Cryptocurrency is such a new concept in the financial technology world, and is so rapidly evolving and growing, it’s hard to keep up with what the different currencies are and how they differ from each other.
Bitcoin was first created in 2009 and since then, many other cryptocurrencies have emerged and many have already failed and disappeared. According to Investing.com as of February 2019 there are 2,517 cryptocurrencies! While Bitcoin is considered the “gold standard” for cryptocurrency investments, there is a lot of activity in the top 5, after Bitcoin. Ethereum, Ripple, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin are popular and among the more familiar names.
Because Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has the name “Bitcoin” in it, many people are understandably confused about what it is and how it’s different from the original Bitcoin (BTC). Bitcoin cash is considered a “fork” of Bitcoin that split from the BTC blockchain network on August 1, 2017. This happened as a result of a disagreement among several groups about the ongoing development of Bitcoin. One group was made up primarily of Bitcoin miners, and the other group included the majority of the Bitcoin user community, and Bitcoin core developers. They disagreed on the technicalities of mining and recording transactions into “blocks” on the blockchain. The miners wanted to allow larger blocks of 8 MB and subsequently 32 MB in size, and they support Bitcoin Cash. The core developers wanted to upgrade the process of compressing transaction data so more transactions could fit into each 1 MB block, and they support Bitcoin.
Basically, there’s not a lot of difference between the two cryptocurrencies, but they are now entirely separate and not interchangeable. Bitcoin Cash tends to have lower fees, but also doesn’t have as much community acceptance. Original Bitcoin has greater security and stability and a much larger infrastructure supporting the distributed network. As of this writing, Bitcoin has been trading in the mid three thousand dollar range and Bitcoin Cash has been trading at just over the $100 price point, way down from a high of more than $1700 in May of 2018.
Since the fork of Bitcoin Cash, other updates have taken place resulting in a number of other forks. Soft forks include Bitcoin XT, Bitcoin Classic, and Bitcoin Unlimited. Hard forks, like Bitcoin Cash, include Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Dark, Bitcoin Diamond, and Bitcoin Private. Other hard forks that don’t include “Bitcoin” in their name but were built on the Bitcoin open source code include Litecoin, Dogecoin, Namecoin, and Peercoin.
As far as deciding which cryptocurrencies are the best to invest in, a quick search online will reveal that a lot of sites have their own opinions, but no one has a crystal ball. CoinTelegraph has done an interesting price analysis, and their top 10 are Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, EOS, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Tron, Stellar, Binance Coin, and Bitcoin SV. To see what users on Quora are recommending, their predictions include Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as some names we haven’t mentioned yet, like IOTA, Zilliqa, Holochain, Elastos, and Quarkchain. As with any type of investing, it pays to do your homework before spending your hard-earned money!
Coinsource Bitcoin ATMs provide a convenient way to use cash to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC). Our network does not handle Bitcoin Cash (BCH).