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March 20, 2017

Bitcoin value plummets over currency split rumours

Is this the end of the recent Bitcoin price boom?

By Tom Ball

The climbing price of Bitcoin has taken a knock over the weekend amid growing fears that the cryptocurrency will split.

Concern has been great enough to cause bitcoin value to suddenly tumble from $1,259 before the weekend, down to a low of $970 on Saturday. Cryptocurrency exchanges have set forth their planned response to the potential separation.

This kind of split would be regarded as a “hard fork”; this is considered to be a radical change of direction away from the previous version, and nodes running the old version will no longer be accepted.

READ MORE: Bitcoin price pans out higher than gold for first time ever

The contingency plans laid out by the exchanges involve letting users trade both the conventional bitcoin, and any other that moves in following the possible split. Bitcoin Unlimited is a well-known alternative that removes the 1 megabyte limit imposed within the core version.

This action would drastically decrease Bitcoin value as it would be split into two separate areas, making it less efficient to use.

Bitcoin is currently in this precarious position due to technical limitations of the network. Pressure has been applied to this area as the popularity of bitcoin has grown, and larger organisations want the service to be able to support their needs.

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Extensive and continuous debate has centred around block size, as this applies a strict limit on the data capacity that can be used in a set of transactions under the existing code used by Bitcoin.

Following the growth of popularity Bitcoin has experienced, processing times for payments have increased significantly.

Bitcoin is currently going through a rollercoaster period, as only very recently the cryptocurrency surpassed the price of gold for the first time. A unit of the currency at this point was priced at $1,233, climbing above gold which at the same time stood at $1,233 per ounce.

The price of Bitcoin had been gaining traction since 2015 when it was stabilised due to prices crashing in 2013 following the shutting down of a major Bitcoin exchange.

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