The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has forked and is now represented by Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and, while the underlying tech is mostly the same, the two currencies are very different.
To put it in as simple terms as possible Bitcoin Cash is an upgrade of sorts. The original Bitcoin network could only handle a certain amount of transactions, as the currency became more popular transactions slowed down and became more expensive.
The new arm of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash allows the network to grow. This is done by increasing the amount of data in each block in the Bitcoin blockchain.
Before yesterday Bitcoin could handle approximately three transactions per second with its 1MB of data per block, Bitcoin Cash ups that data per block to 8MB.
All previous transactions have been carried over so that duplicate transactions can’t take place.
The hope is that this fork will improve the speed of the network and businesses and investors that had left will return.
Users that had Bitcoin when the fork happened will now have the same amount of Bitcoin Cash as they had Bitcoin. The caveat is that your exchange or wallet would have to support Bitcoin Cash.
You can find a list of the exchanges and wallets that support the new fork at this link.
A slow starter
Once the split started Bitcoin Cash began trading at an average of $146.37 according to Reuters.
At time of writing that price is up to $405.74 with 42 100 transactions taking place in the last 24 hours.
Bitcoin on the other hand saw its value drop to $2 729 – down 4.6% from Monday. The currency has recovered slightly and is currently trading at $2 741.51 according to BitInfoCharts.[Image – CC BY 2.0 CafeCredit.com]