Bitcoin Is Forking, But Bitcoin Cash Hasn't Been Created Yet

A planned split of the bitcoin blockchain began on schedule on Tuesday, but at press time, no new blockchain had been created as a result.

AccessTimeIconAug 1, 2017 at 2:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:47 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The split of the bitcoin blockchain has begun.

Earlier today a subset of bitcoin's miners began operating a different software in order to create a competing cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. The move would effectively find a minority of users forging ahead with their own blockchain, one that shares a transaction history with bitcoin.

As previously reported, Bitcoin Cash – which raises the size of the network's transaction blocks while doing away with other capacity upgrades – is being advanced as an alternative to existing scaling efforts. Some of those who backed prior efforts aimed at raising the block size have since moved to support Bitcoin Cash.

Yet the split is far from complete.

The divergence started at approximately 12:37 p.m. UTC, according to data from, when the network reached block 478,558. It's here that Bitcoin Cash needs to process a block that is greater than 1 megabyte (MB) in size in order to seal the split.

Thus far, that hasn't happened, and some observers believe that it could take hours or more for that block to be created. In the meantime, the original bitcoin chain has continued, reaching block 478,570 as of press time.

Also possible is that, should no new blocks be found, Bitcoin Cash could be abandoned. So far, a major mining pool for the currency has attracted more than 1 petahash of mining power.

Market impact

Bitcoin markets, which rose to a high of $2,925.03 during today's trading according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), are currently trading at around $2,732, representing a decline of about 4.9 percent.

Traders had been preparing for the looming split, though in most cases, the prospect of receiving what is an effectively a doubling of coins – brought about as a result of the two networks sharing a transaction history as well as an identical key structure – was mostly seen as a benefit.

Futures for Bitcoin Cash (BCC or BCH), which have been listed by the mining pool and project proponent ViaBTC, are currently trading for roughly $384, according to

Saw image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.