Bitcoin Cash, the most controversial coin in cryptocurrency, has made huge gains after being added to Coinbase.
Bitcoin Cash was created as the result of a controversial hard fork in August. Debate had raged for months over adding the Segregated Witness (SegWit) transaction protocol to Bitcoin. SegWit was intended to speed up transaction times, which have slowed down considerably as Bitcoin’s popularity has grown.
Anyone holding Bitcoin was automatically credited with an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash following the hard fork. However, users of exchanges such as Coinbase missed out on the bounty if the exchange their Bitcoin was stored on didn’t offer support for the new cryptocurrency.
That all changed within the last 24 hours as Coinbase added Bitcoin Cash to the select list of major cryptocurrencies available on the platform. Users who had held Bitcoin prior to the August hard fork were suddenly credited the amount of Bitcoin Cash that had previously been withheld.
Bitcoin Cash rose immediately following the announcement. On December 19, Bitcoin Cash was trading as low as $2,225. Less than four hours later, Bitcoin Cash was trading at $3,814.
Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin typically share an inverse relationship and Bitcoin fell sharply after the news broke. At its lowest point on the morning of December 20, Bitcoin hit $16,353. At its highest point on December 19, Bitcoin had been trading at $19,171.
Coinbase’s announcement is a huge boost to Bitcoin Cash’s legitimacy. Many ardent Bitcoin supporters have been extremely critical of Bitcoin Cash and its public face, Roger Ver. Ver was a major early supporter of Bitcoin and related projects including Ripple, Blockchain.info, Bitpay, and Kraken. His public support for the burgeoning cryptocurrency earned him the nickname Bitcoin Jesus. However, following the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, many began villainizing Ver as a Bitcoin Judas.
There has been a campaign among some in the Bitcoin community to drop ‘Bitcoin’ from Bitcoin Cash’s name. Those backing this campaign would prefer Bitcoin Cash be referred to as Bcash. Similarly, Ver and his supporters usually refer to the original cryptocurrency as Bitcoin Core.
The battle for the mantle of the one true Bitcoin has seriously been rebalanced following Coinbase’s move, which now allows the exchange’s huge userbase to buy Bitcoin Cash with major fiat currencies.
Another major news story related to the move is the emergence of claims that Coinbase staff had used foreknowledge of the announcement to profit from Bitcoin Cash’s sudden spike. Coinbase is currently conducting an internal investigation into the matter, as its staff and their immediate family are prohibited from using their inside knowledge to benefit from market movement. This comes at a time when Coinbase and other exchanges are taking an increasingly proactive stance against deliberate manipulation of cryptocurrency markets.