On August 1st at 2:12 PM EDT Bitcoin Cash (or BCH) officially split from the main Bitcoin network and mined their first block, which was also the first block greater in size than 1 MB to exist on either chain. This is a new cryptocurrency (with a larger block limit) that shares the same history with main Bitcoin up until August 1st. As a result, anyone owning bitcoin in a non-custodial wallet as of the morning of August 1st should have automatically received an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. Those owning bitcoin held in Coinbase or another online/custodial service will have to check with your service provider for their position on Bitcoin Cash.
Price-wise Bitcoin Cash started off in the $300 range and shot up quickly to the $600 level on some exchanges before dropping the rest of the week to the low $200s. It is currently above $250 for one Bitcoin Cash coin. CoinMarketCap.com is an excellent place to view the current Bitcoin Cash price in USD and BTC.
Exchanges such as Kraken and Bittrex are trading BCH for BTC and USD, and just recently ShapeShift.io began to support the trade of BCH to and from other cryptocurrencies. You can use ShapeShift without an account to trade into/out of Bitcoin Cash for smaller amounts. Be sure to pay attention to the exchange rate you are getting no matter where you go, however.
Bitcoin has also done well! The original coin has increased to over $3,300 as of this writing! Nobody really knows why the market averages move as they do, but the main speculation is that BTC is being driven up by sells of BCH. Also, the upcoming activation of Segwit later this month is something being anticipated by many on the original network.
Why Bitcoin Cash?
Bitcoin Cash's creators and main supporters disagreed on how to scale Bitcoin going forward. A rift between the groups over several years resulted in the formation of the Bitcoin Cash network. It is their intent for Bitcoin Cash to scale possibly faster and more simply than the main Bitcoin chain. This may mean that fees for sending BCH will be lower than sending BTC (currently fees on both chains are very low). We will see if Bitcoin Cash continues to grow and thrive or fizzle out over the next several weeks and months.
You might be wondering: "How do I access my Bitcoin Cash?"
Instructions are going to vary by wallet. We recommend you contact your wallet provider for guidance. Coinomi also offers a handy guide for most wallets out there. Those using the Athena Bitcoin wallet app can find instructions here: