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Growing hashpower means Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash could halve at the same time

Growing hashpower means Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash could halve at the same time

Despite an initial difference in mining speed between the two Bitcoin forks, an increase in BTC’s hashpower has been steadily narrowing Bitcoin’s supply lead. If Bitcoin continues to outpace Bitcoin Cash, the two could halve at around the same time.

Incredibly fast BCH mining leaves Bitcoin in the dust

Ever since it forked back in 2017, Bitcoin Cash has been struggling with maintaining a ten-minute block generation time it inherited from Bitcoin. The goal of the fork as always been to maintain the same level of difficulty and speed as the original Bitcoin has, and BCH developers have implemented several different algorithms in order to achieve that.

At first, both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash used the Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA), adjusting the mining difficulty parameter every 2016 blocks. But, Bitcoin Cash started implementing another algorithm in addition to DAA in 2017. The Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) was designed to reduce the mining difficulty of Bitcoin Cash by 20 percent if less than 6 blocks in 12 hours are mined.

Introducing EDA, however, caused significant problems with Bitcoin Cash mining, which caused it to become hundreds of thousands of blocks ahead of Bitcoin. The difference in block numbers remained even after EDA was canceled and a change in DAA was implemented. The overall increase in block numbers, mining speed, and hashpower meant that Bitcoin Cash was scheduled to halve more than a month before Bitcoin.

Recent increase in Bitcoin hashpower means it could overtake Bitcoin Cash

Nic Carter, the co-founder of Coinmetrics.io and partner at Castle Island Ventures, recently pointed out these problems in a series of tweets on July 14. Carter said that Bitcoin mining has been lagging behind Bitcoin Cash, which was more than 123,000 coins ahead of Bitcoin in November 2017.

But, an increase in Bitcoin’s hashpower has managed to narrow down that difference to just over 73,000 coins this month. Carter pointed out that the difference in the number of coins in each network can also be expressed as “days ahead” in the issuance schedule. The difference between the halving of Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin has been steadily decreasing since 2017, with Bitcoin Cash now being just 41 days ahead.

Carter said that if Bitcoin continues to narrow down its supply lead by 239 BTC per day, it will keep outpacing difficulty, both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash halvings could happen at the same time.

And while this could only happen if Bitcoin keeps seeing its hashrate grow at the same pace it did since 2017, even a minor decrease in BCH’s “days ahead” would show just how much the Bitcoin network has organically grown.

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Priyeshu Garg

Priyeshu Garg

Analyst @ CryptoSlate

Priyeshu is a software engineer who is passionate about machine learning and blockchain technology. He holds an engineering degree in computer science engineering and is a passionate economist. He built his first digital marketing startup when he was a teenager, and worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies along with smaller firms. When he is not solving transportation problems at his company (Ola), he can be found writing about the blockchain or roller skating with his friends.

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