Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that reached record highs recently, traded more than 5% lower today after digital currency miners officially completed the process of splitting the currency in two. It dropped to a low of $2,670 earlier in the morning and then recovered slightly to $2,724. The digital currency was up 10% in July and has more than doubled its value this year.
The new fork is called ‘Bitcoin Cash’ and after the first block was mined, its value jumped 48%t to $422 for a short time before dropping back down to $317. Ethereum traded 5.5% higher today and reached $216.
Bitcoin Magazine, which was co-founded by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, said on its liveblog earlier today: “A Bitcoin block was just mined that's invalid for Bitcoin Cash nodes! [That] means the chain has now forked. Bitcoin Cash is one block behind.”
Kraken Exchange, responsible for about 10 percent of the US bitcoin trade volume, has announced that Bitcoin Cash trading is now live on its platform, though as of 10:13AM, ET, no trades have taken place. It seems that not all exchanges will support the new fork though, as Coinbase, another large cryptocurrency exchange, said it will not support the new Bitcoin fork.
Bitcoin power brokers have long disagreed on technical rules that should guide the cryptocurrency's blockchain network. Supporters of the newly formed Bitcoin Cash believe that the fork addresses some of the issues that have plagued Bitcoin lately, such as slow transaction speeds.