On 1 August 2017, bitcoin hard-forked into two separate cryptocurrencies: bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Find out more about them, and how they compare.
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For years, bitcoin miners have been anticipating problems in the scaling of bitcoin, and its 2017 surge in popularity brought this to a head. Bitcoin traders were facing increasingly long approval times, and were obliged to pay additional fees if they hoped to speed up the process.
There was widespread disagreement within the bitcoin mining community over how to solve these problems. While some miners wanted to implement a scaling tool known as SegWit2x, others felt this went against the spirit of the cryptocurrency and preferred to expand the block size.
This disagreement ultimately led to a ‘hard fork’ in the blockchain, which enabled one group of miners to implement one set of changes to the existing bitcoin, and another group to create new rules altogether for its offshoot – now known as ‘bitcoin cash’.