Bitcoin falls, futures for new ‘bitcoin cash’ leap as ‘miners’ officially split currency


Bitcoin traded slightly lower Tuesday morning as digital currency miners officially completed the process to split the currency in two, according to Bitcoin Magazine.

Futures for the new “bitcoin cash,” an alternative version promoted by a minority of developers, briefly jumped 48 percent to $422, before giving back some gains to trade near $375 as of 10:09 a.m., ET, according to CoinMarketCap.

“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,” the online magazine said on its liveblog at 9:24 a.m., ET.

Bitcoin data website also confirmed the split.

Bitcoin cash futures 1-day performance

Source: CoinMarketCap

Bitcoin traded more than 5.5 percent lower near $2,710 after dropping to a low of $2,670 earlier in the morning, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency rose more than 10 percent in July and has more than doubled in value this year.

Digital currency “miners” could officially begin coding the new bitcoin cash blockchain after 8:20 a.m., ET Tuesday. Analysts had estimated the split into bitcoin and “bitcoin cash” would occur by around 10 a.m.

Direct holders of bitcoin should receive both versions of the currency after the split.

Bitcoin 1-day performance

Source: CoinDesk

Trading in bitcoin cash was still limited.

Kraken Exchange, which has about 10 percent of U.S.-dollar bitcoin trade volume, announced in a tweet Tuesday at 9:35 a.m., ET, that “Bitcoin Cash (BCH) trading is now live!”

The exchange had a webpage listing bitcoin cash, but no trades were listed as of 10:13 a.m., ET.

However, Coinbase said it will not support the new bitcoin cash. The firm operates the GDAX exchange, which said in an email alert it has temporarily disabled bitcoin withdrawals and deposits Tuesday “in preparation for the upcoming fork.”

Bitfinex, which has nearly a third of U.S.-dollar bitcoin trade volume, tweeted Tuesday morning that “We will stop processing $BTC deposits at noon UTC until the situation has settled. Deposits after that time will not be eligible for $BCH.”

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