Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Included Over 6K Transactions

Posted August 02, 2017

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 is distributed, and a consensus is needed to make changes to the code. It's called Bitcoin Cash, and would increase the block size to 8MB. Bitcoin is collectively valued at $47 billion, but remains a niche product. Before you invest hard currency into Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash, consider if you can afford to lose that money and proceed with caution. However, not all bitcoin exchanges (where people store their bitcoin) will accept Bitcoin Cash, and that could potentially hinder the widespread adoption of the new digital currency. We have absolutely no plans to integrate Bitcoin Cash at our machines at this time.

"The course of the summer has been a battle between competing visions", said Zaki Manain, an independent cryptocurrency expert. The bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger containing all the transaction data from anyone who uses bitcoin.

The future of digital currency needs competition - for investors, merchants and consumers. The bitcoin network can only support around seven transactions per second, compared with thousands per second piped through conventional financial networks such as Visa. In order to keep mining viable in the event of varying levels of support, the developers have introduced a way to rapidly adjust the difficulty of the algorithm used to mine blocks on the Bitcoin Cash chain.

The response of exchanges toward Bitcoin Cash has been mixed.

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As a prelude to the split, Bitcoin trading platforms like CEX.io suspended Bitcoin withdrawals beforehand. Shortly after 12:20 p.m. UTC, Bitcoin Cash forked from the Bitcoin blockchain, effectively creating a new cryptocurrency and airdropping coins to BTC holders. But others will not.

Since most bitcoin cash wallets will need you to provide your password or wallet's private keys before accessing the tokens, you need to be careful and tread with caution. Exchanges including Kraken and ViaBTC have said they'll support both, while others like Coinbase and Poloniex have said they won't, citing uncertainty that bitcoin cash will have lasting market value.

"Short term, I believe Bitcoin Cash will be around for some time, but in the long term, I don't see Bitcoin Cash going anywhere".

If the fork goes ahead, users will only be able to receive and sell the new token on certain digital currency exchanges and digital wallet providers, as several have decided not to support it, including Coinbase, BitMEX, and Bitstamp. 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.

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Defenders of the original design say too sharp an increase in capacity could raise the computer hardware requirements for contributing to the blockchain too much, opening the door to centralizing control in the hands of a few dominant players.

If less than 16% of bitcoin's current hash power transitions to Bitcoin Cash, the first block will likely take over an hour.

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