At the time of the software upgrade (also known as a fork) anyone owning bitcoin was also in possession of the same number of Bitcoin Cash units.[19][16] The technical difference between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin is that Bitcoin Cash allows larger blocks in its blockchain than Bitcoin, which in theory allows it to process more transactions per second.[20] Bitcoin Cash was the first of the Bitcoin forks, in which software-development teams modified the original Bitcoin computer code and released coins with “Bitcoin" in their names, with "the goal of creating money out of thin air."[21] In relation to Bitcoin it is characterized variously as a spin-off,[5] a strand,[22] a product of a hard fork,[23] an offshoot,[24] a clone,[15] a second version[14] or an altcoin. On 1 August 2017 Bitcoin Cash began trading at about $240, while bitcoin traded at about $2,700.[16]


The split originated from what was described as a "civil war" in two competing bitcoin cash camps.[18][29] The first camp, supported by entrepreneur Roger Ver and Jihan Wu of Bitmain, promoted the software entitled Bitcoin ABC (short for Adjustable Blocksize Cap) which would maintain the block size at 32MB.[29] The second camp led by Craig Steven Wright and billionaire Calvin Ayre put forth a competing software version Bitcoin SV, short for "Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision," that would increase the block size limit to 128MB.[26][29]


There are two factions of bitcoin supporters, that support large blocks or small blocks.[20] The Bitcoin Cash faction favors the use of its currency as a medium of exchange for commerce while the Bitcoin-supporting faction view bitcoin's primary use as that of a store of value.[20] Some Bitcoin supporters like to call Bitcoin Cash “Bcash,” “Btrash,” or simply a scam, while Bitcoin Cash advocates insist that their implementation is the pure form of Bitcoin.[20]