Abstract: In early September 2017, we published a piece on Bitcoin Cash (also known as BCash or BCH) and how one can analyse transaction data on the two blockchains involved in its split from Bitcoin to try to draw conclusions about the potential investment flows between the two chains. In this piece, we update the analysis with another three months’ worth of data.
Bitcoin had an initial lead over Bitcoin Cash in total coins spent at least once since the fork but Bitcoin Cash caught up in early September. Since then, both coins have been approximately neck and neck. As of 29 November 2017, 6.5 million Bitcoin and 6.3 million Bitcoin Cash coins have been spent at least once since the fork.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin (BTC) spent at least once since the chainsplit. (Source: BitMEX research, Bitcoin blockchain, Bitcoin Cash blockchain, Bittrex price data)
Although there have been several spikes, normally after a rally in the Bitcoin Cash price, the number of Bitcoin Cash coins spent each day (for the first time since the fork) continues to decline. In the last five days, the average daily first time spend has been just circa 19,000 per day, compared to lows of around 50,000 in August.
Bitcoin Cash coins spent for the first time since the split (daily). (Source: BitMEX research, Bitcoin Cash blockchain, Bittrex price data)
There is not much change in the two chains’ relative transaction volumes, a more normal metric compared to our somewhat convoluted “first-time spend since the fork” metric. The total cumulative Bitcoin Cash transaction volume is 5.5% of Bitcoin’s since the fork. Although this figure is increasing slightly, averaging 6.0% in the last 10 days.
Daily transaction volume of BCH and BTC. (Source: BitMEX research, Bitcoin blockchain, Bitcoin Cash blockchain, Bittrex price data)
In the first four months of Bitcoin Cash, 38.5% of all coins that existed at the time of the fork have been spent at least once on the Bitcoin Cash chain. This is a remarkably high figure, considering many millions of coins are likely to have been lost forever years ago.
Proportion of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) spent vs. unspent since the chainsplit. (Source: BitMEX research, Bitcoin Cash blockchain)
The data above shows that, after just four months, there may have been considerable investment flows between the two coins. Many supporters of each coin may have already made their respective investment/divestment decisions, and the future of each coin may now be determined more on merit or utility rather than on the opinion of the holders at the time of the fork.
We would like to remind readers that there are many weaknesses with respect to this analysis, the main one being that a spend on the Bitcoin Cash chain does not necessarily relate to a divestment.