Bitcoin Cash is an interesting cryptocurrency. In 2017 a group of developers wanted to increase Bitcoin’s block size to improve transaction speeds. In July 2017 Bitcoin Improvement Protocol 91 (BIP91) further pushed these developers to act. It was felt that if BIP91 was adopted without increasing the block size then transaction processing would be slowed down even more. These developers thought that holders of Bitcoin would more likely to be holding it as an investment rather than using it to make transactions.
Another improvement (BIP141) was proposed to increase transactional processing capacity in relation to SegWit (Segregated Witness). The proposal was to separate the transaction into two parts – removing the unlocking signature from the main transaction and adding it as a separate item. The separate item (or the “witness” part of the transaction) is much smaller in data terms driving improved transaction speed.
Several Bitcoin developers and investors and other interested parties weren’t totally behind the SegWit proposal. Instead, they developed their own plans which gained support and this lead to a split from Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash was created.
This split took the form of a hard fork. A hard fork is significant change to a blockchain protocol. Bitcoin Cash was given the ticker symbol BCH mainly because at the time of creation the symbol BCC was being used and traded.
Bitcoin Cash is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation and is available to trade on several exchanges.
According to their own website “Bitcoin Cash brings sound money to the world, fulfilling the original promise of Bitcoin as "Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash". Merchants and users are empowered with low fees and reliable confirmations. The future shines brightly with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permission less innovation, and decentralized development.”
Despite the hard fork Bitcoin Cash payments, transactions and trading volumes have declined since the launch. However, this is true for all the major cryptocurrencies over the same period. Caution is needed to assess the overall long-term prospects for Bitcoin Cash.