Much like Ethereum’s July 2016 split into ETH and ETC, Bitcoin appears to be unable to avoid having a pair of currencies with ideologically-opposed proponents behind either side.
For much of the last week bitcoiners have been focused on, and at times celebrating, the activation of a rare and important scaling advancement called BIP 91. The hard-fought system upgrade has begun the process of Segwit activation, initially relieving fears of a hard fork that would lead to two competing versions of bitcoin.
At roughly the same time, however, the quiet launch of a Bitcoin clone without Segwit has been announced by the Chinese bitcoin exchange and mining pool ViaBTC. The company runs a top-ten Bitcoin mining pool and one of the newest bitcoin exchanges.
ViaBTC says that it will fork Bitcoin in little over one week’s time, creating a spin-off cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash (BCC). This fork is based on the idea of a User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF), first proposed by Bitmain in April as a “contingency plan” for BIP 148 (UASF).
Bitmain is a major investor in ViaBTC, and made a statement on Monday that it will continue supporting the Segwit2x agreement, but will closely follow the “BCC movement,” and does not rule out the possibility of supporting both Segwit2x and BCC.
The first iteration of the alternative coin, initially called “Bitcoin ABC,” was proposed at The Future of Bitcoin conference in Netherlands and is a software led by a developer who believes in increasing Bitcoin’s blocksize.
- Bitcoin ABC
Two days later, on July 17, ViaBTC stated their plans to create a product line and a new mining pool for what they called at the time “the possible split coin led by the activation of UAHF.” The proposed split will occur in a planned hard fork on August 1, at 12:20 p.m. UTC.
The young exchange also created a futures market for “BCC tokens,” which is only available to Chinese investors. At press time, BCC...