Bitcoin tokens sit next to a collection of U.S. one dollar bills in this arranged photograph in London, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)  

Bitcoin Cash Wars End With No Relief for Biggest Cryptocurrency

(Bloomberg) -- The Bitcoin Cash wars are over.

Over the past week, two factions tried to take over the network and the name of Bitcoin Cash, the world’s fourth-biggest cryptocurrency. The struggle created market uncertainty and drove down its price by almost 50 percent, contributing to the slide in Bitcoin as well.

Now the dust is settling, with Bitcoin SV on the losing end. In a web post Friday, Calvin Ayre, a billionaire representative of the group, said SV followers “no longer want the name Bitcoin Cash” but will continue supporting their own version of the network.

The other faction -- called ABC and pushed by the likes of investor Roger Ver, known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for his earlier crypto advocacy, and Chinese giant Bitmain -- will be in charge of Bitcoin Cash. ABC won a race known as the Nakamoto Consensus, in which computers that support the Bitcoin Cash network voted to go with either ABC or SV, which offered different technical improvements to the network.

“This is very convenient as the definition of winning is fundamentally different to each side so there is a win-win solution here,” Ayre said in the post. Bitmain didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Both Coins

All Bitcoin Cash investors who held the coin as of the time of the split on Nov. 15 should have both the new Bitcoin Cash and the SV coins. In the past, such splits have often led to appreciation of both.

Still, some computing networks, such as Ayre’s CoinGeek, will no longer support the main Bitcoin Cash, as they have done in the past, but will support SV instead. And CoinGeek doesn’t see ABC’s victory as a loss for SV.

“We have a clearly defined path and this is now ready for implementation,” Ayre said in an email. “Our definition of winning is SV existing, which was not what ABC wanted, and we are already moving on to grow the ecosystem.”

Even with the contest resolved, Bitcoin Cash is down by more than 5 percent in the past 24 hours, amid a broader crypto market rout.

Industry bellwether Bitcoin has lost more than 30 percent of its value since Nov. 14 -- a circumstance many have blamed on the Bitcoin Cash clash. Analysts said some companies moved their computers from supporting Bitcoin to supporting one of the two rival Bitcoin Cash groups, ABC or SV, as the Nakamoto Consensus played out. Worried about repercussions of the tug of war, some investors exited both coins.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.