What is the Bitcoin Fork?
1 Bitcoin becomes 1 Bitcoin and 1 Bitcoin Cash as the parent chain spawns two different chains.
Why did this happen?
At the moment there are about 250,000 transactions taking place every day on the Bitcoin Blockchain. These transactions have to be clubbed into blocks by miners who are awarded 12.5 Bitcoins for their job. Every 10 minutes, a new block gets created and is added to the Bitcoin Blockchain. Each block has a 1MB size limit which fits about 4000 transactions. The recent Bitcoin Fork occurred mainly because the community was divided over this size limit. Bitcoin’s transaction times and fees slowly continued to increase due to this limit and the bitcoin community was divided over a solution to this problem. One side proposed to increase the size limit while the other one only wanted to keep important transactions on the blockchain while using an off-chain integration for other transactions.
Why should you care?
If you had Bitcoin before the fork, you now have an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Cash. While some exchanges don’t yet support Bitcoin Cash, that doesn’t mean your coin has disappeared. It is still on the blockchain and when the exchanges decide to support it, they should fund your wallets with the correct amount of Bitcoin Cash.