Bitcoin price heads towards uncertainty

Bitcoin has been comfortably treading around the US$4,000 – US$4,400 mark lately. It’s had its ups and downs, but for the most part has stabilised — at least momentarily. There’s never a dull moment when you follow the crypto markets.

However, looking beyond short term volatility, Bitcoin is heading for more conflict. The most recent bitcoin civil war resulted in the fork, or split of the currency. It’s why we now have Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

That fork was to ensure that bitcoin would be updated with SegWit. A feature that promised to make transactions faster, easier and cheaper. And, it was finally implemented yesterday much to the delight of the community.

However, there could be another fork in bitcoins future. SegWit2x is another upgrade that is trying to address the scaling problems that still plague bitcoins wider adoption. But, the two main entities that help guide bitcoin are at odds over whether or not to introduce SegWit2x.

Bitcoin core is the leading force behind what makes bitcoin decentralised. It’s software that users can download and utilise to become part of the bitcoin network. Core is maintained by a team of developers that are carrying on Satoshi’s (bitcoin’s creator) work.

Generally speaking they want bitcoin to succeed for its ideological reasons rather than profit. In other words, making sure that it stays decentralised and transparent. But, they need miners to make bitcoin work.

The miners are the people who keep production running, at its most basic anyway. By doing this they are rewarded with bitcoins. Therefore they will generally follow the money. Which is where the conflict comes into play.

Another bitcoin split?

The miners want SegWit2x to go ahead, while core do not. Which ultimately means that if an agreement cannot be met soon, bitcoin could be split in November.

However, unlike bitcoin cash, there is debate and confusion as to who is entitled to the name ‘bitcoin’. That name holds a lot of value. Naturally both sides want the name and intrinsic value that it carries. But because there is no authority to make a judgement, things could get nasty, and they already are.

Now this isn’t new for bitcoin, like I said the bitcoin cash scenario was very similar. There was plenty of vitriol thrown around then, and there is plenty now.

The concern though is whether or not this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We are certainly going to keep a close watch, especially in the lead up to November.

But keep in mind, even if bitcoin does implode — although unlikely — there are plenty of other cryptos waiting to dethrone it. And Sam Volkering, our crypto expert, has found one coin that could do just that.


Ryan Clarkson-Ledward,
Junior Analyst, Money Morning

Ryan Clarkson-Ledward is an Editor at Money Morning.

Ryan holds degrees in both communication and international business. He helps bring Money Morning readers the latest market updates, both locally and abroad. Ryan tackles all the issues investors need to know about that the mainstream media neglects.

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