When bitcoin forked on August 1st to birth bitcoin cash, no one had an idea it would be what it is today. Sure, some analysts and people familiar with the crypto market were bullish about its future and said it could rival bitcoin itself but the prevalent feeling among investors who got bitcoin cash tokens was that the new kid is worthless.
That was the reason many people dumped the coin immediately they laid their hands on it after the fork. Some people even called it "trash coin" and others saw it as free money. The idea was to sell it as soon as possible for some change before it becomes totally worthless.
It's almost three weeks since then, and those people would be biting their fingers now. "Darn, I shouldn't have dumped the coin!"
This is because bitcoin cash seems to be fulfilling that potential. The coin, when it opened on August 1st, traded around $439, and after a high of $624 twenty-four hours later, quickly sunk to $310. Since August 4 it has not risen as high as $385 and it traded below $300 for the last two weeks, until recently.
About three days ago, there were talks that work was being done underground to better bitcoin cash (you can read more about that here), and it seems those efforts are starting to bear results.
Bitcoin cash has risen by 70% in the last 48 hours, and at the moment of writing this article, it is worth $660 (according to CoinMarketCap). In addition to this, its market capitalization is $10bn, a double of what it was on August 1st.
Several reasons can be attributed for this sudden jump. Although the coin was on its way up, some things did happen to trigger the appreciation. What are they?
Trouble with bitcoin core
One clear reason bitcoin cash appreciated is because of uncertainties about bitcoin's future. A recent statement from BitPay suggested that bitcoin could face more disruption in the future because of SegWit, which is set to go live on August 20. In addition to this, there are talks of potential forks in the blockchain in the near future.
Commentators say this could make bitcoin cash the longest chain, which caused its price to jump up.
New 8MB block
Another reason for the rise is the mining of the first 8MB block on the bitcoin cash blockchain. One thing bitcon cash has over bitcoin is its block size, which is expected to make transactions faster and cheaper, something SegWit is trying to take care of on the other network.
Miners just recently mined the first 8MB block on the bitcoin cash blockchain since August 1st. This certainly convinced many that the coin has a future.
Major boost for bitcoin cash miners
Bitcoin cash is getting less difficult to mine. With blocks mined easily, transactions on the network will be faster. In addition to this, there are arrangements to make it much less difficult to mine.
Block 479,808 (which is set to be mined this weekend) will likely trigger a difficulty adjustment downwards by 50%, and will make the coin more profitable to mine than bitcoin. If prices remain as they are, miners will get double what they get from mining bitcoin by mining bitcoin cash. This will likely draw more miners to the altcoin and make it appreciate more.
The arrival of the whales
There have been talks of some investors with deep pockets entering the bitcoin cash market. These "whales", according to rumors, are waiting for bitcoin cash's mining profitability to be similar to bitcoin core's. Once that happens (probably this weekend), they'll enter the market and the cap would go up, and this has caused the price to go up.
However, the market is still testy and volatile. It's best for owners of bitcoin cash to hold on to it. And if you haven't claimed your BCC yet, this is the time to claim it.