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Will Bitcoin (BTC) And Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Payments War Destabilize Market?

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With bitcoin (BTC) back above $8,000 and set to accelerate higher, the last thing crypto needs is a fallout between the bitcoin developer and business community and the diehard Bitcoin Cash (BCH) believers.

Bitcoin fork BCH, whose supporters insist that it is truer to bitcoin’s original mission of digital cash, fears bitcoin people want to shut it out of merchant payments. All this as BCH continues to track bitcoin as does the rest of the market, maintaining the outperformance margin opened up at the beginning of April.

In the two months to 19 May BCH has returned 121% compared to  BTC’s 82% , as seen in the chart below.

Bitcoin Cash has outperformed Bitcoin over the past two months (Courtesy Coinlib.io

That performance difference, however, is unlikely to be because the market assesses BCH to be a better product than bitcoin.

Bitcoin is still king by a very wide margin

Far from it, judging by the network fundamentals of BCH vis a vis bitcoin.

Although Roger Ver, a vociferous supporter of BCH, is able to point to its low fees on the network compared to BTC, that’s not for a good reason.

Whichever way you cut it, be it transaction volume, hashrate, operating network nodes, bitcoin is still the king by some considerable margin.

Perhaps most dangerously for BCH, it is not very decentralised, with the secretive BTC top mining pool based in China recently accounting for more than 50% of the hashrate, although that has decreased now. At the end of April their was the case of an entity using the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” that had 40% of the hashrate.

BTC.top had a 50%-plus share 24 hours ago

BCH has made itself a six-monthly target for attackers

Then there’s the six-monthly schedule of upgrades which seem to have turned into an opportunity for attackers to make mischief. That’s what happened on 15 May, when a bug was exploited that led to empty blocks, 10 in all.

It didn’t end there.

On the same day it has been speculated that there was an aborted attempt by short sellers to crash the price, with 179,202 BCH or BAB (the ticker on Bitfinex for Bitcoin ABC aka Bitcoin Cash) borrowed on Bitfinex to take a leveraged short position. The build up in BCH borrowing was spotted by redditor frozen124.

It didn’t work out for the shorters as the price rose, but the timing was suspicious according to folks at coinspice.io who have been doing some digging around. The borrowing by the shorters took place 12 hours before the empty blocks attack.

Additionally, 110,000 that had been borrowed ended up not being used to take a position in the market, leading observers to surmise that whoever was behind the borrowing, was linked to the block attack and for some reason had decided against executing.  

It was a costly miscalculation on their part because all that borrowing of BCH drove the interest rate demanded by the lenders to 30%, so the unallocated borrowing cost 79 BCH or $31,500 at the price at the time.

Someone’s got it in for BCH.

Roger Ver sure thinks so, or at least the Bitcoin.com twitter account does:

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