In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto started a cryptocurrency revolution which was destined to change the world. Since then, virtual currencies have been in high demand, and people continued issuing new types of crypto coins to address various industry-specific challenges. Some of them have managed to gain a foothold in the market and become a reliable currency.
With such a wide choice, it is sometimes difficult to define the most suitable coin. When selecting, people pay attention to the transaction speed, network fees, usability, security, and the community behind the project. Some cryptocurrencies have already proven their reliability and acquired a large number of fans. Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin are among them.
Both currencies are widely used as a payment method and show stable long-term growth. Over the past six months, the BCH/USD value has more than doubled and is currently quoted at around $400. For the same period, the LTC/USD rate has managed to show significant growth and reach the $125 mark. Although it is impossible to avoid short-term price fluctuations, both cryptocurrencies continue going up in value.
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Are They So Different?
Such positive growth is explained by the fact that both coins are built upon the original Bitcoin’s mechanism.
Technically, Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin blockchain, which occurred in 2011. That is why the coin has very few differences from its parent. At that time, it wasn’t yet clear whether Bitcoin would be so popular. People weren’t ready to embrace blockchain and introduce cryptocurrency into their daily life. The likes of Namecoin (Bitcoin’s first fork) and Litecoin followed the original idea of decentralized money and triggered the development of other altcoins. Today, there are lots of them. Litecoin is universal and can boast of the fact that the transaction confirmation on its blockchain is 4 times faster than it is on Bitcoin’s.
Bitcoin Cash, on the other hand, was created relatively recently – in 2017. It appeared in response to Bitcoin’s scalability problem, where the size of one block was limited to 1 megabyte. Such a size provided protection and security at its early stages but led to massive delays when Bitcoin became very popular. As a result, in 2017, users had to wait for several days to get their transactions finalized.
There were several solutions to offer to solve the problem. As a result, on August 1, 2017, a group of developers announced the creation of a new Bitcoin fork, which was called Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The blockchain structure remained the same, but the block size increased up to 8 megabytes (now, it’s 32 MB). This improvement has dramatically accelerated the speed of transactions but caused more concerns about BCH security. Since its genesis, BCH has gained a large number of fans and is now one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies.
Sounds Great, Right?
Not really. Both coins are ready to provide their users with quick transactions, especially when compared to Bitcoin. Nevertheless, the size of Bitcoin’s block, as well as its original blockchain, remain its main advantage. The transaction speed is undoubtedly an essential element when choosing a cryptocurrency, but security is a very significant component too.
The original block size in the Bitcoin blockchain remains approximately 1 megabyte, which protects the network from DDoS attacks. The implementation of the SegWit protocol update allowed to significantly unload the transaction queue while maintaining the original block size. Later it was increased to 2 MB.
Of course, the bandwidth of Bitcoin remains lower than that of Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash. Still, the increased block size is only a temporary solution to the scalability problem. As the popularity of both coins grows, there will be more transactions taking place within their networks. So, both Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash will eventually be forced to work on viable solutions to address the issue.
There is another problem. The increased block size means more transactions per block, thus larger blockchain, which requires more powerful computers to host the blockchain. It can ultimately result in lower profits for solo miners and cause the number of nodes to decrease. In the end, only large players with terabytes and petabytes of memory will lead the game, which is the high road to centralization. This problem is familiar to many altcoins.
Cryptos Are Still Better than Banks
All of the above mentioned may sound tricky and may even force you to stop using altcoins or cryptocurrencies in general. Don’t be afraid, though. Any altcoin is still safer than a bank. Decentralization, anonymity, and independence offered by cryptocurrencies remain a sufficient reason to continue using them for daily transactions. Problems arise, but they are quickly and effectively solved.
Bitcoin remains the most popular and the world’s most expensive cryptocurrency. Therefore, it is rather used as a store of value by investors. Altcoins, on the other hand, can complete transactions faster and thus, are more helpful as a means of payment. Both Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin have spun off of the original Bitcoin and thus share its inherent features, which makes them a pure form of digital cash.
Banks are plagued by many issues nowadays. They are overly centralized, bureaucratic, and reliant on numerous third parties. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, offer freedom and privacy to their users. Moreover, one of the selling points of cryptocurrency is low fees, even for international transactions. When making payments via banks, your transaction goes through several intermediary participants, each charging their fees and taking time to process the transaction. Both Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin provide fast peer-to-peer transactions globally and remain an affordable way to transfer money. In figures, the average transaction fee of Litecoin is $0.072, while that of Bitcoin Cash is $0.005. Still, Litecoin transactions are way faster.
With this in mind, huge retailers are already starting to accept crypto coins. A few months ago, the largest online vendor in Switzerland, Digitec Galaxus, announced that it would accept both Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash along with other popular cryptocurrencies. By doing so, they express their willingness to support the blockchain industry development.
Online retailers from the United States don’t lag behind their European competitors and begin to accept cryptocurrency payments as well. Microsoft, Overstock, and Expedia are only a few of them. However, the revolutionary event is expected at the end of 2019, when the world’s largest coffee house chain, Starbucks, starts to receive Bitcoin payments.
The Best Version of Bitcoin Is Bitcoin Itself
It is challenging to say whether Bitcoin Cash or Litecoin can replace Bitcoin anytime soon. Both coins have a base of loyal users, who make the projects relevant.
A regular user who makes a large number of small transactions daily will probably choose Litecoin. High transaction speed is a distinct advantage of this altcoin. While Bitcoin Cash may attract users focused on earning some profit from trading as it is believed to be more volatile than Litecoin.
When it comes to Bitcoin though, it remains the most reliable, secure, and popular cryptocurrency of the present day. So, one thing’s for certain – the best version of Bitcoin is Bitcoin itself.
This article was written especially for Changelly blog by the guest author – Mary Ann Callahan. As an expert on Bitcoin-related topics, Mary has found herself as a Journalist at cex.io. She’s working on articles related to blockchain security, bitcoin purchase guides or bitcoin regulations in different countries.