Yesterday, the popular Bitcoin cryptocurrency was controversially split into two, creating a brand new version of itself called Bitcoin Cash.
In a very basic way, it boils down to this – its blockchain was slowing down and one way to speed it up was to duplicate the existing blockchain ledger, but make the blocks eight times bigger. This is Bitcoin Cash, baby.
No one was really certain how the split would turn out and whether the OG bitcoin would drop in value, but now we’re starting to get an idea of how investors are reacting.
Since the split, bitcoin has dipped in value by about 4.15% at market open, something Sebastian Quinn-Watson – partner for a bitcoin exchange operator based in Australia – says could increase to 10% or 15% over the next 36 hours.
“People are selling their bitcoin positions and buying bitcoin cash as a proposition that it is the ‘new coin’ that has more value in the future,” he said.
In other words, people are losing their shit over the new cryptocurrency.
The big question is, will one branch of the currency starve out the other? It’s way too early to know for sure and when you compare the prices of the two, Bitcoin Cash has a long way to go. At the time of writing, bitcoin is worth $2,738.25 USD ($3,439.93), while BCC clocks in at $382.38 USD ($480.36).
A weirdly nerdy civil war broke out over the split, with one camp wanting the blockchain to remain how it originally was, which could have potentially made using the currency for small purchases unaffordable and totally inefficient due to the lagging processing times.
Those in favour of the split are keen to keep it accessible to everybody and while the changes cater to both parties for now, one could eventually come out as the dominant cryptocurrency.
It’s one hell of a time for digital currency, folks.