What is happening?
In what has been touted as the culmination of a multi-year scaling debate, on August 1, 2017 at 6:12pm UTC (block 478559) a new altcoin was created from Bitcoin. The new altcoin is known as "Bcash" (BCH) or "Bitcoin Cash" (BCC) depending on which wallet/exchange you ask. In order to avoid confusion with actual Bitcoin and other altcoins, we recommend readers refer to the new altcoin as "Bcash" (BCH).
As with all altcoins, Bcash is technically off-topic for the /r/Bitcoin subreddit. However, Bcash was created based on Bitcoin's transaction history, and therefore all Bitcoin owners should be able to retrieve an equal amount of Bcash with some effort. Your Bitcoins are just as safe as they were before the chain split, but you should take care not to compromise your private keys if you wish to retrieve Bcash. This is not urgent unless you wish to trade immediately. If you choose to retrieve your Bcash, please be aware that consolidating your UTXOs will impact your privacy on both chains.
In order to help readers navigate this confusing situation and minimize disruption of relevant content, /r/Bitcoin has dedicated this sticky thread where readers can ask questions or leave comments pertaining to Bcash. If you are wondering how to retrieve your new altcoin holdings, please read the discussion thoroughly as your questions may already have been answered. If you don't see a similar question, please be sure to mention your wallet method and preferred exchange so that other readers can help address your concerns. You are also invited to submit new threads to the /r/Bcash subreddit if you so choose.
If you would like to understand the motives behind this new altcoin, please read The Future of “Bitcoin Cash:” An Interview with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet.
A Beginner’s Guide to Claiming Your “Bitcoin Cash” (and Selling It) is a must-read for anyone feeling particularly lost.
But I thought we avoided a chain split?
For those of you who thought we avoided a chain split with the activation of BIP91 a couple weeks ago, here's a very loose summary of what happened on the Segwit (BIP141, BIP148, BIP91) front:
- Bitcoin Core team deployed Segwit (BIP141) last year
- Miners refused to activate Segwit via BIP9
- Users deployed UASF (BIP148 by shaolinfry) to require Segwit (BIP141) signaling by August 1st
- Miners activated BIP91 (by James Hilliard) on July 20th in response to UASF (BIP148)
- BIP91 complied with UASF (BIP148) by enforcing Segwit (BIP141) signaling ahead of August 1st
- Segwit BIP141 is expected to lock in on Tuesday, August 8th
- Segwit BIP141 is expected to activate on Monday, August 21st
- BIP148 activated successfully without any chain split
- Another altcoin called "SegWit2x" (B2X) may be created later this year, similar to Bcash but with less safety precautions regarding replay protection
Despite all the progress we're making in scaling Bitcoin both on-chain and off-chain, the Bcash crew has decided to part ways with the Bitcoin project by creating a new altcoin. The key differences are that they are attempting to gut Segwit from their forked client, as well as increasing the deprecated max_block_size attribute to 8MB.
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