If you know anything about cryptocurrencies you know there are a ton of them. Like thousands of them. Some are legitimate and substantially different (arguably better) than bitcoin, and some are pretty much just copycats trying to make a quick buck.
Bitcoin cash is just another modified cryptocurrency.
But it’s getting more attention right now for a few reasons:
First, it was created as a result of forking bitcoin core, and not created from scratch. But this isn’t new — other cryptocurrencies have also forked from bitcoin in the past, and are nowhere near as valuable as bitcoin cash currently is. That being said, it does mean that anyone who held bitcoin before yesterday now potentially has access to an equal amount of bitcoin cash, which is giving it a lot of attention, as people are saying it’s “free money.”
Secondly, it’s getting attention because the hard fork was timed to coincide with bitcoin core activating a change in its code called BIP 148, which was a highly publicized event in itself. This Bitcoin Improvement Proposal was the result of months of negotiation among major players and activated Segregated Witness, something that will help bitcoin core scale going forward.
Is it worth anything?
Right now, bitcoin cash is actually worth quite a bit — on paper at least. Some are trading it at around a value of $400 per coin, which makes it the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap right now.
But here’s the thing — it’s currently really hard to sell bitcoin cash. While some exchanges have added the new currency for trading, liquidity is super low, which is why some say the price is being artificially inflated. Because most exchanges aren’t accepting deposits yet, the only bitcoin cash available to trade is currency that was credited by exchanges after the fork. Users holding bitcoin cash outside of exchanges, or in exchanges that don’t support trading, are stuck waiting.
So the moral of the story is that there’s probably a ton of bitcoin cash waiting to be sold, as soon as people can transfer it. That’s because there’s not a whole lot of incentive to keep the coins, especially when people think it is overvalued and want to quickly cash out. And the price has already fallen — take a look at the price moment today in USD. It’s already down from a high of $680 to around $350 on Bitfinex, one exchange that is offering a market for the new currency.