightning network to solve scaling problems. Some feel that the lightning network is possibly an precursor to fractional reserve banking using Bitcoin. According to Wikipedia, "Fractional-reserve banking is the practice whereby a bank accepts deposits, makes loans or investments, but is required to hold reserves equal to only a fraction of its deposit liabilities.

[1] Reserves are held as currency in the bank, or as balances in the bank's accounts at the central bank. Fractional-reserve banking is the current form of banking practiced in most countries worldwide."

Lightning network adds middlemen back into the network, whereas BCH removes middlemen from the network as a result of on chain scaling. Some experts, such as Dr. Craig Wright do not believe that the lightning network will scale to the extent required to be successful.

By way of the emergency difficulty adjustment system, BCH has a safety net to prevent chain death, an ongoing concern for BTC, in which loss of mining power due to switches over to BCH, could prevent blocks from being mined in large enough numbers, to reach the minimum number blocks necessary for the algorithm running BTC, to consider lowering the difficulty level. Transactions won't be processed and in essence, the blockchain will freeze up. There is evidence (Fortune Article) that a disruptive shift in mining power from BTC to BCH is precisely what happened around the end of 2017, causing significant problems for the BTC network. The tendency for BCH to encourage events like this by experiencing extremely short block processing times, was addressed with an update to modify the EDA code.

It will be interesting to see which coin innovates more quickly. BCH price will serve as a test for a model that does not employ the lightning network. If it is successful, it will have achieved that success, without the addition of a controversial layer of processing containing gatekeepers. By de-emphasizing gatekeepers, and the potential for fractional reserve practices, BCH might function less as a tool of speculation, which could serve as a stabilizing influence with respect to volatility.


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