Bitcoin Surges Past $4,000 For the First Time

August 14, 2017

 

About a week after moving some data off its main network in an effort to speed up transaction times, Bitcoin has surged past $4,000 for the first time, Bloomberg reports.

 

The crypocurrency peaked at $4,298 on Monday, Bloomberg notes, representing a 20 percent gain since Friday.

 

Bitcoin had been plagued by a split between developers and miners on the future of the world's largest digital lender. As bitcoin's popularity has grown, transactions on the network have slowed, leading a group of developers to push for quicker transactions, while the miners wanted to increase the block size, Bloomberg reports.

 

The solution to move some data off the network - called SegWit2x - was implemented last week. Meanwhile, the faction of miners who sought to increase the block size spun off and launched Bitcoin Cash, which "has neither disrupted its progenitor’s operations nor undercut its appeal," according to Bloomberg.

 

However, Bitcoin Cash could still prove a hurdle to cross going forward.

 

While SegWit2x has garnered enough support for activation, challenges remain. Its next stage involves doubling the block size to 2 megabytes some time in November, a possibility that’s still mired in debate. Reduced support could thwart this step, with some arguing that Bitcoin Cash -- with a block size of 8 megabytes -- has obviated the need for another “hard fork” to upgrade the bitcoin again, Hayes said.

 

The cryptocurrency’s staggering price surge has bolstered related businesses. Digital currency exchange Coinbase Inc. announced Thursday it’s received a $100 million investment. The supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million, compared with 16.5 million that had been mined as of Saturday, according to blockchain.info.

 

Bitcoin immediately rallied several weeks ago when the two divided factions signaled they were nearing a truce.

 

Photo: Getty iStock

 

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