Despite their names, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) are not the same thing as Bitcoin (BTC). They are based on the same source code and claim the name Bitcoin , but they all differ in various ways. The big question that only arises here is: which Bitcoin is the best?
We want to get to the bottom of this question in the following. There can only be one BTC, BCH, BSV, BTG or BCD. Which horse should you bet on? Here and now, you will find out!
What is a hard fork of Bitcoin?
As already described, all Bitcoin variants differ from one another in some aspects. Some more robust, some weaker. What they have in common, however, is that they are all a modification of the original BTC source code. They are so-called hard forks of Bitcoin.
In computer software, secession arises ( Engl . Fork ) when developers take existing code, it modifies and uses as a basis for their project. That is exactly what other projects like BCH, BSV, BTG, and BCD are. The developers took the main code of Bitcoin (BTC) known as “Bitcoin Core” and modified it.
These projects chose to fork the Bitcoin blockchain by copying their transaction history and using it as the basis for their blockchain. For BTC holders, this is primarily nothing negative. This approach gave them another BCH for every BTC in the hard fork of Bitcoin Cash. So anyone who owned 10 BTC when BCH was published was automatically credited with 10 BCH. The same applies to all other Bitcoin alternatives and their introductions.
Introducing a new cryptocurrency through a hard fork is a one-time event. It is also impossible to convert BCH directly back into BTC, for example, unless you go the official route on the stock exchange by selling BCH at the market price and buying BTC. In addition, this “type of airdrop” only affects investors who have already held hard fork BTC. Anyone who buys Bitcoin after the hard fork no longer receives a BCH.
Cryptocurrencies like BCH are hard forks as their split from Bitcoin is final. The situation is different with soft forks, which are only temporary and can always be merged later. Such soft forks usually occur when members within a community disagree about how the project should develop from the starting point. If there is no consensus, there is always the option of a hard fork so that each party has the opportunity to further develop the project according to their ideas and visions.
Why do hard forks cryptocurrencies have value?
Critics often argue that such hard forks serve no other purpose than to make a nice profit for their developers and early adopters. Proponents of these hard forks, on the other hand, argue that they can improve the weaknesses of BTC or even orientate themselves closer to the actual idea of BTC than Bitcoin Core itself.
As with Bitcoin, the value of every hard fork and its cryptocurrency is based solely on people’s perceptions. They are just as valuable as the general public appreciates them. Therefore, the opinion of individual Bitcoin hardliners or opponents is completely irrelevant to us at this point. We don’t even want to deal with the question of how useful, such hard forks are in general. In my opinion, that cannot be generalized at all. Ultimately, the market will value Bitcoin and all of its hard forks. We just want to know: “Which Bitcoin is the best?”
To answer that question, let’s take a look at some alternatives like Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Satoshi Vision, BTG, and BCT.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash was designed for low fees and fast transaction times. Thanks to these properties, it is called a kind of “electronic money” after its name. BCH includes a larger block size, which means the network can support more transactions. It is currently the most valuable Bitcoin hard fork in terms of market capitalization.
This sounded particularly convincing in December 2017, when Bitcoin’s high transaction fees peaked at over $ 40. This was an exceptional situation, and since then, a lot of work has been done to ensure that Bitcoin can cope better with a flood of transaction requests.
In March 2020, the transaction fees for Bitcoin were around $ 1.02 and are therefore very well below the peak at the end of 2017. However, you can also send transactions for significantly lower fees. This only takes longer and fluctuates every day anyway. Nevertheless, they are still significantly higher than at BCH, where the fee is currently less than a cent.
Proponents of BTC argue that with the successful implementation of a second layer solution like the Lightning network, cryptocurrencies like BCH will become superfluous anyway. They assume that Bitcoin will solve its scaling problem in the long term and thus outdo all hard forks whose main argument is a fast and cheap payment system.
In addition, supporters like Roger Ver and developers of Bitcoin Cash have often been criticized for using both bitcoin.com and the Twitter account @Bitcoin to promote BCH. After all, BCH is not the same as the original BTC, so it is misleading. However, the BCH core community argues that BCH is the “real Bitcoin”. Admittedly, they are relatively alone with this opinion. But which Bitcoin is the better? Well, let’s look at other alternatives first before we come to an answer.
Bitcoin SV (BSV)
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is a cryptocurrency resulting from a spin-off from Bitcoin Cash. BSV is thus a hard fork of a Bitcoin hard fork.
On November 15, 2019, BCH’s blockchain was officially split into two competing cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin ABC (further known as Bitcoin Cash) and Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision). The latter cryptocurrency is said to bring back the values and technology of the original version of Bitcoin – decentralization.
The head of the BSV chain is Craig Wright. He is a colorful figure in the crypto community, as he claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto. However, he has failed to provide evidence of this to this day. That is why most people in the scene ridicule him and even label him as a joke. Craig Wright was, alongside Roger Ver, one of the most important media figures involved in the famous Bitcoin cash hash war and continues to attract a lot of attention.
The hash war arose in August 2018 due to a debate about the block size of the Bitcoin network. A little over a year after it was founded, BCH experienced the same challenges that triggered its actual founding when the community split into two because of some proposed changes to the network.
Led by Craig Wright, one party suggested restoring “the original Satoshi Protocol” by changing the BCH structure. In particular, the plan was to completely overwrite Bitcoin Cash’s network-scripts and increase the block size of BCH from 32MB to a maximum of 128MB to increase network capacity and size. The result was a division of the BCH community and the establishment of BSV.
Despite initial difficulties, BSV also achieved a relevant position among the top cryptocurrencies. Measured by their market capitalization, they currently occupy 7th place worldwide.
But now we come to another competitor of Bitcoin (BTC). This alternative claims the comparison between Bitcoin and gold in its name.
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Bitcoin Gold addresses another problem that some see with BTC: the increasing centralization of Bitcoin mining operations. Mining at BTC requires special hardware that makes it impossible for the average person to mine. Specialized hardware known as ASICs is required to mine BTC profitably.
The mining companies, some of which are worth billions, can exert power over the network thanks to their enormous size, although the extent of this power is the subject of countless debates. However, what cannot be denied are the high entry barriers to mining. A fact that generally promotes centralization instead of promoting open competition.
BTG solves this problem by swapping the SHA-256 algorithm in BTC for another algorithm called Equihash. This is still a proof-of-work algorithm that requires immense power and computing power, but it is much more complex for ASICs. BTG is designed so that average people with powerful graphics processors (GPUs) can mine BTG on their PCs, making the network more decentralized. Almost exactly like in the early days of Bitcoin itself.
BTG currently ranks 41st in terms of market capitalization, making it the third-largest Bitcoin hard fork in our comparison. Now let’s get to the last contender in our comparison before clarifying the question: which Bitcoin is the best?
Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)
Bitcoin Diamond mixes a whole bunch of different traits together to become the best BTC. These include Segwit and Bitcoin’s Lightning Network (BTC), larger block sizes from BCH, and a GPU-optimized mining algorithm similar to BTG. In addition, BCD also promises improved privacy by encrypting the values of every transaction. Therefore, external observers cannot see how much of the cryptocurrencies were sent in a certain transaction.
The hard fork took place on November 24, 2017, and wanted to create a true all-rounder with the features mentioned above, which practically unites all the outstanding features of the individual modifications. BCD currently ranks 54th in terms of market capitalization.
But now we come to our evaluation and the winner with the title “best Bitcoin”.
Which Bitcoin is the best?
This question is complicated to answer. After all, the question arises: The best Bitcoin for what? As you have already learned in this article, the individual hard forks of BTC usually try to specialize in certain characteristics in order to be able to outperform the original in this category.
But is BCH, for example, automatically better than BTC because it is cheaper to send? Of course not, unless you only want to send a value from A to B as cheaply as possible. But is sending BCH safer than sending BTC?
Since Bitcoin has by far the largest and most secure network, this is not the case, for example. If the sender attaches great importance to the network’s security, BTC is again preferable. If the sender attaches great importance to anonymity, again, alternatives to Bitcoin can better serve this preference.
These mind games can be spun further at will. But I think that it is clear at this point that a general answer to the question of which Bitcoin is the best is not so easy to find.
However, BTC is currently the most highly dated cryptocurrency measured by its market capitalization. In addition, Bitcoin unites most of the developers under its umbrella, who are constantly striving to develop the project further. These and many other aspects have led the market to currently rate Bitcoin as the most valuable variant of all contenders.