Xapo president claims that 90% of cryptocurrencies will disappear

Ted Rogers, the president of Xapo – a Hong Kong-based company dealing with Bitcoin wallets – has claimed that a shocking portion of the cryptocurrencies currently listed will be wiped out.

Rogers believes that 90% of the tokens currently listed on CoinMarketCap are facing “extinction” if they are not the heavyweight cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Rogers further stated that now, when the market is down, is a good time to invest in more Bitcoin before it starts peaking again.

In response, Erik Voorhees of Shapesift.io, a company which offers global trading in digital assets, suggested that perhaps the market movements have more to do with the “extinction”.

The idea of Bitcoin dominance – whereby Bitcoin holds more than 50% of the cryptocurrency market trading volume –  has been a topic that investors are not shy about. Tom Lee, CEO of Fundstrat, believes that Bitcoin dominance will make a huge improvement in the cryptocurrency space, saying that “Bitcoin is the best house in a tough neighborhood” and suggesting that investors should focus on the original cryptocurrency and ignore other altcoins.

At the time of writing, almost half of the 15 leading cryptocurrencies including Ripple, Cardano, IOTA, TRON, Dash, NEO, and NEM while Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Monero have seen 80% or more dips.

Whether Bitcoin will naturally emerge as dominant over falling altcoins will be evident quickly within the market movers and we can only wait to see what will happen.

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Technical Analysis โ€“ Buy when there is blood in the streets

After a strong rally peaking at $8500 during the month of July, Bitcoin fell over 30% to a low of $6250 on Tuesday this week. As brutal as this sell-off was for Bitcoin, major altcoins were punished even more severely over the same period.

Approximate return from 24 Jul – 14 Aug for major Alts:

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Bitcoin Cash

XRP

Bitcoin’s relative resilience in this latest crypto market bloodbath has shown without a doubt that Bitcoin is still the boss! Whilst all major alts have broken below their previous low points for the year, the Bitcoin support level at $5825 has held firm. Furthermore, for the first time this year Bitcoin market dominance is back over 50% (i.e. the value of Bitcoin is greater than the value of all the altcoins combined).

Looking forward, it is critical that the support zone (orange area) between $6020 and $5750 holds. If there is a clean break of this level then it is likely that Bitcoin will suffer the same fate as the rest of the altcoins. There is a support trendline (blue line) which may offer some respite on the way down, but on the back up the recovery will likely be halted by the previous support zone (orange area) which will now act as resistance. This is the bearish scenario (red arrows).



Crypto Bloodbath – Buy When There Is blood In The Streets by tennant.graeme on TradingView.com

The bullish scenario (green arrows) would see the price hold above the support zone and form a reversal pattern of some kind. It is possible we may see an inverse head-and-shoulders forming as indicated on the chart. Should it develop further it could signal the beginning of some sort of recovery. I will be waiting for confirmation of either a break below support (bearish scenario) or a reversal pattern above support (bullish scenario) before placing any trades.

Whilst it is tempting to apply the adage “Buy when there is blood in the streets” and load up on Bitcoin and some unloved Alts, I feel it is prudent to wait until there is reason to believe that the bleeding has stopped before jumping back into the market.

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Want to hack Bitcoin or a Bitcoin fork? Hereโ€™s how much youโ€™d need

You might have heard of cryptocurrencies experiencing a 51% attack on their networks and be thinking that it’s awful and how could this kind of thing happen on the blockchain?

Well, because it can only happen on the blockchain – and it is rather awful. Essentially in a 51% attack, malicious miners manage to gain control of a cryptocurrency’s blockchain in a very particular manner of hacking. By gaining more than half the hashing power on a cryptocurrency’s blockchain, it means that one can gain tentative authority over the network and can authorize or censor any transaction for as long as they are in control.

This often leads to “double-spend” attacks, whereby the hacker will first suspend transactions and then if any transactions were attempted while they had control of the network, they would reverse them and move the funds from the transactions straight into their pocket, meaning that the coins would be double-spent – from the originally intended account to the hacker’s wallet.

It might sound like a great debacle to implement a 51% hack, but it can be startling simple owing to the fact that the hashpower needed to hack can be hired from “cloud mining” firms or mining pools. This means that hackers can pay for control of the majority of the blockchain as much as it might cost for a certain time.

Read here for more details on a 51% attack or double-spend hack.

That cost and that time are exactly what we are going to be exploring – how much you would be spending to execute a 51% hack on a major blockchain. Taking values and data from Crypto51, we can find out a hack costs for the networks of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Bitcoin Private, and Old Mac Bitcoin as a comparative.

Bitcoin

The original and most valuable cryptocurrency has a market cap of $127,446 billion USD and a blockchain length which sees 7,155,287 BTC in circulation at present. With cryptocurrency’s highest trading rate of $6,337,200,000 USD, it is no wonder that this coin would set a hacker back a pretty token.

To execute a 51% attack on Bitcoin‘s blockchain, you would need to squeeze $665.553 USD out of your pockets for some sixty-minutes of hacking fun.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin’s first and most controversial hard fork has been the pot stirrer of hack-related news lately, but not for a different sort of attack.

Bitcoin Cash was born out of a desire to remedy the scalability issues that have arisen on Bitcoin’s network in an attempt to resolve the slow and expensive transactions.

The platform has increased the block size from Bitcoin’s one megabyte to Bitcoin Cash’s eight megabytes in order to handle the huge volumes of traffic that companies (such as PayPal and Visa) can cope with. Effectively, this makes transactions cheaper and more viable for easy payments.

Bitcoin Cash retained Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm and has a current market cap of $14.94 billion USD with 17,243,663 BCH in circulation at present. Bitcoin Cash currently has a trading rate of $862.05 USD, and the cost of attacking the network is significantly less than that of Bitcoin – although it still wouldn’t be considered a thrifty endeavor.

In order to attack a 51% hack on Bitcoin Cash’s blockchain, you would need to spend $64,200 USD (almost one-tenth of Bitcoin’s hacking fee) for an hour of authority.

Bitcoin Private

Bitcoin’s most recent hard fork on the network, Bitcoin Private is a youngling in the world of cryptocurrency having only been released earlier this year in February. The net blockchain came courtesy of a combination of the Bitcoin blockchain and the approach of a token with a focus on privacy, Zclassic.

Where Bitcoin is pseudonymous – with users represented as alphanumeric designations – Bitcoin Private opts for a more private system and the sender, receiver and amount sent in a transaction remain private from the rest of the blockchain.

Instead of taking Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm Bitcoin Private claimed Zclassic’s Equihash system which is ASIC mining resistant.

Bitcoin Private’s current market cap of $169,44 million USD and there are 20,491,129 BTCP in circulation The token currently has a trading rate of $8.15 USD, so it is naturally less expensive to attack the smaller network.

In order to successfully conduct a 51% attack on Bitcoin Private’s blockchain, you would need to fork out a measly $276 USD for an hour in the control seat.

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How the biggest proof-of-work algorithms for cryptocurrencies compare

Not all coins are created equal.

Some cryptocurrencies require the equivalent of hours of computing time and energy to mine, while others are produced in a matter of minutes.

The term “mining” in cryptocurrencies refers to a collection of techniques to validate transactions known as proof of work (PoW). This is when a computer performs many calculations to try and solve a mathematical puzzle.

These puzzles use are typically based on cryptographic hash functions, which are designed to be one-way. The nature of these functions is exploited so that a miner must make many millions or even trillions of guesses per second to find a solution. It is then usually possible for any other computer to easily check that the solution is true.

In the case of distributed ledger systems like Bitcoin, other computers on the network can easily check someone else’s calculation, and must then build upon it to generate solutions for the next block of transactions.

Each block of transactions is its own mathematically difficult puzzle to solve, and becomes part of the puzzle for the next block of transactions, creating a chain. Hence the term “blockchain”.

By building the next block of transactions on one which came before, a network is able to come to a consensus of which transactions are valid. Proof-of-work algorithms are therefore also referred to as a consensus mechanism.

Other examples of consensus mechanisms is proof-of-stake and Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance, but this article is only going to look only at proof-of-work algorithms, and how they compare.

Among the factors mentioned below will be resistance to mining hardware based on application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

Application-specific integrated circuits, as the name implies, are chips designed for a specific use, as opposed to general-purpose computers. In the case of blockchains, they are chips designed to perform the calculations of a particular proof-of-work algorithm as efficiently as possible.

Criticism of ASICs is that they are expensive and make it difficult for people to participate in mining a blockchain without a significant capital investment. They also skew the ability mine a particular coin in favour of companies who can develop their own ASICs.

While some mining algorithms are designed with ASIC resistance in mind, it is worth keeping in mind the comments the lead developer of Sia made earlier this year: “At the end of the day, you will always be able to create custom hardware that can outperform general purpose hardware.”

SHA–256 — Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash

What better place to start with a comparison of algorithms than where the cryptocurrency craze all began — Bitcoin.

The Secure Hash Algorithms are a family of cryptographic hashing functions published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Short for Secure Hash Algorithm, the first variants of the SHA family, SHA–0, SHA–1 and SHA–2, were developed by the U.S. National Security Agency. SHA–256 and its bigger brother, SHA–512, are part of the SHA–2 family.

SHA–256 is not designed to be ASIC resistant, and ASICs to mine Bitcoin are readily available.

Scrypt — Litecoin, Dogecoin, Neo

Scrypt was designed to make it more difficult for specialised hardware like ASICs to be used to crack passwords that were hashed using the algorithm.

It did this by using a large amount of memory compared to similar functions, making it more expensive for an attacker to target.

However ASIC-based miners for cryptocurrencies which use Scrypt, like Litecoin, have been available since at least 2014.

Ethash — Ethereum, Ethereum Classic

Ethereum’s proof-of-work algorithm is a modified version of Dagger-Hashimoto, which was designed to be memory hard and ASIC resistant.

This means it tends to favour graphics cards with higher memory bandwidth, and has been the domain of people who want to mine a cryptocurrency with standard computer hardware (like high-end graphics cards) rather than specialised components.

Bitmain has produced a specialised Ethereum miner, but the creator of the platform, Vitalik Buterin, surmises that the “ASIC” is just an optimised regular computer with non-essential components stripped out.

Equihash — Zcash, ZenCash, Bitcoin Gold

Similar to Ethereum, the developers of Zcash created a memory-oriented proof-of-work algorithm for their cryptocurrency to make it ASIC resistant.

It uses Blake2b in the proof-of-work, and as a key-derivation function.

Bitmain has sold ASICs for Equihash, defeating its originally stated goal of democratising mining, rather than having it limited to only those who could afford specialised gear.

Blake, Blake2, and Blake2b — Siacoin, Decred

Blake was an entry into the competition by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology for a new SHA algorithm to complement its older SHA-1 and SHA-2 standards.

It made it to the final round, but ultimately lost to Keccak.

The algorithm is fast, and was not designed specifically with resistance to ASIC mining in mind.

Bitmain has released as ASIC miner for Blake2b-based coins. The developers of Siacoin themselves also launched an ASIC project called Obelisk about a year ago, and reported in detail about their findings of the state of the mining space.

Keccak — SmartCash, MaxCoin

Keccak won a competition in 2012 to become SHA–3, the next variant of the Secure Hash Algorithms family.

It proved to be faster than all other entrants to the competition, and faster than SHA–2 and SHA–1.

While Keccak was not designed to resist ASIC mining, it was built to resist cryptanalysis and brute-force attacks with specialised hardware like ASICs.

Keccak is therefore currently considered ASIC resistant, and there are no ASICs on the open market which target the algorithm.

CryptoNight — Monero, Bytecoin

CryptoNight was designed to be ASIC-resistant, and accessible. The aim was to close the gap between miners who only have access to consumer CPUs and can’t afford hardware like graphics cards and ASICs.

This is to foster more egalitarian mining, and greater decentralisation.

However, Bitmain announced in March that it developed an ASIC for the algorithm and was going to sell a specialised miner called the Antminer X3.

In response, the developers of Monero announced an emergency fork to update its hashing algorithm. They also announced that they will be forking Monero twice a year to try and ensure that it remains ASIC resistant for as long as possible.

X11 — Dash

X11 is an algorithm originally built for Dash which uses multiple rounds of 11 different hashes: Blake, BMW, Groestl, JH, Keccak, Skein, Luffa, Cubehash, Shavite, SIMD, Echo.

It was not designed to be ASIC resistant, and ASICs for X11 are available from several manufacturers including Bitmain, Baikal, iBelink, Innosilicon, and Pinidea.

Variants of this idea—in the form of X13, X15 and X17—are used by several other cryptocurrencies.

Multi-algorithm coins — Verge, Myriad

Where X11 uses multiple rounds of a number of different hashing algorithms to mine a coin, there are also coins which allow many different algorithms to be used to mine them.

The aim is to allow CPU, GPU, and ASIC miners a fair opportunity to mine the coin, and enhance the security of the cryptocurrency.

Essentially, multi-algorthm cryptocurrencies adjust the difficulty of mining their tokens for each algorithm independently to prevent one algorithm from becoming dominant.

In theory, this should also make “51% attacks” more difficult. Such attacks are possible when one person or group control the majority of the hashing power for a coin, allowing them to rewrite the blockchain as they see fit.

Verge supports Scrypt, X17, Lyra2rev2, Myr-Groestl, and Blake2s.

Myriad supports SHA256-D, Scrypt, Myr-Groestl, Skein, and Yescrypt.

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Craig Wright calls on Bitcoin Cash miners to process 0 sat transactions

Controversial Australian academic Craig Wright has again entered the press after announcing he’s worth more money than Rwanda – and this time, he’s urging Bitcoin Cash miners to work for 0 sat transaction fees.

As part of a new campaign spearheaded by nChain Group and CoinGeek, the ‘Miner’s Choice’ initiative urges Bitcoin cash miners to eliminate the present Bitcoin Cash dust limit.

Technically speaking, a ‘dust limit’ refers to the minimum transaction size that a participant will mine and include in transaction blocks.

While Bitcoin Cash clients bear a standard dust limit of 546 satoshis, CoinGeek and nChain have announced that their mining operations will reduce their dust fee to just 1 sat.

Further, both firms have confirmed that their mining operations will begin processing an undisclosed amount of zero-fee transactions in blocks.

Transaction fees are typically invoked not only to incentivize or reward miners, but further to reduce transaction spam on cryptocurrency networks. CoinGeek and nChain contend, however, that removing mining fees will instead render Bitcoin Cash more effective for micropayments.

In a release, both companies offered that “Users will have more choice about how much (if anything) they wish to pay for sending a BCH transaction, depending on the speed they want. If a user wants an instant transaction, the user can choose from a range of small fees made offered by miners. But if a user is willing to wait perhaps 30-40 minutes for a transaction to be added to a block, the user can elect zero fee.”

Miners would, in the short term, still receive block rewards for their efforts. As termed by CoinGeek founder Calvin Ayre, the move would be designed to foster a “healthy competitive fee marketplace” among Bitcoin Cash miners.

Bitcoin Cash is up by 4.50% day-on-day, and presently trades at $1,130.54 USD. 

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Circle Invest ropes Zcash into list of available cryptocurrencies

Circle has announced with excitement that  Zcash has been added to its list of cryptocurrencies offered on the investment app.

According to the announcement on the startup’s blog, that Zcash, a cryptocurrency which is becoming a pioneer for privacy advocacy, is joining the ranks of those available on the platform namely Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin.

Circle Invest explains that users “will now be able to enjoy instant purchases, no minimums and a seamless investing experience”.

The company expressed that the “mission for Circle Invest is to democratize access to investing in crypto assets for every consumer. Making the wider breadth of assets available on Circle Invest will continue to be a part of this mission, and of course doing our best to ensure that we bring the crypto without the cryptic to everyone, anywhere.

The application which is still a youngling, having only seen its launch recently, was promoted as an “app that’s actually built around investing, not trends”, and punted itself as a way which is “cheap and simple to invest in crypto and digital assets”.

The announcement of the launch of the application came very soon after Circle – which itself is still a young five-year-old startup – confirmed its acquisition of Poloniex in February and, even then, the deal was suggested to increase the chances of future cryptocurrency-related efforts and platforms that might emerge.

Circle Invest senior product manager Rachel Mayer allegedly reported that “Circle has an established working group dedicated to finding the best crypto assets for our customers,” but did not explain why Zcash, in particular, was chosen to be added to the listed tokens. She continued that a requirement for coins to be listed is that they must be “consistent with [their] regulatory licensure”.

The startup also said that this will be the first a series of exciting announcements – so we can only expect more announcements on the horizon.

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The Blockchain Awakens: Imagining cryptocurrencies as Star Wars characters

When Star Wars (today retroactively titled A New Hope) first premiered in 1977, the emergence of what would become one of the most celebrated science fiction franchises of all time reignited not only a passion for fantasy, adventure, and mysticism, but further lead revolutions in both sound design, practical effects, and, more broadly speaking, the cultural adoption of film.

The paradigm shift Star Wars brought with it to cinema isn’t difficult to compare with the impact of cryptocurrencies on modern monetary systems. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology propose a shift in thinking that empowers a new generation of personal finance and peer-to-peer trade.

Like Star Wars, cryptocurrency hinges on an intersection where technology meets humanity, culture, and belief – and it’s not without a wry smile that we admit that like the story of a galaxy far, far away, the cryptocurrency world has brought with it its own slate of characters peppered with personas ranging from the heroic, the ominous, and at times, the plain silly.

Warning: If you haven’t watched the Star Wars saga, there may be some key spoilers in the content below.

Bitcoin: R2-D2

Though R2-D2 may be far from the most significant character in the Star Wars saga, everybody’s favorite trashcan-on-legs droid has witnessed the entirety of eight (and soon to be nine) feature films that comprise the core Star Wars story. There’s the argument to be made that Star Wars could be a story of R2-D2’s telling, given the plucky droid’s presence throughout the saga, his interaction with main characters, and his unwavering ability to save the day throughout many key moments in film.

Arriving on screen as the creation of an unknown creator, R2 succeeds in driving Star Wars’ plot forward – whether it be through acts as grand as saving starships or as simple as unlocking doors.

Bitcoin‘s emergence as the first decentralized, peer-to-peer money represents the genesis from which thousands of other cryptocurrencies have leaped forward – enabling a new belief in currency through reliance on cryptography, privacy, and technical soundness. Like R2-D2, had Bitcoin not existed, there may be no Star Wars story – or cryptocurrency ecosystem – to talk about.

Star Wars

Bitcoin Cash: C3-PO

R2-D2 needed a plucky companion with talents he didn’t possess, and George Lucas coupled the intrepid droid with C3-PO; the erstwhile protocol droid with talents in translation, functional modification, and incessant bickering with his partner.

Having been built by Anakin Skywalker, C3-PO serves the Star Wars saga as both a source of humor and context – extrapolating different dimensions to key plot scenes and bridging characters and audiences together.

That’s not to say we’re claiming that Roger Ver might be Anakin Skywalker in the world of cryptocurrency, but every hero needs a villain…

Bitcoin Cash, as the foremost hard fork to emerge from Bitcoin Core, is the scion of both love and scorn. Executing an alternate scaling path to the approach championed by Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash brings with it inter-operability, several notable use cases, and a refreshing reminder that sometimes cryptocurrency developers just don’t have all the answers – something that C3-PO has proved especially good at in the Star Wars saga.

Ethereum: Darth Vader

Anakin Skywalker’s story in Star Wars is one that marks hope, a fall from grace, and eventual redemption as the Chosen One; a title which several cryptocurrency investors tout when referring to the Ethereum platform.

Like Anakin Skywalker (and his darker half, Darth Vader), the concept of Ethereum has enabled a wider revolution in blockchain platforms that could feasibly intersect with everyday life in many ways. Just as Anakin Skywalker was prophesized to defeat the Sith and bring balance to the Force, so to might Ethereum be the lynchpin that decentralizes applications and, more broadly, the web.

Though not explicitly a moral debate, the character’s transition from man to machine brings with it interesting parallels to Ethereum’s planned change from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake mechanics.

XRP: Emperor Palpatine

Courting foundations on Julius Caesar and other dictators, Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine (in the prequels, Darth Sidious) represents one of film’s best-loved (and most-hated) machiavellian masterminds, whose scheme underpins both a galaxy-wide war and later a galaxy-wide despotic regime.

Ripple’s XRP is both loved and hated for similar reasons; rolling together the best and most applicable aspects of blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency ecosystem, yet meeting modern banking in a way that many cryptocurrency die-hards find abhorrent.

Palpatine’s ability to both play the likes of the Jedi, Republic, and later the Empire reflect just some of XRP’s utility and usability – where its speed and efficiency has rapidly found a home in several banking use-cases to the furor (and in some cases, admiration) of cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

EOS: Luke Skywalker

The principal hero of the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke Skywalker is the son of Anakin Skywalker (Darth Vader) – and the dynamic between the two is more than slightly reminiscent of that between Ethereum and EOS.

Similar in nature to Ethereum, EOS is a platform for decentralized applications that provides services like user authentication, server hosting, and cloud storage. 

If Star Wars’ original trilogy is the story of sons transcending their fathers, EOS’ relationship with Ethereum bears a close mirror – in perhaps the duo’s most remarkable difference, EOS already functions through proof-of-stake rather than through proof-of-work mechanics.

Like Luke Skywalker, EOS has quickly become a favorite among cryptocurrency investors – propelling the platform’s market cap to well over $15 billion USD.

Litecoin: Rey

Arriving on scene as a lovable scavenger with prodigious talents, Rey takes the role of the principal protagonist of the Star Wars sequel trilogy – rounding together Disney’s new take on the ethos of the original Star Wars trilogy and the technical vision of its prequels.

Litecoin launched and gained a loyal fanbase given its technical improvements over the Bitcoin Core network as well as its ability to maintain steadfast support and values despite tumultuous markets.

Rey’s quick ascension as the newest (and last?) Jedi closely mirrors Litecoin’s journey to becoming a fan-favourite cryptocurrency – with many touting the speed, efficiency, and integrity of ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold’ as leading reasons as to why the cryptocurrency may see many new adoption cases in the near future.

Dash: Princess Leia

The secret daughter of Anakin Skywalker and the adoptive daughter of royalty, Princess Leia continues to inspire a generation of strong female leads in cinema – a factor not dissimilar to Dash‘s debut in the cryptocurrency market space.

As a young senator and later leader of the Rebellion and Resistance, Leia counsels support from both the official, the vulnerable, and the brave at once – championing virtues of democracy and freedom.

Dash’s presence on the market – and its direction under the Dash Foundation – has seen the digital currency integrated as a solution for traders and investors alike in emerging markets under the direction of authoritative governments, such as Zimbabwe.

Dash’s employ of its Private Send feature carves a similar profile to the early double-life led by Leia as both a senator and leader of the Rebellion, while its use of masternodes derives strong support form its community in a manner not dissimilar to Leia’s command of the Resistance in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

NEO: Kylo Ren

If Ethereum were Darth Vader, it’d make sense that NEO took on the role of Kylo Ren – a fellow practitioner of the dark arts, aiming to emulate its forbear, all the while under the direction of a secretive and authoritative government.

Like Kylo Ren, NEO is a newer figure that has managed to quickly develop a dedicated following. The blockchain platform, like Ethereum, serves to create a scalable network of decentralized applications, and as per Ethereum’s aspirations functions through proof-of-stake mechanics.

Though NEO might well lack Kylo Ren’s ferocity and volatile temper, the cryptocurrency has succeeded in quickly garnering acclaim as a favorable avenue for investors in a fashion that quietly resembles Kylo Ren’s reception with the Star Wars fanbase.

Zcash: Boba Fett

The last word in icy coolness, Boba Fett inspired a generation of Star Wars fans following his debut in The Empire Strikes Back. Despite facing a quick end at the hands (or tentacles?) of the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi, the character went on to meet an expanded telling in the saga’s prequel trilogy.

While Zcash may not be headed for a similar pit any time soon, the appeal of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency has echoed much of Boba Fett’s initial appeal – anonymity and mystery.

Leveraging zero-knowledge proofs to anonymize the relationship between providers, verifiers, as well as transacting parties, Zcash has quickly risen to prominence as one of the foremost privacy coins on the market – tussling with the likes of Monero.

The comparisons between Zcash and its bounty hunter likeness only increase when one considers the that the legions of forks that have arisen from the cryptocurrency aren’t too dissimilar from the pool of clones Boba Fett emerged from in the first instance.

Dogecoin: Jar Jar Binks

Alright, we couldn’t resist.

Dogecoin is, at times, the marveling factor and laughing stock of the cryptocurrency community – an erstwhile ‘joke’ coin that has somehow succeeded in developing a market cap worth more than half a billion US Dollars.

Jar Jar Binks, praised and reviled as The Phantom Menace‘s worst introduction, has similarly gone on to carve out an abrasive profile amongst Star Wars fans.

Met with skepticism and revulsion upon the release of the first of the Star Wars prequels, Binks has gone on to become the center of mystery – with several fans wondering if the character was not intended for a wider role than the non-stop barrage of infantile jokes that informed The Phantom Menace.

Dogecoin, similarly, has gone on to find an awkward place at the heart of the cryptocurrency community – with several ICOs moving to accept the digital currency as tender for the release of future tokens.

Star Wars, its characters, trademarks and licenses are the property of Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company.

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A war of faith: Will Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash succeed?

Although many new investors may be unaware, there exists a battle for the heart and title of ‘the one true Bitcoin’ – a war between developers over ideology and progress, over technology and its potential, and – ultimately – for hearts and minds.

The differences between what we’ll term ‘Bitcoin Core’ and ‘Bitcoin Cash’, for reference, encapsulate a wider struggle in the cryptocurrency ecosystem – wherein developers have each made arguments as to how cryptocurrency projects and blockchain initiatives should scale to reach and serve a global audience.

The history of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

The story first began in 2009 with the emergence of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper, which first outlined a peer to peer money that is not controlled by any central authority. Rather than have a middleman verify the legitimacy of transactions, Bitcoin relies on a blockchain – a distributed and decentralized ledger in which transactions are recorded and verified through cryptography.

The advent of Bitcoin remains a remarkable one, and is historic for the fact that it is, in principle, the very first monetary system that might reach a global audience and function effectively without the need of a financial intermediary.

While Satoshi Nakamoto has been revered for their work on the white paper and network that birthed the wider cryptocurrency market, the concept behind Bitcoin is not without flaw. The Bitcoin network is capable of processing a maximum of seven transactions per second, which – while this is an amazing achievement given the novelty of blockchain technology – sets up an early problem.

Firms such as Visa or Mastercard can process some 1700 transactions per second – meaning that developers need to find a method to ‘scale’ Bitcoin to ensure it can be used as a means of transaction by participants all over the world.

Fundamentally, this is a major key in ensuring that Bitcoin can fulfill its vision as a worldwide peer-to-peer payment network.

While Bitcoin itself was first detailed in Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper, the cryptocurrency’s development community are in charge of building on the concept that first outlined the Bitcoin network. Such tweaking can not only comprise smaller adjustments or bug fixes – similarly to other software products – but can also involve principle changes that make new solutions possible.

For years, the development of the Bitcoin network has been under the stewardship of Bitcoin Core; a foundation of developers and programmers committed to making Satoshi Nakamoto’s dream a reality. Over time, however, key disagreements in Bitcoin Core’s community have prompted frictions and intense debates over which direction the cryptocurrency should head in.

A key roster of Bitcoin Core developers became concerned over time that Bitcoin Core’s leadership had not taken active steps to rapidly scale the cryptocurrency, and had become frustrated with the project’s apparent pace of development. These frictions were compounded by proposals that would introduce ‘second layer’ mechanics – put simply, networks that would run atop the Bitcoin network itself – that could potentially distance Bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto’s initial proposal and lead to the ‘centralization’ of Bitcoin.

Two of these proposals have drawn ire. SegWit2x – named Segregated Witness – would be a planned network upgrade that would restructure the composition of a block and reposition ‘signature’ data within a block to accommodate more room for transactions. The proposal draws the ‘2x’ in its name from its intent to double Bitcoin’s block size from one to two megabytes.

Secondly, development of the Lightning Network – a channelized peer-to-peer payments network built atop the Bitcoin network – would seek to create a distributed web of payment channels between users.

Angered developers argued that neither of these proposals meaningfully remedied the scaling difficulties experienced by the Bitcoin network, and did not inherently resolve the network’s limitations without resorting to third-party improvements or modifications that fell outside the scope of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper.

Further, fears arose that the development of SegWit2x and the introduction of the Lightning Network may render the ‘centralization’ of the Bitcoin network possible.

On August 1st of 2017, these tensions came to fruition as Bitcoin underwent a hard fork – a process wherein its blockchain split into two variants. While Bitcoin Core’s blockchain remained unmodified, a new blockchain for a network called Bitcoin Cash was created.

What are the technical differences between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin Cash’s blockchain adopted new rules which made it incompatible with Bitcoin Core. Chiefly, Bitcoin Cash proponents moved to adopt an 8-megabyte block size that could rapidly scale to accommodate more transactions per block, and further implemented an adjustable mining difficulty that could lessen or harden depending on the number of miners active on a network. Both of these moves would theoretically ensure that the Bitcoin Cash network would accommodate a greater volume of transaction throughput than its forebear, and would hence be able to serve a global economy with far greater readiness.

While the continuing development of both projects might have resolved itself, community tensions have only increased since the debut of Bitcoin Cash.

Principally, disagreements between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash developers have stoked arguments over which project is the ‘true’ Bitcoin as outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto. Proponents of Bitcoin Core have argued that Bitcoin Core is the logical answer given the fact that the underlying Bitcoin network would be largely unchanged – especially when using a second-layer solution to scale – and that Bitcoin Core enjoys a far greater market dominance on online exchanges.

Bitcoin Cash proponents have conversely argued that the Bitcoin Cash network is a logical expansion of Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision that does without the necessity of a second-layer solution, and would effectively proliferate the idea of a decentralized, peer-to-peer payments network to global users far more quickly effectively than Bitcoin Core would.

What are the ideological differences between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash?

In principle, the debate between both Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Cash is a simple one. While it is accepted that good money by necessity needs to be a store of value (where it holds worth for a long period of time), means of exchange (where it can be used to pay for goods and services rendered), and unit of account (where goods can easily be valued and priced), both projects bear differing ideologies in how this paradigm should be achieved.

Bitcoin Core developers have argued that the correct process in developing ‘good’ money is to first achieve a store of value, which can then become a means of exchange and finally a unit of account. Given that gold has enjoyed similar properties, it has been argued that Bitcoin Core correctly emphasizes the technical ‘soundness’ of its product first, and deals with transaction mechanics as a secondary priority.

Bitcoin Cash developers have argued that ‘good’ money first needs to be accepted as an effective means of exchange before it can hold long-term value. Citing the fact that gold might hold market value but isn’t readily used in market transactions, Bitcoin Cash developers have argued that Bitcoin, by necessity, must be able to serve as many users as possible before accruing significant value.

So, which is the ‘real’ Bitcoin?

To put it simply, online communities have been divided. While Bitcoin Core developers have retained control of Bitcoin.org, Bitcoin Cash developers have taken control of both the ‘official’ Bitcoin news channel – news.bitcoin.com – as well as the former Bitcoin Core Twitter handle, @Bitcoin.

Reddit communities have further taken the brunt of community disagreements, as Bitcoin Cash supporters have, on occasion, flooded Bitcoin Core channels with Bitcoin Cash news.

The disagreements between both parties – as well as the ideological debate as to which Bitcoin network is the ‘true’ heir to Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper – have created a confusing and potentially misleading avenue for first-time investors to tread. Both Bitcoin Core and Cash development parties stand to gain should new money flow into their respective projects – while Bitcoin Core remains adamant to retain its leading position in the market space, Bitcoin Cash remains determined to capture greater and greater portions of capital, increasing its market capacity.

Chiefly, this is where the battle will be decided – as many online exchanges, peer-to-peer services, and marketplaces will simply provide whichever project has the largest market capacity with the designation ‘Bitcoin’ or ‘BTC’. Ultimately, while both cryptocurrencies offer a unique and exciting investment option for interested parties, it is important to note that Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are mutually exclusive of one another and, essentially, do not represent the same end product.

Which ‘Bitcoin’ will succeed?

For the most part, Bitcoin Core has continued to retain its market dominance and the enthusiasm of new investors. Criticisms have been levied against Bitcoin Core developers for the project’s reliance on third-party scaling mechanics, and the fact that the project’s initial SegWit2x proposal was ultimately not implemented in its entirety. While Bitcoin Core remains the world’s leading cryptocurrency, the project has noted decreasing transaction volumes – signaling that investors may be more willing to hold on to the digital asset as a store of value rather than use it in everyday transactions.

Bitcoin Cash has succeeded in capturing its fair share of the market, and at the time of writing trades above the $1,300 USD mark. While the project’s pace and ambition in securing both new users, use cases, and technological advancements have been met with commendation, the initiative has also been the subject of criticism due to its adjustable mining difficulty and the fact that it has arguably misled several eager investors by marketing itself as ‘Bitcoin’.

Into the future, Bitcoin Core might well succeed in its vision thanks to the fact that it has been adopted as a commonly-used trading pair on online exchanges, that it already enjoys support from a wide pool of investors, users, and developers, and that the Bitcoin Core network is estimated to possess around 10x the number of network nodes that Bitcoin Cash employs.

However, Bitcoin Cash poses a strong threat to this narrative. When the Bitcoin network is saturated with an overwhelming flood of transactions, wait times can be longer and transaction fees can cost its users more – Bitcoin Cash instead accommodates users with faster transactions and cheaper fees. Miners, too, might be incentivized to move to Bitcoin Cash during periods where its adjustable difficulty has been lowered and profits may be higher.

Although Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are neither mutually exclusive ideas nor currencies, it remains unlikely that both will succeed side-by-side. Ultimately, if Bitcoin is poised to become a worldwide peer-to-peer money system, one ideology will take root and prove the path to reach the goal outlined by Satoshi Nakamoto – likely dooming the other to an existence spent in the shadow of the ‘true’ Bitcoin. The golden thumbs up – or down – sits in the confidence of worldwide investors.

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