Lauren Saccone
Updated Dec 21, 2017 @ 12:55 pm
Credit: Pexels

If you’ve been following the news, you know that Bitcoin is rapidly growing in popularity. But just as you were getting comfortable with the idea of Bitcoin, along comes Bitcoin Cash. What’s the difference? Which is better? Should you bother investing in either (or neither, as the case may be)? Don’t panic: We’ve got what you need to know on the difference between these two cuurencies.

What the heck is Bitcoin anyway?

A quick CliffsNotes on Bitcoin. It’s not only a cryptocurrency (a digital form of money), it’s also a worldwide payment system. Bitcoin is focused on remaining decentralized, meaning — unlike most traditional banks — it has no central management. It’s designed to be extremely secure, impervious to inflation, and protects your money from bank failure.

So what’s Bitcoin Cash?

Bitcoin Cash is an offshoot of Bitcoin. While it’s pretty similar to its namesake, there are a few key differences. While the original has made decentralized currency its priority, it’s notoriously slow at processing transactions. Bitcoin Cash is slightly more pragmatic. Its primary focus is to provide faster payments to anyone in the world with minimum fuss — though technically isn’t as secure from failure as the OG Bitcoin.

Which is best?

That’s where things get a little complicated. It really comes down to what you want from your money. If you’re looking to keep your digital currency safe from the world at large, Bitcoin is the way to go. If you’re more concerned about your payments going through quickly and inexpensively, Bitcoin Cash might be your best option.

Whichever you choose, tread with caution. Bitcoin is a relatively new and untried form of currency. While it can come with big rewards, it also comes with big risks. Do your research before taking the plunge.