For the uninformed, it may come as a surprise that Bitcoin split in two in August 2017 when the network forked. The event split the original Bitcoin blockchain into two distinct chains, referred to generally as Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core.
For an in-depth exploration on the split including how Bitcoin Cash was born out of the split, please read how Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin in this article.
For a visual representation of the Bitcoin fork in August, Reddit user “writingabout” made a wonderful illustration (which is embedded below) of the split highlighting three key different areas of importance in understanding what happened: misguided users, confused users, and the well-informed users.
For the first group of misguided users, they think that the Bitcoin blockchain diverged where one side soft-forked and the other hard-forked and that Bitcoin continued on as normal on the soft-forked chain. This logic is simply untrue using the argument that since there was a soft-fork it makes Bitcoin the “true” Bitcoin. The fallacy that soft-forks are preferred, and hard-forks are not, was debunked when Ethereum co-founder and Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin wrote that soft-forks are dangerous and coercive. Just because one side soft-forked doesn’t mean that it carried on as the true Bitcoin.
For the second group of confused users, they think that the Bitcoin blockchain split where one chain forked off from the other. Similar to the group of misguided users, this group of people believe that Bitcoin carried on after the fork as normal simply because there was a hard-fork event.
And for the third group of the well-informed users, you can see that Bitcoin split in August into two separate chains sharing the original Bitcoin history, splitting Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core. The original chain no longer continued on, but was split where one side carries on with a particular vision, while the other side has their own vision of what Bitcoin should be. Using this comparison chart, it is clear that Bitcoin Cash is the only version of Bitcoin that can be used as digital money as intended by the original design laid-out in the Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto.