The market cap of prominent blue-chip alt-coin Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has grown an additional ten percent in the last 24 hours, almost reaching US$30 billion, as the market awaits a hard fork planned for May 15. The price has also grown by around 10% across the same timeframe, breaking US$1,600.

Bitcoin Cash itself was borne from a hard fork of Bitcoin in a quest to boost its efficiency by increasing the block size from 1MB to 8MB. This hard fork, which will mark the dawn of a new full node blockchain named ‘Bitcoin ABC’, quadruples that number, resulting in a block size of 32MB.

Essentially, the block size limits the number of transactions per second that are able to be computed. Bitcoin still operates with a block size of 1MB, but solutions such as the Lightning Network would make this less relevant to its efficiency as the network attracts more usage. The Lightning Network would allow for transactions to be processed off-chain, allowing for an overall higher transactions per second.

But Bitcoin ABC is not just an increased block size. The hard fork will herald the introduction of smart contracts. Smart contracts are quite controversial for Bitcoin enthusiasts, as Satoshi Nakamoto eventually rejected building them into his blockchain citing security issues. The Bitcoin ABC development team are of the opinion that those issues are no longer a concern.

All major mining operations processing blocks on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain support the fork and will switch to the new protocol when it eventuates.

Currently, there is no definitive list of which exchanges will be supporting Bitcoin ABC. It is assumed that this will change in the coming days.

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