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The big day is finally here: Bitcoin Cash is going to receive several software upgrades that are expected to help the network process more transactions than Bitcoin. Rather than taking place at a specific block height, the hard fork will begin today, May 15 at 16:00:00 UTC.

What can you expect from the hard fork? The new upgrades will:

  • Increase block size from 8MB to 32MB, allowing for faster transactions
  • Expand data carrier size to 220 bytes
  • Enable smart contracts

The team behind the upgrade recommends that full node clients and miners upgrade their software to Bitcoin ABC 0.17.1, which was released back in April.

It should be noted that, while this software upgrade is considered a hard fork, Bitcoin Cash holders will not receive any new coins, nor will a new cryptocurrency be created. If everything goes smoothly, the value of Bitcoin Cash’s old blockchain will be canceled, and BCH holders will be able to continuing using their coins on the new blockchain without a problem.

Bitcoin Cash supporters trust the network upgrade will make the coin more competitive and boost its appeal for mass adoption.

BCH shows modest gains

While most hard forks are usually accompanied by price surges, Bitcoin Cash seems to be struggling in this respect. The coin rose to almost $1,500 yesterday on news that popular cryptocurrency exchange Gemini would soon be listing Bitcoin Cash together with Litecoin (LTC) and Zcash (ZEC). However, Bitcoin Cash did not surge to the extent that both Litecoin and Zcash did.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin Cash is trading at $1,423, down more than 0.40% in the last hour alone. Although its price is still up 2.74% in the last 24 hours, it has not been able to hold or build on yesterday’s gains.

Bitcoin Cash charts

One of the factors that may be contributing to Bitcoin Cash’s price lag is that BL3P, the Netherlands’ largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced it will drop the coin following its hard fork. The exchange said it had been considering to stop supporting the altcoin, and the hard fork gave it a reason to go through with the process of removing it.

Nonetheless, with the countdown only hours away, traders remain hopeful that Bitcoin Cash’s network upgrade will bring an increase in trading volume and a boost in trading price. All of this depends on the success of today’s hard fork, and how it will be received by the crypto community.

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