New virtual currency ‘bitcoin cash’ created

JIJI

A new virtual currency called “bitcoin cash” was created early Wednesday as a result of the split of bitcoin.

The market price of bitcoin briefly showed wild fluctuations following the split, but no major loss of customer assets has been confirmed so far, market sources said.

Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange operator BtcBox Co. started trading services for bitcoin cash on the day. One bitcoin cash traded at around ¥30,000 to ¥40,000 as of Wednesday morning, according to BtcBox officials.

In theory, the combined price of bitcoin and bitcoin cash is unchanged from the price of bitcoin before the split. Major Japanese virtual currency exchange operators are planning to take measures such as exchanging the bitcoin held by customers for the same amount of bitcoin cash.

But the price of bitcoin and that of bitcoin cash could start moving differently depending on their credibility, and trading volume and other factors at exchanges.

“The real price of bitcoin cash is not certain yet,” said Genki Oda, president of Tokyo-based virtual currency exchange operator Bitpoint Japan Co. His company will study trading rules after examining price movements, Oda added.

The split came after overseas virtual currency exchange operators found themselves at odds over a revamp of the trading system, following a surge in bitcoin trading volumes.

As no integrated entity similar to a central bank exists to control bitcoin, there had been concerns over possible confusion stemming from the split.