Bitcoin, as valuable as it may be and as hyped up as people are around it, isn’t perfect, which is why there are solutions out there such as Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold to try and fix these flaws. Both have the same ambitions, to make cryptocurrencies actually usable in the real world as paper dollars are as “currencies”. Bitcoin Cash, for example, has a lot of modifications under its shared Bitcoin codebase, changing up its programming to enable low-fee transactions, micro-payments, and more.
As the name suggests, it’s trying to be the best ‘electronic cash’ as a medium of exchange. All the while, Bitcoin Gold is trying to accomplish the same end goal. While it may have been engineered to eliminate the seeming centralization of Bitcoin’s mining power, it has since evolved into a blockchain designed for similarly low-fee payments and transactions, and its ease of use as day-to-day money. So, read along our guide on Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold to find out which among them is the best.
Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold – Comparison Table
Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold – Main Differences
If we look at the comparison table, we can already see that between Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold, the former has a faster network, and has appreciated far more than the latter over the years. However, Bitcoin Gold does focus on improving decentralization through ASIC resistance to breaking up centralized mining power and dominance, whereas Bitcoin Cash doesn’t. Still, both do keep their promises of low-cost payments, with fees averaging less than $0.01 for most transactions.
What Is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer ‘electronic cash’. Initially, Bitcoin Cash was an upgrade proposal for Bitcoin, underpinned by an idea to increase the block size from 1MB to 8MB. This increase would allow each block to carry and subsequently process more transactions, thus making Bitcoin a cost-effective digital rival to fiat currencies. However, a disagreement led to a hard-fork in August 2017. Much of Bitcoin Cash’s underlying blockchain code structure is similar to Bitcoin, with some tweaks.
How Does Bitcoin Cash Work?
As we’ve hinted earlier in our guide on Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold, a lot of the programming is similar in Bitcoin Cash, as is with Bitcoin. For example, Bitcoin Cash is still powered by the same SHA-256d-based Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm, which requires mining to validate new blocks. Bitcoin Cash has the same block timing of 10 minutes and has capped its total token supply for its native BCH cryptocurrency tokens to the same 21,000,000 limits as with Bitcoin.
However, significant changes and upgrades have been made to the codebase of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain to place it as a more effective medium of exchange; designed for smaller transactions or micro-payments (or larger payments alike), with very low fees. For the most part, this involves increasing block sizes to accommodate greater transaction volume and throughput, as is evident with its network capable of processing upwards of 25,000 TPS under very extreme stress testing.
There are, however, other small fine-tuning undertaken by Bitcoin Cash, as we’ll explore a bit more in our guide here on Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold:
1. Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment
Adjusting the difficulty of a blockchain is important, as it’s vital to protecting the network from hash rate fluctuations or a malicious attack. Furthermore, it can decide how fast new blocks can be mined at a time, influencing how fast a blockchain can be. Bitcoin’s original difficulty adjustment algorithm changes once every 14 days. Bitcoin Cash is a lot faster, dynamically re-assessing and calibrating the mining difficulty after every block, which has since been increased to an upper limit of 32MB.
2. Support For Smart Contracts
Bitcoin has yet to support smart contracts, which means it misses out on exciting new features like DeFi. Although Bitcoin Cash is built on the same UTXO (unspent transaction output) distributed ledger design, its use of the Cashscript language means that it can support some smart contracts programming. Hence, Bitcoin Cash can enable more complex services other than peer-to-peer or two-way transactions, such as being able to be integrated natively into decentralized finance.
3. Support For Token Issuance
Bitcoin can’t support the creation, issuance, and transaction of third-party tokens. To fix this, Bitcoin Cash has adopted the Simple Ledger Protocol. This means that anyone can build their own cryptos on Bitcoin Cash’s network, in fungible or semi-fungible form. You can configure it however you want whether it can be split into smaller units, its tokenomics to limit supply or create inflation, and so on. Tether, the largest stablecoin issuer, is planning to issue its USDT tokens on Bitcoin Cash using SLP.
What Are Bitcoin Cash’s BCH Cryptocurrency Tokens?
The native cryptocurrency of the Bitcoin Cash network is the BCH token. As we highlighted earlier in our Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold comparison, a lot of its tokenomics are similar to Bitcoin. It follows the same deflationary model as Bitcoin as well, with a block reward halving every 210,000 blocks, or roughly once in every four years. Its last halving was done in April 2020, which halved rewards to 6.25 BCH per block. Currently, there are 18,790,944 BCH in circulation.
Apart from earning it through mining rewards, Bitcoin Cash’s BCH can be used as a currency to pay or transact with. This is helped through its wide adoption with many merchants and vendors with its integration into plenty of crypto-based payments terminals. Its low average fees of often less than $0.01 help, too. Today, the value of one BCH is around $444.66, giving Bitcoin Cash a market capitalization value of $8,355,581,887, making it the 12th-most valuable cryptocurrency.
Future Roadmap, And Review
There is quite an extensive roadmap for Bitcoin Cash in 2021 and beyond, which mostly revolves around improving its day-to-day usability. These include allowing higher volumes of transactions to be sent at any time, implementing double-spending proofs, a default mining block size of 8MB, and more. In all, Bitcoin Cash has made a big step forward in making cryptocurrencies more usable in everyday life, by making money cheap, immutable, censorship-resistant, global, and truly sovereign.
What Is Bitcoin Gold?
Bitcoin Gold is, as with many other early blockchains, a hard-fork of Bitcoin. Primarily, it championed the idea of “one CPU one vote” governance, where it aims to decentralize Bitcoin’s growing mass centralization of mining power, mostly due to ASIC dominance. This has, according to Bitcoin Gold’s developers, seen a swarm of network-wide abuse and undemocratic management of the underlying blockchain. To solve this, Bitcoin Gold makes it harder for ASICs to mine, and easier for retail miners.
How Does Bitcoin Gold Work?
This ASIC resistance, as we’ve learned thus far in our guide here on Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold, is courtesy of updates to the scripting function by a magnitude of 10, hence making it much harder for ASIC-based machines to mine BTG. It’s possible for ASICs to mine, but is inefficient owing to Bitcoin Gold’s priority on high memory requirements. While it remains a PoW blockchain, thus necessitating mining to create new blocks, Bitcoin Gold uses the Equihash algorithm instead of SHA-256.
Bitcoin Gold has also changed its block difficulty adjustment parameters with the use of Digishield V3. As with Bitcoin Cash, it dynamically alters the difficulty of each block, intended to protect the wider network from hash rate fluctuations or to prevent a malicious attack. This has the upside of faster throughput speeds too, 5x more than Bitcoin. Bitcoin Gold’s dedication to preserving decentralization extends to its willingness to fork again if the Equihash algorithm has become mineable to ASICs.
There are several other unique benefits and features, as we’ll explore a bit more in our guide here on Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold:
1. Easier Payments With BTGPay
BTGPay is an initiative by Bitcoin Gold to promote its use as a medium of exchange, by connecting merchants and shoppers with payment providers and eCommerce integrators that accept Bitcoin Gold. Thus far, its BTG tokens have already proven to be a popular method for payment, as through BTGPay, more than 2,000,000 transactions have been processed, with full chargeback protection and a very lowly average Bitcoin Gold network transaction fee of just around $0.01.
2. Future Scalability
Bitcoin Gold is keen to make its blockchain as efficient and performant as possible. They’ve adopted SegWit, which would separate witness signatures from transaction data, enabling more transactions to fit inside a single block. Bitcoin Gold also utilizes the Lightning Network, a layer 2 scaling solution to facilitate speedy transactions, which makes it handy for fast payment times. Moreover, Bitcoin Gold is compatible with sidechain add-ons to offload tasks, another feature to enhance scalability.
3. Block Notarisation
Bitcoin Gold has a CCBN (Cross-Chain Block Notarisation) feature, where all blocks on its blockchain are notarised to other well-known blockchains. They are called “notarychains”, where notarizations contain entire block data, and gain “weight” as they’re embedded deeper into a notarychain. When a competing set of blocks appear, BTG nodes check with the notarychains to calculate its weight, essentially a backup, thus creating a 99% protection against 51% chain attacks or double-spending.
What Are Bitcoin Gold’s BTG Cryptocurrency Tokens?
The native cryptocurrency of the Bitcoin Gold network is the BTG token. Unlike earlier in our Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold, the latter’s tokenomics are a bit unique. There is a supply cap of 21,000,000 BTG, of which 17,513,924 BTG are currently in circulation. However, its general trend is made to be inflationary, with slowly decreasing issuance over time. During its hard-fork, Bitcoin Gold held a pre-mine, where its difficulty adjustment was lowered to rapidly mine 12.5 BTG for each block.
This “post-mine” saw 8,000 BTG allocated to the core development fund wallet, as more BTG tokens were distributed elsewhere with vesting locks for ecosystem support, bounties, partnerships, as well as to the wider community. As of writing this Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold comparison, the price of one BTG token is around $38.95, significantly far below Bitcoin Cash, with a market capitalization of $682,126,549, thus making Bitcoin Gold the 84th-most valuable cryptocurrency.
Future Roadmap, And Review
There is quite a detailed roadmap timeline planned out for 2021, which for the most part is focused on improving its usability, such as fine-tuning its Lightning Network integration. There are also talks of making it interoperable with other blockchains such as Polkadot, building in some smart contracts integration, as well as more applications like DeFi and a DAO. Suffice to say, there’s a lot more to come from this already very fascinating network, widely adopted for payments and a store of value.
Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold – Final Conclusion
So then, this ends our look at comparing Bitcoin Cash vs Bitcoin Gold. Between two such distinct takes on what Bitcoin could’ve, could one be any better than the other? Well if we had to choose just one winner, that honor would go to Bitcoin Cash. At the moment, Bitcoin Cash’s BCH tokens are far more valuable than Bitcoin Gold, with its price appreciation likely a signal of the market’s interest in it over BTG. This is helped by its growing popularity in many regions as a useful “currency”.
Between the two, transaction times and throughput speeds are faster with Bitcoin Cash owing to its immense scalability, almost rivaling conventional centralized payments solutions. Plus, much of Bitcoin Gold’s plans are already in action with Bitcoin Cash right now, such as smart contracts functionality. Yet, Bitcoin Gold isn’t that far behind, with a lot more powerful changes to come along soon, such as cross-chain compatibility, and its potential to one-up Bitcoin Cash with dApps.