What is the bitcoin fork? What will happen when bitcoin forks TODAY?

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Some of those who backed prior efforts aimed at raising the block size have since moved to support Bitcoin Cash.

Shortly after 12:20 p.m. UTC those opposed to SegWit are expected to launch an alternative bitcoin that they believe sticks to the vision that Satoshi Nakamoto had for a digital currency.

Miners have been able to mine for bitcoin cash since Tuesday morning. The original plan was to increase block sizes to 2MB each. But thanks to a recently deployed software hot fix, the world's leading cryptocurrency shouldn't suffer a fork - or split in the currency - and two experts say that's a pretty good thing.

All bitcoin transactions are recorded by a ledger, known as the blockchain, which is run by so-called "miners".

He said: "That bitcoin tree is going to continue to grow like nothing happened today". Then, bitcoin cash came along.

The actual level of support for Bitcoin Cash will be seen on August 1st when supporting exchanges open for Bitcoin Cash trading. And indeed there was; 24-hour bitcoin cash volume surpassed $2 million on July 27, although it has since tapered to about $850 million.

Since its listing, the bitcoin cash price has plunged on ViaBTC. We'll also see how the latest incarnation of the code will protect users from accidental transfer of both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. This hands off, wait-and-see attitude is exactly what Bitcoin Cash needs, as it is ultimately user demand and not blind speculation, either in favor of or against, that will ultimately determine whether or not the split succeeds. The solution is a fork of the bitcoin system: It's a new software that has all the history of the old platform - bitcoin cash blocks, however, will be 8 megabytes. He explained, however, that Bitcoin Cash may be short-lived.

"The price of bitcoin has risen ahead of the split on the expectation that you'll get that extra cash from bitcoin cash, so it should drop after the split", Hayter said.

On Tuesday, August 1, Erik Voorhees, the founder of ShapeShift.io, a Bitcoin exchange site, announced that what he is referring to as a "hard fork" between Bitcoin currency and cash, has happened. "In the event that only a minority of the network computing power supports one of the branches there is a potential for this weaker branch to become orphaned by the network or, in certain circumstances, for the forks to converge resulting in the "wipe out" of the weaker branch", said Christian Kourtis, senior associate at Gowling WLG, a law firm that specializes in financial technologies. Bitcoin cash already has a fairly solid wallet and exchange support, but the real test will be whether the miners get behind it.

Investors (or gamblers, depending upon your viewpoint) holding Bitcoins will end up with two sets of coins in their wallets.

Coinbase is one of the exchanges that it refusing to deal with bitcoin cash. Left unaddressed, the problem will severely hamper scaling and prevent Bitcoin from becoming a truly global currency. As of Monday evening, bitcoin prices were around $2,850, not far from its all-time high of just over $3,000. Morris told Business Insider that bitcoin cash was trading in the futures market for about $200 to $400 last week, suggesting that's the range it would fall in during regular trading.

As the new cryptocurrency will inherit the transaction history of Bitcoin, any Bitcoin that a user now holds will be represented within the new coin's block chain.

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