A new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash appeared online in August 1st. It is the very first example of a growing category of money known as cryptocurrency. In Bitcoin's eight-year history, the original blockchain Opens a New Window in network underwent what's called a "hard fork."
About the split
The Bitcoin's split is the second high-profile cryptocurrency fork in the past year, after a smart contract Opens a New Window. Vulnerability and subsequent hack Opens a New Window which leads to a split on the Ethereum blockchain in 2016. By the result Bitcoin is classified into two Ether (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Bitcoin and Ethereum have been seen high-profile forks in the past year, spawning separate coins with different rules. The splits come down to diverging ideologies and the laws of the network consensus.
'Wow, Bitcoin just gave birth to a $10 billion baby,'" said Valkenburgh. " Enough people trading their Bitcoin Cash coins on exchanges and making the transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain and the market capitalization is really based on artificial scarcity. That's be the bad economics."
The impetus for the Ethereum fork was as much a dramatic hack and Ether heist rather than good 'ol fashioned network stress. The value and relative stability of both the ETH and ETC cryptocurrencies in the time since the fork shows the possibility for a successful path forward. Ethereum has been seen a number of hacks and security incidents as well. Last year South Korea's largest Ethereum exchange was hacked, and an Israeli startup's initial coin offering (ICO) was hijacked when their website was hacked.
Future of Bitcoin
The far support for Bitcoin Cash has been divisive among the Bitcoin exchanges, but the tide seems to be turning. Bitfinex and Kraken, two of the top five exchanges announced support in advance of the split. The big holdout had been Coinbase which is the most popular online exchange, which had stated it would not support BCH until announcing Opens a New Window and it will add support by 2018.