Following the subsidence of a proposed ‘hard fork’, investors have rallied excitedly around bitcoin and sent it soaring towards $8,000 per unit.
Bitcoin almost made it to $7,900 following the news that “SegWit2x” would not in fact come into effect. The motion was halted by members of top bitcoin exchanges who believed the fork could have wreaked fatal damage.
The “SegWit2x” upgrade that was set to spark the hard fork was masterminded by Jack Liao, a bitcoin mining sceptic.
The change would have brought about a currency that doubled the size of blocks on the blockchain that drives it, based on an intention to re-establish the digital currency as a truly decentralised option. Larger blocks would allow for more trades to be processed, making room for more people to engage in the trading of bitcoin.
Had the upgrade gone ahead, a new currency called Bitcoin Gold was set to be created in a situation not dissimilar to the recent creation of Bitcoin Cash, also caused by hard fork related to Chinese miners.
Following the price spike that took the currency to nearly $7,900, it soon dropped back again to in the region of $7,250. This recent period stands out as an exciting one in what has been an exhilarating year for bitcoin, having also just crossed the $7,000 mark for the first time.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017 has drawn the attention of a number of high profile figures; one example is Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, who does not look favourably upon the future of cryptocurrencies, expecting governments to eventually clamp down on them altogether.
Alternatively, the famous John McAfee said that banks and governments should be afraid of its rise, seeing it as a sign of the people taking back control from the establishment. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has warned regulators and central banks to learn about cryptocurrency.