How to Compare Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash (and Bitcoin Gold)
Some argue that Bitcoin Cash is “better” than Bitcoin because it often has faster transactions, lower fees, and is more profitable to mine. This argument is however misleading.
While it is true that Bitcoin Cash generally has lower fees (here and now with both coins in their current state), both Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash have rather slow transactions, high fees, and suffer from mining not being all that profitable for the average Joe compared to other coins.
In other words, there is a better crypto out there when it comes to each metric Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash fight about.
For example, Litecoin has faster speeds and lower fees, meanwhile you can see a list of profitable coins to mine here… Bitcoin Cash isn’t anywhere near the top of the list.
Meanwhile, some complain that Bitcoin is too centralized, that Bitcoin Core’s team is somehow too powerful.
However, Bitcoin Cash is even more centralized, and their core team are some of the most powerful holders and miners in the world.
Most of Bitcoin Cash mining is done out of Korea and the bulk of the coin is owned by just a few people (in fact two notable people, Jihan Wu and Roger Ver [follow them on Twitter if you’d like to hear their side], control so much of the Cash and Hash they are almost household names in the Bitcoin community).
So I mean, do you want your coin centralized in New York and San Fran or Korea?
If the answer is “neither,” than you are in luck, as there are like 2,000 cryptos to choose from (including Bitcoin Gold, a coin that tries to solve the mining problem by returning power to the hands of regular people… although, again, other cryptos already solve this problem).
Meanwhile, if the answer to who gets to control mining power and such is “who cares,” then both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash have their pros and cons.
Just look at Bitinfocharts, or just try to send / mine some Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash at the same time. You’ll see a difference, but it isn’t a big difference.
However, compare that with Ethereum, Bitcoin Gold, Dash, Litecoin (and the countless other cryptos like Zcash and Monero)… and you’ll see how absurd it is to use the “faster transactions, lower fees, and is more profitable to mine” argument like Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash exist in isolation.
Why compare one granny smith apple to a slightly different granny smith when the reality is there is a whole orchard here?
The bottom line is that, while Bitcoin Cash has some features that beat Bitcoin on the average day, it isn’t “better” by every metric and meanwhile…. NEITHER Bitcoin nor Bitcoin Cash beat out other top coins on every metric.
Instead, as noted, some coins are better for some things, other coins are better for other things. They all pair nicely on a good day, but of course, the past few month haven’t all been filled with nice and good days.
In other words, the coins only work well together when a few people in Korea aren’t trying to destroy Bitcoin and claim Bitcoin Cash is the real Bitcoin. At times like those it divides the community and the average investor tends to lose money (while the luckily few will make unreal profits by buying and selling at the right time).
Anyways, the point here being: the idea that Bitcoin Cash is somehow “so much better” than Bitcoin that everyone should dump Bitcoin and go to Bitcoin Cash (like Ver’s Bitcoin.com recommends)… is essentially propaganda pushed by the Bitcoin Cash team.
In other words, the story here isn’t about Bitcoin being dead or Bitcoin Cash being a joke. Its about a bunch of cranky pants whales (people who hold a ton of Bitcoin / control a bunch of mining power) who can’t play nice together on Bitcoin’s main blockchain… thus have figured out a way to get insanely rich at everyone’s expense by forking around (creating an environment where they have a win-win, they either win by increasing the value of Cash, or win by betting on the volatility they create).
NOTE: If you think I’m being a little harsh on Bitcoin Cash, read this article, or this article, or this article, or this article, or in this one (or this one; you should really read that one). When people plot and then blitz everyone with a strategy without warning and upon that event Bitcoin plummets in price and Bitcoin Cash is pumped (and thus many normal people lose money)…. how can one not be a little harsh about those events?
Now, to be fair, the idea that Bitcoin Cash shouldn’t be taken seriously isn’t fair. Also, the idea that forks in general aren’t legitimate isn’t exactly fair.
I actually support the concept of forks and Cash. I think that those who can’t agree should be able to break off and compete with Bitcoin. Healthy competition makes both coins stronger, gives “free coins” to Bitcoin holders, and gives users an other alternative.
My issue isn’t with the concept of a fork, it is the idea that a fork would come along only to use shady tactics to try to destroy the main chain. That isn’t friendly competition. Likewise, my point isn’t that a given forked coin doesn’t have its perks, it is that in this case the Cash fork isn’t not inherently superior to the main chain in every respect.
Bitcoin Cash is a carbon copy of Bitcoin with a few tweaks. Just like Bitcoin Gold, it is essentially a slight variation of Bitcoin with its own pros and cons. Same goes for other coins that fork (for example this was true for Ethereum and Ethereum Classic).
Unfortunately, as eluded to above already, one con of Bitcoin Cash is that it is maliciously trying to destroy Bitcoin at everyone’s expense (even going as far to wait until a weekend night while the U.S. was out to dump Bitcoin and pump Bitcoin Cash… that is pretty below the belt tactics there). That sort of toxic behavior is as big a con as the slow transactions of Bitcoin are.
And, how can a reasonable person claim that something with that big a con is “better?”
If you run DDoS style attacks on Bitcoin to slow down its transactions to prove that Bitcoin Cash has faster transactions, what have you accomplished? If you would do this, then how is your centralized oligarchy any different from what some claim Core is? See where I’m going here?
The term “better” may be somewhat semantical, but still, how can a reasonable and logical person call something that has shown malicious intent a few times already in its short lifespan “better.” That is like saying a foreign knock-off of a popular social media site or search engine is better because it has faster load times… fine, ok, maybe a bit… but not really though. That is, maybe by some metrics, but not by every metric.
In other words, one is justified in arguing for transaction fees, speeds, or mining, that is a fine argument.
However, one is better off arguing that each coin has its own perks, that the coins work best in tandem and in healthy competition (sans the manipulation and grey hat tactics), and that coins that try to make their mark in the sand at the expense of others should not be rewarded by the community.
If you ask me to choose between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, I’ll tell you my answer: As King Solomon would say, “Ether, Litecoin, Dash, Bitcoin Gold, etc.” I.e. any other decent coin that isn’t going to ask my to cut a baby in half.
Otherwise, since I don’t buy into the idea that I have to choose, I would say Bitcoin is a good bet for the time being, it is the most useful crypto on the planet in that is the name brand coin everyone knows and will accept in trade for other coins.
Meanwhile, I while I do think its reasonable to hold Bitcoin Cash as a hedge, I would not suggest supporting it with all your weight until they start playing nice (but do your own research and make your own investment choices; see the disclaimer in the sidebar).
If the community rewards forks that use grey area tactics to try to destroy the main chain, if we show that you can use social media to spread FUD and win, then we will get more and more forks and FUD in the future. Its not a great precedent to set (not for Bitcoin’s main chain, and not for the Bitcoin Cash chain… as their coin can also be forked with).
Consider, when you buy Bitcoin Cash… you are often buying it with Bitcoin (or the Korean won). Little things like this are worth thinking about. There is nothing wrong with the Korean won, but like, there is nothing wrong with Bitcoin either. Actually both are very useful for what they are. That, you know, being the point.
TIP: See a basic comparison of the current forks here (note that Segwit2x and Diamond haven’t been fully confirmed to be real yet). Each fork offers something a little different, but its hard to argue any given fork is better in every respect. And this only becomes more true as updates like Segwit and the Lightening network (and the fact that future updates are possible) are considered. If Bitcoin is dead because Bitcoin Cash is better… then I mean, look at Bitcoin Diamond, it is even better than that. So, [assuming BCD ends up being legit] is Bitcoin Cash already dead? And, will the next fork kill BCD?… Or, should we all just be stoked we now have some different choices and some free coins. One path has a good vibe, the other seems messy.
TIP: To compare each coin in terms of its metrics like fees, speeds, profitability, and the centralization of ownership of coins and hash rates, see BitInfoCharts.com. It takes a minute to understand what you are looking at, but even a novice can see that for anything Bitcoin Cash has on Bitcoin, another coin beats both on that same metric. I don’t think playing that game is going to do either Bitcoin many favors. We want wider adoption of crypto and a bigger market cap, not just games that shift around winners and losers, right?