The Pull Request from your worst nightmare.
Here is the time line:
Some (potentially biased) information on the split.
On August 1st 2017, We the People will breathe new life into Bitcoin.
A group of miners, developers, investors, and bitcoin users will upgrade the Bitcoin protocol as specified by the User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF).
Those who do not want to follow our lead are free to use whichever chain they like. Miners implementing the UAHF will safely split away, creating a new version of Bitcoin called "Bitcoin Cash".
All current Bitcoin holders will automatically own Bitcoin Cash. The existing ledger at the time of the split is preserved, thus users retain any balances they had before the split.
Bitcoin Cash brings sound money to the world. Merchants and users are empowered with low fees and reliable confirmations. The future shines brightly with unrestricted growth, global adoption, permissionless innovation, and decentralized development.
These ideals can be achieved, but it depends on you to succeed. We need the support of miners, investors, and users like you. Join us to help achieve Satoshi's original vision of Bitcoin as Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash.
Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash is peer-to-peer electronic cash for the Internet. It is fully decentralized, with no central bank and requires no trusted third parties to operate.
Is Bitcoin Cash different from 'Bitcoin'?
Yes. Bitcoin Cash is the continuation of the Bitcoin project as peer-to-peer digital cash. It is a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain ledger, with upgraded consensus rules that allow it to grow and scale.
If I own Bitcoin, do I automatically own Bitcoin Cash too?
Yes. Because Bitcoin Cash is a fork of the ledger, that means you own the same amount of Bitcoin Cash as you did Bitcoin at the time of the forking block. However, if your Bitcoins are stored by a third party such as an exchange, then you must inquire with them about your cash.
How is transaction replay being handled between the new and the old blockchain?
Bitcoin Cash transactions use a new flag SIGHASH_FORKID, which is non standard to the legacy blockchain. This prevents Bitcoin Cash transactions from being replayed on the Bitcoin blockchain and vice versa.
Why was a fork necessary to create Bitcoin Cash?
The legacy Bitcoin code had a maximum limit of 1MB of data per block, or about 3 transactions per second. Although technically simple to raise this limit, the community could not reach a consensus, even after years of debate.
Was the 1 MB blocksize causing problems for Bitcoin?
Yes, In 2017, capacity hit the 'invisible wall'. Fees skyrocketed, and Bitcoin became unreliable, with some users unable to get their transactions confirmed, even after days of waiting.
Bitcoin stopped growing. Many users, merchants, businesses and investors abandoned Bitcoin. Its marketshare among other cryptocurrencies quickly plummeted from 95% to 40%.
Does Bitcoin Cash fix these problems?
Yes. Bitcoin Cash immediately raises the blocksize limit to 8MB as part of a massive on-chain scaling approach. There will be ample capacity for everyone's transactions.
Low fees and fast confirmations will resume with Bitcoin Cash. The network will be allowed to grow again. Users, merchants, businesses, and investors will return.
Why didn't Bitcoin raise the blocksize if it was easy?
Some of the developers did not understand and agree with the original vision of peer-to-peer electronic cash that Satoshi Nakamoto had created. Instead, they preferred Bitcoin become a settlement layer.
Many miners and users trusted these developers, while others recognized that they were leading the community down a different road than expected.
These two very different visions for Bitcoin are largely incompatible, which led to the community divide.
Which Development Team is In Charge of Bitcoin Cash?
Unlike the previous situation in Bitcoin, there is no one single development team for Bitcoin Cash. There are now multiple independent teams of developers.
This decentralization of development (and decentralization of software implementations) is a much needed and important step forward.