Bitcoin Cash (BCH) burst back into the market capitalization top 10 rankings on Thursday after a 36% overnight surge compounded 68% growth for the week. The per coin valuation of BCH climbed from $1,068 to $1,462 in under 24 hours leading into Thursday, adding to a notable increase from its weekly low in the $800 range.
The resurgence of what was once a mainstay of the top-10 lineup comes just over a week ahead of Bitcoin Cash’s scheduled bi-annual hard fork on May 15, which will introduce two small, but not insignificant, tweaks to the network.
One sees the removal of Bitcoin Cash’s unconfirmed transaction chain limit, allowing for more micro-transactions to be broadcast without having to wait for a block confirmation.
Blocks are mined every 10 minutes on Bitcoin Cash, and the old unconfirmed chain limit was capped at 50 transactions. This allowed for high-volume applications to make 50 near-instant transactions before requiring confirmation in a block. This cap will be removed entirely in the upcoming hard fork.
The other major change scheduled for May 15 will see the introduction of multiple “OP_RETURN” outputs. Put simply, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain currently allows for the insertion of miscellaneous data into a transaction, such as text, images and other data types. At present, only one “OP_RETURN” output can be included in a transaction — i.e., one image, text, etc. The upcoming network upgrade will allow for multiple pieces of miscellaneous data to be included in a single transaction.
Both changes feasibly open up Bitcoin Cash to higher volume usage and make it more amenable to current and popular applications such as nonfungible tokens. Businesses and app developers stated they specifically wanted to see the changes introduced to expand the blockchain’s capabilities with nonfungible tokens in particular, as noted in the upgrade’s documentation.
Bitcoin Cash’s market price has been on the rise since the start of the year along with the rest of the cryptocurrency sphere. So too has its overall usage according to on-chain data from Bitinfocharts.
The number of daily Bitcoin Cash transactions rose from 20,000 in December to over 150,000 at the time of publication — a 650% increase. Between February and April, Bitcoin Cash regularly processed more transactions on a daily basis than Bitcoin (BTC), peaking at 414,000 to Bitcoin’s 229,000 on March 21.
However, the same data source shows less growth in the number of transactions coming from unique addresses, which only increased 25% from 40,000 to 50,000 — a figure one-fifth of that seen on Bitcoin.