Bitcoin split into two separate currencies on Tuesday because part of the Bitcoin community isn't happy with recent and planned changes to the code that controls the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin.org last month warned of a potential split if consensus couldn't be reached on efforts to help Bitcoin scale better.
Part of the effort, known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91 (BIP91), was accepted last month, and a split was averted.
But making the Bitcoin network faster and more efficient involves multiple proposals. The current source of friction, SegWit2x, has driven a wedge into the Bitcoin community.
Now in addition to classic Bitcoin (BTC), there's Bitcoin Cash (BCC or BCH), and those holding previously mined BTC can obtain an equal number of BCH in a process similar to a stock split, at least at some Bitcoin exchanges.
Support for Bitcoin Cash has come largely from digital miners in China, such as ViaBTC.
The exchange rate for each digital currency, however, is not the same. BTC is presently trading at around $2,750 on the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. BCC/BCH is valued at about $244, according to coinmarketcap.com.
Bitcoin Cash isn't yet actually available, but should be once block 478559 gets mined. Its future, however, remains uncertain.
So far, exchanges Bitfinex and Kraken have said they will accept Bitcoin Cash. Others, including Coinbase, Bitstamp, and BitMEX, are not currently supporting the variant currency. London-based exchange Crypto Facilities has posted a chart indicating the dispositions of various other exchanges. ®