The Bitcoin Cash network will require some time before it finds its place in the world. With some mining difficulty readjustments now behind it, things are slowly falling into place. It seems the network is gradually hitting its stride, even though the difficulty is a lot lower compared to that of Bitcoin itself. Additionally, mining Bitcoin is still significantly more profitable than BCH.
Bitcoin Cash Network Still Needs a Lot of Work
The Bitcoin Cash network has hit a few hitches since its creation. The high mining difficulty at the start made it difficult to find network blocks. In fact, blocks are often multiple hours apart. This is mainly due to the mining difficulty, but also because there is not all that much mining support for BCH right now. That latter part should not surprise anyone since miners will point their hardware to the more profitable solutions. Bitcoin Cash is not one of them, although that may change.
Additionally, the Bitcoin Cash network has a very low hashrate. Its hashrate has been going up, but it is still a lot lower than the actual Bitcoin hashrate. At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash has an average hashrate of 240 Petahash per second. That is a solid number, considering it could have been a lot lower given how unprofitable it currently is to mine. We see more mining pools support BCH as we speak. It appears BitClub is now finding network blocks as well, which is a positive sign.
More mining pools supporting the BCH network will also serve to bring block times down quite a bit. So far, this is still very much a hit-or-miss situation, as some blocks take an hour to discover, whereas others may be as little as five minutes apart. Ultimately, it is all about pool luck and mining difficulty. That difficulty seems to be coming down quite a bit, as two recent adjustments have helped to move things along.
The BCH network difficulty is around 17% of that of the original Bitcoin chain. This is a large discrepancy, to be sure, although the hashrate is also a lot lower in comparison. Some people feel that this is “cheating,” but no one can expect a fraction of the regular hashrate to mine at the same difficulty as the legacy chain. If Bitcoin were to lose a lot of hashpower for whatever reason, its difficulty would adjust as well.
Unfortunately, a lower difficulty does not make BCH more profitable to mine. Right now, mining Bitcoin is still approximately 150% more profitable compared to BCH. That said, that number was 270% not too long ago. All of this shows that small steps are being taken in the right direction, and it will take some time before things fall fully into place.
Indeed, no one expected Bitcoin Cash to rival Bitcoin from day one. It may never do so in the future either. However, a lot of people are glad they now have a choice between SegWit and large blocks. Whether or not BCH has a bright future ahead remains to be determined. For now, things are starting to look better every single day, though there is still a lot more progress to be made.