Bitcoin users face hours of Bitcoin Cash whiplash after miners fork off blockchain database

calendar iconAug 2, 2017


For a number of long hours on Tuesday 1st August 2017, all Bitcoin transactions were halted, leaving Bitcoin users in the dark about their B-wallet worth. In the words of Franz Nestler, "Bitcoin has become a victim of its own success". Now, let this sink in for a moment...

If we were to live in a bitcoin-only world (knock on wood), this kind of abrupt uncertainty would mean worldwide anarchy. Thank goodness for real cash, emirright?

The dramatic dive in the decentralised digital currency was a direct result of a new cryptocurrency coming to the foreground: Bitcoin Cash (BCC). Between 8.20-9.35am yesterday, a group of Bitcoin miners wreaked havoc on the cryptocurrency world when they dramatically split away from the Bitcoin blockchain for the first time in Bitcoin's nine years by creating a new cryptocurrency.  

'This means that transactions will take longer and thus become more expensive - in fact, the fast and favorable handling of payment transactions was the great advantage of the Internet currency Bitcoin.'
"Franz NestlerAuthor and Editor in businessFrankfurter Allgemeine

Before we continue, let's make something abundantly clear for the non-bit-literate mortals amongst us. Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, do not coexist in the same way as coins and banknotes... if there were to be a parallel, it would be as dollars and euros. They are separate currencies, that run on incompatible software. Interesting use of the word 'cash'... last we checked, real cash was notoriously more reliable than this. Hmph... 

The miners collectively began using a different database that is incompatible with the classic Bitcoin software. The idea, to allow for bigger blocks.

Bitcoin cash is a fork of the original Bitcoin blockchain: It's a new software that has all the history of the old platform, but is made up of eight megabyte "blocks" instead of one megabyte blocks... (Business Insider) 
"There seems to be some technical issues that might be slowing it down, but yes, the fork has happened,"
"Peter BorovykhArchitectBlockchain Driven

Excerpt from Business Insider UK

'How exactly it continues with both currencies is still unclear. By the late afternoon, no Bitcoin Cash had emerged from its own computing capacity - a reference to the lack of success. Only a few trading areas have supported the new Bitcoin Cash. Nevertheless, the dispute over the network lingered for hours: the trade was suspended, payments were not possible in Bitcoin.'

"We are in a new paradigm... People have been asking a lot of questions and we expect a lot of volatility."
"Sebastian Quinn-WatsonVenture partnerAustralian Cryptocurrency Exchange
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Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017