Is the Decline in Bitcoin Cash Adoption Symptomatic Across All Bitcoin Cryptos?
A new report on the world’s leading 17 cryptocurrencies in use today by blockchain analysis and forensics firm, Chainalysis has pinpointed a decline in the use of Bitcoin Cash for day-to-day transactions in recent months. A team of Chainalysis researchers noted a stark decline in payments made using Bitcoin Cash throughout 2018 to date. In March, the number of payments involving Bitcoin Cash was valued at $10.5 million compared with just $3.7 million in May. The data was collected from a number of online merchants and payment providers, including some of the biggest crypto transaction processors, Coinify, BitPay and GoCoin.
In terms of the long-term price action on Bitcoin Cash, it has fallen more than 75% from its all-time high, which is worse than Bitcoin’s fall of around 55%. Meanwhile, although Bitcoin Cash is still regarded as the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, it is still only worth just a tenth of Bitcoin’s overall market cap.
Kim Grauer, senior economist, Chainalysis also confirmed that the total number of owners and users of Bitcoin Cash as declining over time. Grauer believes this can be attributed to a term called “concentration ownership”, with the small band of supporters of Bitcoin forks switching their allegiance elsewhere. Alarmingly, just 67 crypto wallets hold more than half (56%) of the entire Bitcoin Cash in circulation, even though it’s now available to trade on Coinbase.
The founder of Bitcoin Cash, Roger Ver, took to Twitter to defend this latest Bitcoin fork. Mr Ver pointed to the fact that Bitcoin Cash transactions are nearly 15,000 times cheaper than Bitcoin and has the ability to “scale on-chain”. Despite Ver’s defiance, the undoubted decline in Bitcoin Cash has led to some crypto experts question the long-term future of all Bitcoin forks. Is the fall in Bitcoin Cash adoption symptomatic in the other leading Bitcoin forks?
Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
Bitcoin Gold is one of the leading hard forks of Bitcoin, taking place back in October 2017. A decision was taken among a section of the Bitcoin community to create a new Bitcoin fork in light of perceived centralization of Bitcoin’s mining processes. The brains behind Bitcoin Gold cited the fact that more than half of the entire Bitcoin hashrate was owned by three mining pools, resulting in a monopolization of Bitcoin mining. Instead, Bitcoin Gold uses the memory hard equihash as its Proof of Work algorithm, rather than the original sha-256, meaning Bitcoin Gold can only be mined using CPUs.
Despite their good intentions, the price of Bitcoin Gold reached an all-time low earlier this month and is not showing any positive signs of rising again. When Bitcoin Gold first launched, it was valued at $138, but since early January it has been on a steady decline well below $100 before bottoming out at around $18.25 at the time of writing. Despite some kind of support beginning to be found at around the $16-$18 price point, the fact remains that the price of BTG has almost halved in the last month alone. There is a real danger that it could be consigned to the record books of Bitcoin forks before it has even really taken off.
Bitcoin Private (BTCP)
The newest Bitcoin hard fork on the block – excuse the pun – is Bitcoin Private. The Bitcoin Private hard fork was carried out in February this year and acts as a merge of ZClassic and Bitcoin. ZClassic is already a fork of ZCash, which was the brainchild of esteemed blockchain developer, Rhett Creighton. There are two distinct ways in which Bitcoin Private differs from the original Bitcoin. Bitcoin Private has taken the main feature of ZClassic in that it uses the memory hard equihash algorithm, making it resistant to mining via ASIC. In addition, Bitcoin Private users have the choice of using both private and public addresses, with the former operated via zk-SNARKs.
Nevertheless, if one was to try and find Bitcoin Private on the all-time list of available cryptocurrencies, they would have to look pretty far down the list to find it. At the time of writing, Bitcoin Private is the 74th largest cryptocurrency based on market cap and at a price of only $3.97 per BTCP it is hard to call its unveiling a rip-roaring success when you take one look at its price chart. Since its release, the price has experienced a steady decline. There appeared to be strong market interest from the outset, with BTCP valued at over $65. However, it has been largely one-way traffic ever since – barring one spike in mid-April – all the way down to $3.97. Therefore, you could conclude that the lack of interest in Bitcoin Cash is having a ripple effect throughout all other Bitcoin hard forks.