A US government institute has claimed Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the “original” Bitcoin while Bitcoin itself (BTC) is a “fork” in a surprising official research into cryptocurrency.

In a document titled “Blockchain Technology Overview” from the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the US Department of Commerce, authors Dylan Yaga, Peter Mell, Nik Roby and Karen Scarfone claim that “technically,” the perception that BTC is the genuine version of Bitcoin is incorrect.

“When SegWit was activated, it caused a hard fork, and all the mining nodes and users who did not want to change started calling the original Bitcoin blockchain Bitcoin Cash (BCC),” they write.

“Technically, Bitcoin is a fork and Bitcoin Cash is the original blockchain. When the hard fork occurred, people had access to the same amount of coins on Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.”

The document makes for curious reading at a time when the cryptocurrency industry remains awash with propaganda and marketing activities from BCH and BTC representatives alike.

Confusion for new users in Bitcoin has increased following July’s hard fork due to some major resources in the industry, notably Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com, controversially allying with BCH.

More recently, two scandals involving BCH, mainstream news outlet CNBC and major US exchange Coinbase further dented BCH’s reputation.

The US government document nonetheless appears unfazed by both the events and the nature of Bitcoin’s hard fork itself, continuing on to provide descriptions of other cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin, authors say, is a “complement to Bitcoin,” while Ethereum Classic is underlined as the original version of “more popular” Ethereum.

Last Week, ratings agency Weiss also caused a stir when it delivered its first cryptocurrency ratings, giving Bitcoin a ‘C+’ and Ethereum a ‘B.’