Bitcoin’s virtual currency code was split on Tuesday and generated a new clone called Bitcoin Cash, Reuters writes.
The initiative was headed by a small group of mostly China-based bitcoin miners – programmers who essentially operate the bitcoin network – who were not happy with scheduled improvements to the currency’s technology meant to increase its capacity to process transactions.
These miners, who get paid in the currency for contributing computing power to the bitcoin network, initiated what is known as a “fork” on Tuesday, where the underlying blockchain splits into two potential paths, creating a new digital currency.
The blockchain is a shared online ledger of all bitcoin transactions and has spawned a range of financial and business applications.
Bitcoin’s split has created a new competitor to the original digital currency, which remains the oldest and most valuable in circulation.
The creation of new tokens may speed up as less computing power will be required to mine new blocks, said Jeff Garzik, co-founder of blockchain startup.