BTC vs BCH

Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash

Both coins are very similar, but it's the differences that count.

Bitcoin Cash is the result of a bitcoin fork. It is extremely similar in many ways to bitcoin, but Bitcoin Cash has a few technical differences that make a big impact.

One difference, which has many significant follow-on effects, is the difference in block size. Bitcoin has a 1MB block size, while Bitcoin Cash has an 8MB block size.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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What does block size mean?

Blockchain transactions, such as those done with bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, are conducted on the blockchain.

You can think of each block as a vehicle that carries transactions to their destination. A transaction is concluded once a block arrives and parks itself in the chain.

If each transaction is a passenger, then bitcoin’s 1MB block size is more like a car, while BCH’s 8MB block size is more like a bus.

Larger blocks can hold more transactions, which helps process them faster.

The pros and cons of a larger block size

A larger block size is good news in that it helps process transactions a lot faster, but it also means a full node takes up a lot more data storage space.

A full node is required to mine on the blockchain. It includes a copy of the entire transaction history for the whole blockchain. So as you can imagine, a larger block size comes with higher hardware and data storage costs.

One of the main arguments against a larger block size is that it leads to increased centralisation of a coin, and that the higher hardware costs mean only large mining groups will be able to profitably work on the blockchain.

What a larger block size looks like

It can helps to visualise what a larger block size looks like. Here are two snapshots of a few hours in the mempools of bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The mempool is where pending transactions are stored while they wait for a miner to hook them up to a block and make the transaction happen.

Specifically, these are what the two mempools were doing between about 8am to midday, Sydney time, on 21 December 2017.

The bitcoin mempool

btc mempool snip 8am-12pm


The Bitcoin Cash mempool

bch mempool 8am-12pm snip

Source: Johoe's Mempool Size Statistics


What am I looking at?

Each dip and spike on the top of the mempool shows a block being processed. In bitcoin, the 1MB block size just takes small bites out of the waiting transaction, starting with the ones with the highest fees. But the 8MB block size of Bitcoin Cash takes big chunks out of the mempool.

This is particularly important when there are "larger" transactions going through.

In this case, larger refers to the actual size of each transaction in bytes rather than the value of it. Certain additions like extra encryption will increase the size of transactions, while others like SegWit will decrease the size of each transaction.


Bitcoin vs Bitcoin Cash

Other differences are in the mining algorithm. At its inception, Bitcoin Cash had an easier mining algorithm.

What's mining difficulty?

Mining difficulty refers to how quickly a block can be discovered and attached to the blockchain. To solve a block, the miner needs to spend processing power on solving a complex maths problem.

By making the problem easier, blocks can be mined faster. By making it harder, blocks are mined slower.

On the bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash blockchains, fast and easy blocks are good for transaction times, but not necessarily good for the currency in the long run.

This is because miners are rewarded with newly minted coins for solving these problems and finding new blocks. If it's too easy, the currency faces too-high inflation rates and gets devalued.

Both BTC and BCH will get considerably more difficult to mine as they get closer to their 21 million coin limit.

For more on bitcoin mining, read our guide.

An easier mining algorithm was deemed to be necessary for BCH to keep a competitive edge against the more-valuable bitcoin and to attract the miners needed to run the network.

Soon this had the unintended side-effect of miners dipping in and out of BCH based on whether it was profitable at the time, leading to extremely unpredictable block times. Sometimes blocks would be hours apart (for very slow transactions), and sometimes they would come along within a few seconds of each other (for very fast transactions, but rapid inflation).

In response, BCH introduced a dynamic mining algorithm which would get easier or more difficult as needed. This helped introduce some more consistency to the BCH blockchain and keep more miners working on it.

Which is best?

Each is good at a different thing.

What bitcoin's good at

The high fees and slow transaction times of the original bitcoin are a deliberate, but somewhat unfortunate, design choice.

It's intended to keep the coin rare, challenging and valuable. The bitcoin community and developers are banking on bitcoin being a "store of value" for cryptocurrency as a whole, just like gold underpins the US dollar and other fiat currencies. No one actually uses gold as a currency, but it still offers liquidity and value.

The idea is that bitcoin could be digital gold.

Read our simple guide to bitcoin to find out more.

What Bitcoin Cash is good at

Bitcoin Cash was deliberately split away from bitcoin by a team who thought high fees and slow transactions would eventually destroy bitcoin. It was deliberately designed to essentially be bitcoin, except easy to send, receive and transact with.

Hence the "cash" part of its name. It was designed to be the spending money next to bitcoin's gold.

Get to know Bitcoin Cash better with this easy-to-understand overview.


Where can I buy bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash?

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Available Cryptocurrencies
Cash, BPAY, POLi, Cryptocurrency
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, ADA, XEM, LTC, XLM, MIOTA, TRX, DASH, NEO, XMR, EOS, QTUM, BTG, LSK, ETC, XVG & over 60+ more
CoinSpot is an Australian-based marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies.
Electronic Funds Transfer, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
AUD, NZD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC
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Bank transfer, POLi, Cash deposit* *Westpac Bank branches only
AUD, GBP, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, NEO
HiveEx.com is a global over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency brokerage specialising in high-volume trades of $10,000+.
Hive Empire Trading Pty Ltd is a related party of Hive Empire, which owns finder.com.au.
Cryptocurrency
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BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, PROPY, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi.pro is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Credit card, Debit card, SWIFT, SEPA, Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC
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Cash, Electronic Funds Transfer, POLi
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, XMR, XRP, ANT, REP, BNT, BAT, BTS, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DCR, DGB, DGD, DOGE & 35+ more
Buy a variety of cryptocurrencies through an Australian exchange platform through POLi, Cash or Electronic Funds Transfer.
Ethfinex Cryptocurrency Exchange
Ethfinex Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
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OMG, TRX, ZRX, SAN, AID, BAT, SNT, QSH, REP, DAT, TNB, RLC, EDO, AVT, ELF, FUN, GNT, RCN, YYW, SPK, MNA, SNG, IOST
With a focus on tokens linked to the Ethereum network, Ethfinex is an exchange listing several ERC-20 compatible tokens and is owned by the team behind Bitfinex.
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AUD, NZD
BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, POWR
A cryptocurrency exchange that supports Australian and New Zealand customers, where users can pay in NZD and transactions in AUD have no withdrawal or deposit fees.
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New account holders must now deposit fiat/crypto equivalent to US$10,000 to trade.
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AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
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JPY, USD, SGD, AUD, EUR, CNY, PHP, HKD, INR
BTC, ETH, QASH, XRP, BCH, NEO, UBTC, RKT, QTUM, BCH, DASH
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Cash, Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ADA
Use USD/EUR to buy bitcoin and Ether with credit card or cash on the Coinmama cryptocurrency exchange.
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Owned by the team behind QUOINEX, QRYPTOS is a global crypto-to-crypto platform which supports over 50 cryptocurrencies and offers negative trading maker fees to generate liquidity.
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BTC, ETH, LTC
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Cryptocurrency *Powered by atomic swaps
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*Note that while the platform is under development, it is expected to support BTC, ETH, REP, ANT, BAT, EOS, SALT, CVC, DNT, SNT & 20+ more
Launching in 2018, Altcoin.io is a decentralised peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange powered by atomic swaps. Sign up now for early access.
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Bank transfer, Cash*, Cryptocurrency *Cash deposits only available at NAB branches
AUD
BTC
Spendher is an app founded in Australia which aims to streamline buying and selling bitcoins on your mobile, offering options to deposit AUD through bank transfer or cash deposits.
Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
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This Polish-based exchange offers a variety of accessible payment methods, including Express Polish Post Office 24/7 service and Express DotPay.
Credit card, Debit card, OKPAY, PayPal, Skrill, SOFORT
EUR, USD, CHF, GBP
BTC
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Cryptocurrency, Payeer, AdvCash, Perfect Money, Capitalist, QIWI* Only available for RUB deposits
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Cryptocurrency, SEPA, SOFORT, MoneyPolo, Bank Wire* Domestic wire for CZK and PLN, SEPA only for EUR
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BTC, BCH, ETH, HSR, EET, DASH, FUEL, UBTC
An Australian cryptocurrency exchange, ACX enables you to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with AUD bank deposits.
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BTC, ETH, 18T, BUT, LXT, CDC, UUU, AAC, CNN, UIP, UC, GSC, IIC, MEX, EGCC, SHE
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BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, DOGE, NEO, XMR, POWR, DASH, PIVX, XEM, OMG, GNT & 500+ more
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Electronic Funds Transfer, SEPA, Wire Transfer *payment methods vary per country
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ACH Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer, SEPA * payment methods vary depending on fiat currency
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BTC, ETH, XRP, DOGE, XLM, ETC, STRAT, LTC, SC, DGB, BCH, LSK, XMR & 50 more
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USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, XRP
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Bank transfer, BPAY, POLi
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, XRP
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Cash, POLi, Flexepin
AUD
BTC, ETH
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AUD
BTC
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POLi
AUD
BTC
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Cryptocurrency
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BTC, USDT, ETH, EOS, AE, BTO, BTS, CAN, HLC, SEER, XAS
Recently launched in Australia in late 2017, XBrick now offers its services globally and users can download its mobile trading platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency
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XLM, BTC, BCH, USDT, OMG, ZRX, KIN, MOBI & more
Stellarport taps into the Stellar Decentralised Exchange to provide buyers and sellers with access to XLM and various other cryptocurrencies.
Cash
AUD
BTC
An Australian bitcoin broker which offers quick and simple trading where no signup is required.
Credit card, Debit card, SEPA, SOFORT, SWIFT, Skrill, Dotpay, Unionpay
AUD, USD, EUR, SEK, HUF, JPY, GBP, NOK, HRK, CAD, CNY, CHF, CZK, RSD, TRY, BRL, DKK, PLN, RUB, ARS
BTC
Offering payment options such as credit card, SEPA and SWIFT, you can purchase bitcoin from this European-based exchange with an array of fiat currencies.
Cryptocurrency, Wire transfer
KRW
BTC, BTG, BCH, DASH, ETC, LTC, EOS, XRP, ETH, QTUM, TRX, ICX, VEN, XMR, ZEC, MITH
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USD
TAAS, GNO, ANT, 1ST, HKN, BBT, WRC, AMM, OROC, CHSB, GLBX, BENJA
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Credit card, Debit card, Bank Transfer *GBP bank transfers halted
GBP, EUR
BTC
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Cryptocurrency
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BTC, BCH, RVN, LTC, ALQO, LCC, ECA, SMART, POLIS, BCO, COLX, IC, XP, BWK, HTML, QBIC, ZNY, DOGE, XSH, DASH & over 40+ more
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BTC, ETH, ETC, ZEC
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Cash
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BTC, DASH
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Available Cryptocurrencies
Cash, BPAY, POLi, Cryptocurrency
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, ADA, XEM, LTC, XLM, MIOTA, TRX, DASH, NEO, XMR, EOS, QTUM, BTG, LSK, ETC, XVG & over 60+ more
CoinSpot is an Australian-based marketplace that allows you to easily buy, sell or trade more than 100 cryptocurrencies.
Electronic Funds Transfer, SWIFT, Cryptocurrency
AUD, NZD, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC
Trade AUD and other fiat currencies against BTC, BCH or ETH at competitive rates.
Cryptocurrency
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BTC, ETH, HT, LTC, BCH, XRP, DASH, IOST, EOS, TRX, ETC, OCN, ONT, ELF, ABT, CMT, ELA, ZEC, PROPY, OMG & 75+ more
Huobi.pro is a digital currency exchange that allows its users to trade more than 190 cryptocurrency pairs.
Bank transfer, POLi, Cash deposit* *Westpac Bank branches only
AUD, GBP, USD
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP, NEO
HiveEx.com is a global over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency brokerage specialising in high-volume trades of $10,000+.
Hive Empire Trading Pty Ltd is a related party of Hive Empire, which owns finder.com.au.
Credit card, Debit card, SWIFT, SEPA, Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, RUB, GBP
BTC, DASH, ETH, XRP, ZEC
Use your USD, EUR or RUB to buy and sell cryptocurrency at competitive exchange rates and with high maximums for verified accounts.
Cash, Electronic Funds Transfer, POLi
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, LTC, DASH, XMR, XRP, ANT, REP, BNT, BAT, BTS, BLK, CVC, CLAM, DCR, DGB, DGD, DOGE & 35+ more
Buy a variety of cryptocurrencies through an Australian exchange platform through POLi, Cash or Electronic Funds Transfer.
Cryptocurrency, Wire Transfer
New account holders must now deposit fiat/crypto equivalent to US$10,000 to trade.
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, BTG, TRX, GNT, AVT, DASH, DATA, EDO, EOS, ETC, ETH, ETP, LTC, MIOTA, NEO, OMG, QTUM, SAN, USDT, XMR, XRP, ZEC, BAT, ZRX, FUN, MANA, SPANK, TNB, RLC, RCN, REP, ELF, AID, SNGLS, SNT, QASH, YOYO, MITH
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Cryptocurrency
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BTC, BCH, KCS, DRGN, DBC, XRB, ETH, PRL, LTC, SNOV, DENT, RPX, QLC, NEO, UTK, BNTY, ACT, POE, UKG, LA, LEND, VEN & 50+ more
Browse a variety of coin offerings in one of the largest multi-cryptocurrency exchanges and pay in cryptocurrency.
Credit card, Debit card
AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, CNY & 50+ more
BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC
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Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
JPY, USD, SGD, AUD, EUR, CNY, PHP, HKD, INR
BTC, ETH, QASH, XRP, BCH, NEO, UBTC, RKT, QTUM, BCH, DASH
A global exchange which offers users both cryptocurrency and fiat currency deposit options.
Cash, Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ADA
Use USD/EUR to buy bitcoin and Ether with credit card or cash on the Coinmama cryptocurrency exchange.
Credit card, Debit card, Neosurf, Cashlib, Trustpay, ePay
USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CNY, KRW, AUD, CAD, DKK, NOK, SEK, TRY, HKD, SGD
BTC, ETH, XRP, DASH, LTC, BCH, ETC, OMG, ZRX, CVC, BNT
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Cryptocurrency
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BTC, BCH, DRG, UKG, ENJ, TRX, LDC, MGO, AMLT, EZT, LALA, IPSX, FLIXX, STU, 1WO, TPAY, ETH, WIN, LTC, SPHTX, RKT, UBTC, ETN, ECH, QASH, NEO, HAV, XRP, ETC, STAC, FLUZ, VZT, XEM, XLM, VET, BMC, ONG, FDX, XMR, DENT, MCO, IND, GAT, ZEC, CAN, STX, QTUM, OAX, IXT, STORJ, MTN, REP, FCT, DASH
Owned by the team behind QUOINEX, QRYPTOS is a global crypto-to-crypto platform which supports over 50 cryptocurrencies and offers negative trading maker fees to generate liquidity.
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Perfect Money, SEPA, Wire Transfer, Payza, CryptoCapital, Money Polo, Payeer, Giropay, Yandex Money & more
USD, EUR, RUB, PLN, UAH
BTC, BCH, ETH, ETC, XRP, KICK, DASH, WAVES, ZEC, XMR, LTC, DOGE, USDT
A UK-based cryptocurrency platform that provides buyers with a wide variety of payment options.
Cryptocurrency, Payeer, Perfect Money, Qiwi
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, BCH, ETH, LSK, LTC, XMR, XEM, DASH, BCC, DBIX, CLOAK, EMC, NEO, TIME, SHIFT, STRAT, DOGE, DTR, DGB, VOX, ESC, MONA & 140+ more
Trade at an exchange that has an extensive offering over 160 coins and numerous fiat and altcoin currency pairs.
Credit card, Debit card
USD, EUR
BTC, BCH, ETH, XMR, ZEC, DASH, XRP, ETC, LTC, DOGE, XLM,1ST, ADX, AMP, ANT, BAT, BCN, BNT, BTG, CFI, CVC & 70+ more
Access competitive crypto-to-crypto exchange rates for more than 35 cryptocurrencies on this global exchange.
Cryptocurrency, SEPA, SOFORT, MoneyPolo, Bank Wire* Domestic wire for CZK and PLN, SEPA only for EUR
EUR, PLN, CZK
BTC, BCH, LTC
Trade fiat currencies and cryptocurrency at this European-based exchange with options to pay through domestic bank wire, SEPA and SOFORT.
OKPay, PerfectMoney, Yandex Money, Payeer, QIWI, Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, RUB
BTC, XRB, ETH, DCN, BCH, NIO, TRX, DASH, COB, DOGE, PRIX, DSR, XCPO, LTC, VERI, LOC, NUA, PKT, PPT, ICO & 80+ more
Supporting over 100 coins, you can exchange a variety of cryptocurrency pairs on this peer-to-peer platform.
Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
AUD
BTC, BCH, ETH, HSR, EET, DASH, FUEL, UBTC
An Australian cryptocurrency exchange, ACX enables you to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with AUD bank deposits.
Cryptocurrency
-
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Will Bitcoin Cash overtake bitcoin?

No one can say for sure, but you'll find a lot of strong opinions in both directions. However, bitcoin's transaction functionality seems to be the main issue.

For example, the first major Bitcoin Cash growth spurt came at the start of November 2017, following the news that the bitcoin B2X hard fork was cancelled. This hard fork was intended to solve some of bitcoin's transaction problems. When it was called off, people argued that the growth came from users trading their BTC for BCH.

The second major growth spurt came around the end of December 2017, when the bitcoin mempool had been clogged up (as above) for the better part of a month, and there was growing dissatisfaction with bitcoin's yet-to-be-released lightning network.

You will need to decide whether bitcoin's transaction functionality will continue to affect Bitcoin Cash's growth as well as consider what will happen if bitcoin ever solves these problems.


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