Bitcoin Cash is an alternative digital currency which split from the main Bitcoin network back on August 1st, 2017. Everyone who was holding Bitcoin at the time was essentially given an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash.
Athena in their blog post:
What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is now a fully independent currency that features a different price, development team, and community compared with Bitcoin. It is supported by those who disagreed with Bitcoin’s development path and wished to increase the legacy blocksize immediately (Bitcoin Cash can support blocks up to 8 MBs). It is also a rejection of the Segwit upgrade that Bitcoin adopted last year. For more information on Bitcoin Cash please see: www.bitcoincash.org
Is Bitcoin Cash interchangeable with Bitcoin?
NO. Bitcoin Cash is a completely separate currency. Just like with Litecoin, you need a BCH supporting wallet app on your phone or computer and/or a BCH supporting destination to use Bitcoin Cash. It’s very important to remember that….
Sending BCH to a BTC address, or the reverse, can result in the loss of your funds!
BCH began by using the same address format as Bitcoin, so it was impossible to tell the currencies apart just by address alone. While you may still run into old-style BCH addresses, much of the BCH community has now switched to a dedicated address format to reduce error and confusion.
Example Bitcoin (BTC) address: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa
Example new-style Bitcoin Cash (BCH) address: qp3wjpa3tjlj042z2wv7hahsldgwhwy0rq9sywjpyy
Most Bitcoin Cash addresses will now begin with a “q” or “p” and will be all lowercase. Only these addresses will be accepted at our ATMs! Please make sure you are using a compatible Bitcoin Cash wallet (see below).
How can I use Bitcoin Cash?
In addition to being another potential investment asset, it serves as a less expensive currency to transact with compared to Bitcoin. Network fees on the BCH network are often less than a cent per transaction while network fees on Bitcoin are currently about 15-40 cents for a standard size transaction. That is down dramatically from the congestion highs of 30-40 dollars per transaction in December. BitInfoCharts provides another comparison of network fees for four of the top currencies.
For merchants accepting BCH, AcceptBitcoin.cash is a good starting point.
Do I need a special wallet to use Bitcoin Cash?
Yes, you need a wallet app that can understand Bitcoin Cash, most of which also let you use Bitcoin separately. The Athena Bitcoin wallet does not support BCH yet, but it will in an update coming soon. While we cannot guarantee the safety or suitability of any of these options, we recommend that you look into the below choices. Of these only Edge, Coinomi, Jaxx, Exodus, and the hardware wallets can store your bitcoin, litecoin, and bitcoin cash all in one solution.
- Mobile – Android: Edge – Bitcoin.com – Copay – Coinomi
- Mobile – Apple iOS: Edge – Bitcoin.com – Copay – Jaxx
- Desktop – Windows/Mac: Exodus – Electron Cash – Blockchain
- Hardware: Ledger – Trezor – KeepKey (See note below)
Note: All three hardware wallets currently do NOT support the new address format and cannot be used directly with Athena Bitcoin ATMs without address translation.