Splitcoin: Two rival bitcoin currencies now exist, but what does that mean?

To the mines

To the mines

Users and supporters of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency are awaiting a change set to take place on Tuesday that marks a first in its history, as a group of insiders plan to put their resources behind an incompatible "fork" called Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin split into two separate currencies on Tuesday because part of the Bitcoin community isn't happy with recent and planned changes to the code that controls the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is collectively valued at $47 billion, but remains a niche product.

Some digital currency exchange operators- including Coinbase and Bitstamp - have said they won't support bitcoin cash. The digital currency rose more than 10 percent in July and has more than doubled in value this year. "It just sounds bad; we're not used to currencies that split into two".

Although all bitcoin holders are expected to receive tokens of bitcoin cash, not everybody will. What this did not do was prevent transaction from the Bitcoin network being replayed on the Bitcoin Cash network. This will slow down the bitcoin blockchain significantly. Blocks on bitcoin will take between 12-20 minutes.

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This is a rather peculiar event for a digital currency to go through, although it is not unexpected. "If demand is big we should consider adding it definitely.No one should lose Bitcoin Cash on our platform". This applies to all transactions - so transactions that move coins from addresses created before and after the fork will be protected.

The uncertainty surrounding Bitcoin Cash's chances has led to one futures market in Bitcoin Cash to value one coin as being worth about $267, a fraction of the $2,780 each bitcoin was trading at short time ago. Other compatible implementations are being worked on by the teams behind "Bitcoin Unlimited", "Bitcoin XT" and "Bitcoin Classic".

"Today's Segwit2x and Bitcoin Cash fork poses a risk for users of the cryptocurrency during the transition phase", said Christian Kourtis, Senior Associate at Gowling WLG.

Bitcoin.org last month warned of a potential split if consensus couldn't be reached on efforts to help Bitcoin scale better.

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Those who own bitcoin will continue to own the old version and also own the new "bitcoin cash."Some say the new won't hurt the old and those investors stand to benefit from speculative rallies following the fork". But others will not. Bitcoin cash is believed to have stronger technical specifications than the other proposals, but only has the support of a fraction of the mining community.

Bitcoin cash differs from its parent due to its size.

Bitcoin.com's store features a wide range of interesting Bitcoin-related products. Miners are incentivized with new bitcoins for their work, and if Bitcoin Cash looks healthy, earning some early could strike miners as a good bet. With no substantial enhancements compared with Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash is unlikely to be integrated into those same services, given the substantial expense for businesses operating them to do so. It depends on whom you ask. Its backers are sceptical that the Segwit2x plan will follow through with doubling the block size later on.

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