Protocols vs Ticker Symbols
“The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime.” – Satoshi Nakamoto - The Bitcoin White Paper
For Bitcoin to work as a reliable system for financial payments and blockchain applications, the protocol cannot change. Constantly changing the underlining protocol of anything can compromise validity of past payment transactions making it too difficult for developers and businesses to build applications on the platform.
The protocol developers using the BTC ticker symbol decided to fork off of the original Bitcoin Protocol and take their ticker symbol when they integrated Segregated Witness into their node software on August 1st, 2017. They have also further deviated from the Bitcoin Protocol by creating an off-chain payment channel system for processing transactions called the Lightning Network and using the Bitcoin Blockchain as a settlement ledger for Lightning transactions.
The protocol developers using the BCH ticker symbol decided to fork off of the original Bitcoin Protocol and take their ticker symbol when they integrated CTOR (Canonical Transaction Ordering) and OP_checkdatasig – both are deviations from Bitcoin’s original design - into their node software on November 15th, 2018. Then both on the first day of the hash war and also 3 days later (on November 18) at the height of the Hash War, they further deviated from Bitcoin’s design by adding Check Points to their new protocol (centralized decision making for developers, rather than miner consensus to decide the true blockchain).
Anything that deviates from the original Bitcoin protocol as described in the White Paper is no longer considered Bitcoin. This is why BSV is considered the original Bitcoin.
[Notably, it was the Ethereum community which first demonstrated that the legacy protocol for a blockchain project could be issued a new ticker symbol even though it represents the original approach. In 2016, Ethereum implemented a hard fork in its code in order to restore 3.6 million Ether tokens that were stolen in June 2016 from The DAO venture capital fund. This move was done after a vote and “rolled back” the Ethereum chain and transactions to their state before the theft of DAO tokens. Some Ethereum community members rejected this hard fork on the principle that the blockchain should not be subject to change in this manner and decided to keep using the original “unforked” version of Ethereum. This created a competing Ethereum chain – which acquired the new name Ethereum Classic and was issued a new ticker symbol ETC used by exchanges. But Ethereum Classic actually represents the original Ethereum protocol, even though it uses a new name and new ticker symbol. It was in fact the other chain that actually forked away from the original protocol but managed to keep the original Ethereum name and ticker symbol. Likewise, BTC may have kept the original ticker symbol and “Bitcoin” name, but BSV actually represents the legacy Bitcoin protocol and the original Bitcoin.]