Bitcoin Cash officially launched tonight, a controversial fork inspiring hordes of bitcoin users to swap traditional bitcoins for this new cryptocurrency. Some reddit users even deemed Tuesday “Bitcoin Independence Day.”
The build up has been dizzying. One of the world’s leading bitcoin exchange markets, Coinbase, had outages throughout the weekend “due to a large number of bitcoin withdrawals.” Some of these people were probably just securing their stash on hardware wallets, while others became early BCH users.
A BCH airdrop is already underway, giving away BCH for free to core Bitcoin holders. Stellar previously made the same move with its cryptocurrency, Lumens, so this type of giveaway isn’t surprising. Blockchain startups were hard at work Monday, gearing up for the network shift. Many cryptocurrency experts wished BCH separatists well on social media, despite a lack of confidence in BCH’s prospects.
“It seems like a pointless, political gesture,” Monero co-founder Riccardo Spagni told International Business Times. “I don’t think it will serve its intended purpose.” Although he respects many of the people involved with Bitcoin Cash, he considers the project unwise.
Spagni’s advice for bitcoin newbies is to “calm down and wait it out.” Bitcoin and BHC prices are both expected to oscillate for a while after the fork. “It could be months before the dust settles,” Spagni said. As for the political debate underlying BCH, wanting bitcoin to be used by as many people doing as many transactions as possible, bitcoin veterans have diverse perspectives on what the real future holds.
Many of bitcoin’s most passionate advocates believe cryptocurrency markets aren’t just about getting rich: It’s about “ allowing people to be free.” Blockchain tokens let people to transact without banks or governments verifying their identities and holdings. This gives users more financial autonomy than ever before. However, as the business-centric BCH split underlines, cryptocurrency enthusiasts adhere to a wide range of philosophies. Is the future of bitcoin really universal adoption? It depends on who you ask.
Many innovators want cryptocurrency to someday become a widespread conduit for daily transactions, such as buying coffee. People like Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin even believe…