If understanding even the basics of the Blockchain technology behind Bitcoin wasn’t enough, you might be surprised to know that there are several types of Bitcoin. In fact, Bitcoin has almost 100+ different variants, if we can call it that.
The two major implementations or Altcoins of BTC are Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV). These are like distant relatives of the main Bitcoin (BTC).
These are spin-offs of the original Bitcoin blockchain. They have unique characteristics even though they have some general similarities. They are born out of the need or let’s say different objectives.
So let’s see why these different Bitcoins came into existence and also:
- What is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash?
- What is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin SV?
- What is the difference between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV?
- What is the difference between BTC or BCH or BSV?
I am guessing you know the origin story of Bitcoin, which was the first-ever use case for the blockchain. Someone claiming to be known as Satoshi Nakamoto brought it into existence with his/her whitepaper (link). So I will not repeat anything about Bitcoin (BTC) here.
Let’s see how Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin SV (BSV) came into being. But first, let me tell you a bit about FORKs.
Bitcoin forks are sort of clones of the original BTC-powered blockchain. Forks happen when the Bitcoin community disagrees on the way forward. As a result of this disagreement, the original blockchain as well as its newly altered version carry on in different directions. It’s like the evolution of humans from apes in prehistoric times. There were different species of primates that ‘forked’ from each other. Some did well (like us home sapiens) while others didn’t (like Neanderthals and many others).
Now these forks are also of 2 types – Hard Forks and Soft Forks.
A Soft Fork only introduces comparatively minor code changes to a blockchain without creating a new chain. A Hard Fork, on the other hand, introduces substantial and contentious code changes to the existing blockchain that requires a new chain itself. After a hard fork, the two networks have no backward compatibility and the new network is free to set its own course and establish its own rules to be followed going forward.
With Forking clear, let’s see what Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV are. It is important to understand their differences as many new investors in cryptos get confused about which is the real or the main Bitcoin or Bitcoin Prime amongst the many available.
Further Reading: How much to invest in Bitcoin?
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – BCH is a hard fork of the original BTC. This came into existence in 2017. The reason for BCH coming into existence was the disagreement of the Bitcoin community regarding scaling concerns and how to address them going forward. The Bitcoin Cash does the job of increasing the block size (which would include more transactions in the set). BTC has a block size of 1MB while the BCH blocks can reach a maximum of 32MB. The idea was to increase ease of usage, thereby allowing people, to employ cryptocurrency as a transactional currency in everyday situations.
Bitcoin Cash is thus able to process (more) transactions more quickly than the Bitcoin network, meaning that wait times are shorter and transaction processing fees tend to be lower. However, the faster transaction verification time comes with the downsides of compromised security relative to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin SV (BSV) – Bitcoin SV stands for Bitcoin Satoshi Vision. Its side claims to make an effort to stick to Satoshi Nakamoto’s original vision for Bitcoin. This came into existence due to a hard fork in the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) itself in 2018. So it was a hard fork of a hard fork itself! Here again, the fight was over the block sizes. The BCH community wanted the block size to remain at 32MB while the BSV side wanted it to increase to 128MB.
So that is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV.
And did you that there is a Bitcoin Gold (BTG)? At times, Bitcoin has been called the New Gold. But that is not the reason why Bitcoin Gold (BTG) came into existence. You can read about it here.
As you now know, the underlying disputes within the Bitcoin community over the years have led to the birth of Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). Though all 3 types of Bitcoin have the same core Blockchain programming, they ear still very different as they have different agendas. And please don’t have any doubts about which Bitcoin is bigger. BTC is the biggest of them all. Not just bigger than BCH and BSV but all other cryptocurrencies.
I also think that given its head start in adoption, BTC will remain the leading cryptocurrency for the foreseeable future. Not just for BTC Vs BCH Vs BSV, but also in the case of Bitcoin Vs Ethereum.
So if you have to invest in Bitcoin, simply go to the original Bitcoin (BTC). Just ignore Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV for time being. So to answer questions like “Should I buy Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash?” Or “Should I buy Bitcoin or Bitcoin SV?”, the answer is just to buy Bitcoin or BTC. And Hodl it for long term. Don’t look for Next Bitcoin here and there. Stick to what’s already good out there.
And don’t be under the assumption that there will be no hard or soft forks in the future. It’s possible that there might be more and more forks in the future leading to more Bitcoin versions or altcoins very soon. For the time being and when building your crypto investment portfolio, stick to BTC the original Bitcoin.
I hope you got some idea about the differences between Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. And that was all about Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin SV vs Bitcoin Gold or in terms of their symbols, BTC vs BCH vs BSV vs BTG in 2021.