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Today is the one-year anniversary of the ‘Bitcoin Independence Day’ that took place on August 1 2017. Since that day the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network and community have had a very productive year as the decentralized cryptocurrency has celebrated a ton of milestones including successful network upgrades, massive merchant adoption, and a wide variety of applications built using the BCH chain.
August 1 2017, Bitcoin Independence Day
A year ago today Bitcoin proponents celebrated independence from the scaling debate stagnation that took place within the Bitcoin community for far too long. On August 1, 2017, after block 478,558 was found, the Bitcoin blockchain effectively split as miners began processing blocks from two protocols — Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Core (BTC). While many Bitcoin Core supporters didn’t think BCH would survive after the split, the BCH network proved them wrong by continuing to grow stronger every day that followed the event on August 1. During the first week of August, the BCH chain’s hashpower steadily grew more powerful and the currency’s value went through a small period of price discovery.
Bitcoin Cash Gains 145% in One Year
On August 13, 2017 the Bitcoin Cash spot price closed the day at $310 USD per BCH and the currency is today priced at $760 per coin which represents a solid gain of +145.16 percent since last year. Additionally, much like many of the other digital assets that touched all-time highs (ATH) this past December, bitcoin cash prices reached an ATH of $3,000 per BCH and even $4,000 per BCH on a few international exchanges. Because of the growing demand and high prices, BCH proponents often laugh at Bitfury’s George Kikvadze who sold his bitcoin cash at $668 per coin and thanked all the “fools” who purchased them.
November’s Successful DAA Upgrade
During its first few months, the BCH network and its participants gathered lots of support from infrastructure services like wallets and exchanges, while at the same time BCH accumulated a massive amount of merchants. A few months later on November 13, 2017 the decentralized protocol completed a successful upgrade which saw the BCH network’s Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) change to a more stable system of operation. That day, at approximately 4 pm EDT, at block height 504031 the consensus rules upgraded the DAA and mining profitability between both the BTC and BCH chains has remained consistent ever since the fork.
Exponential Hashrate Growth and Remarkable Commitment to Innovation
Since August 1, BCH miners have processed close to 63,000 blocks and the network is over 6,800 blocks ahead of BTC. On August 4, 2017, the BCH network’s absolute hashrate was 339 Petahash per second. Now, thanks to the past year of growth, the BCH hashrate has gradually increased to 4-5.5 Exahash per second. At the moment there are eight known miners who process BCH blocks, and three unknown mining pools as well. Known BCH miners include Coingeek, Bitcoin.com, Viabtc, BTC.com, Antpool, SBI Crypto, Rawpool, and BTC.top. One of the mining pool operators, Alejandro de la Torre from BTC.com, a pool that typically commands 12-14 percent of the BCH hashrate, thinks the Bitcoin Cash network has had an amazing year so far.
“Bitcoin Cash has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to innovate upon community engagement with applications like on-chain social network — Memo, and a smart contract protocol layer called Wormhole that is built using Omni Layer, the token-issuance protocol that is the same technical basis for tether (USDT),” Alejandro details. “We think these community-driven networks can be very effective at moving the needle in the adoption of Bitcoin Cash as a medium-of-exchange, which is the primary reason it was forked and developed.”
One year after its creation, BCH has continued to expand onto 19 different services, e.g. Bitpay, Coingate, Viabtc, Coinpayments, Coindance. Bitcoin Cash is also involved in fourteen different projects, e.g., Openbazaar, Joystream, and Counterparty, and tradable on 41 different exchanges. Now entering its second year, BTC.com is poised to help the Bitcoin Cash community shift focus from investment, thinking only in terms of storing of value, to cash, thinking as a medium of exchange for merchants and consumers.
A Fourfold Block Size Increase, and Re-enabled Satoshi Opcodes
After the successful upgrade in November that fixed the protocol’s DAA, the BCH network upgraded once again a few months later on May 15, 2018. The Bitcoin Cash protocol extended the 8MB block size fourfold to a 32MB block size cap. The consensus change was one of the largest block size increases in the history of blockchain and the upgrade also re-enabled a few old Satoshi OP_Codes and increased the network’s data carrier size. The data carrier size upgrade and the OP_Codes unleashed a plethora of innovation from developers building social media apps, trustless betting protocols, and tokenization and smart contract mechanisms.
Transactions & Merchant Adoption
In just one year, the BCH protocol and its network participants have been able to push adoption, create a wide variety of applications, and do all of these feats in the face of trolling, skepticism, and negative criticism. Every aspect of the protocol has seen exceptional increases including price, hashrate, merchant adoption, daily transactions, and new applications. Over time, BCH on-chain transactions continue to grow despite the opinion of naysayers. For instance, from August 1 to October 22, 2017, Bitcoin Cash transactions (tx) averaged between 6,000-12,000 tx per day. From October 22, 2017 to February 7, 2018, BCH transactions averaged 20,000 to 60,000 tx per day. From February 7 until June 30, 2018, BCH transactions averaged 20,000 tx per day. The recent stress test has increased daily BCH transaction volume to 25,000 to 85,000 tx per day.
Moreover, as far as merchant adoption, BCH has gathered nearly every merchant that the BTC chain has and no other cryptocurrency in existence has experienced such a rapid network effect. This includes merchant acceptance from Bitpay and Purse.io, and the wide variety of stores that accept BCH that can be found on the Accept Bitcoin Cash initiative and Marco Coino.
Bitcoin Cash fans have a lot to celebrate this year and the next 12 months should be just as exciting as proponents look forward to everything that lies ahead.
What do you think about the Bitcoin Cash one-year anniversary? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Coindance, Bitinfocharts, Pixabay, and Satoshi Pulse.
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