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For months now, August 1st has loomed large in the Bitcoin world. It’s like a crypto version of Y2K: Will Bitcoin fork? If so, into how many chains? Which chain(s) will survive? Will Bitcoin itself survive the potential chaos and confusion?
When the Segwit2x agreement locked in recently, many fears were relieved and observers felt that the crisis was over…or at least delayed. However, one of the potential forks—Bitcoin Cash—has announced that, regardless of Segwit2x being locked in, it will fork nonetheless on August 1st.
What is Bitcoin Cash? How does it differ from Bitcoin? And, more importantly for Dash users, how does Bitcoin Cash compare to Dash?
(Note: for this article, the new fork will be referred to as “Bitcoin Cash” and the existing chain will be referred to as “Bitcoin.” This is for the sake of ease of reading, and does not imply greater support for one or the other chain, nor does it exclude the possibility that the chain now known as “Bitcoin Cash” will eventually be known simply as “Bitcoin.”)Bitcoin Cash: The New Coin on the Block(chain)
The most important thing to know about Bitcoin Cash is that it’s a hard fork of Bitcoin, but starts with the same blockchain. Many altcoins, such as Dash, are forks of Bitcoin, but they start with their own blockchain, which is completely distinct from the Bitcoin blockchain. So those who want to own one of those altcoins must either mine or purchase coins on that blockchain. Bitcoin Cash, however, is different. If someone owns coins on the main Bitcoin blockchain (and, remember, if you don’t control the private keys, you don’t own the coins), then he will own the same number of coins on the new Bitcoin Cash blockchain when it’s launched.
For example, let’s say Sarah owns 10 Bitcoin on July 31st. That means when Bitcoin Cash is launched on August 1st, she will ...