November 17, 2017
BY Bhushan Akolkar - November 17, 2017 (www.coinspeaker.com)
In a fresh new twist in the plans of SegWit2x hard fork, there is every possibility for the hard fork to go through in the near time.
The much-debated SegWit2x hard fork was being officially canceled last week after several community leaders and a large number of miners withdrew their support due to lack of consensus. As a result, the hard fork plans were completely halted which meant that Bitcoin will not be splitting into two, as projected earlier. However, just a few hours back, there has been the latest twist in this story as Director of Comms @ Coinbase, David Farmer took it to his Medium-blog that there are still a small group of miners who are attempting to go ahead with the hard fork.
Considering the possibility of network instability in such a case and in order to protect the customer’s funds, Coinbase is likely to suspend the buying/selling of Bitcoins 2 am Pacific Time on November 17th, an hour before the fork which is projected to occur between 6am to 8am Pacific Time on November 17th. Once the fork gets initiated and confirmed, all the normal operations will resume afterward. As per the latest information available on blockchain.info, the total number of blocks mined currently shows to 494743 and the SegWit2x is scheduled to take place at 494784 which is pretty close from the existing position.
Earlier this month, Bitcoin prices scaled to new highs above $7800 mark, but however soon after the announcement of the cancellation of SegWit2x, the prices corrected majorly for a week. Later, Bitcoin managed to regain its lost ground and currently, it trades convincingly close to and above $7800 in past 48 hours. Now, as per the most massive bitcoin exchange, Bitfinex, Bitcoin has crossed the $8000 to hit a new record high of $8040 and its latest price on the exchange shows to be $7837.55. Moreover, the word regarding the new twist in the plans of SegWit2x is yet to spread and we think and we think that there is every possibility we might see Bitcoin trading well above $8000 very soon.
In the meantime, just when the plans of cancellation of SegWit2x were announced, Bitcoins first derivate Bitcoin Cash was gaining the limelight as its prices rocketed to new highs above $1900 as a lot of miners shifted to the BCH blockchain. Bitcoin has recently been hard forked to a new software upgrade in its Difficulty Adjustment Levels (DAA). Many believe that it has created a level playing field for mining activities between the BTC and BCH blockchains.
As the SegWit2x is approaching closer, we believe that there can possibly be a new fresh upward momentum to be seen in the Bitcoin prices. The SegWit2x is expected to improvise a lot of things on the scalability issues of Bitcoins.
By Arjun Kharpal - November 17, 2017 (www.cnbc.com)
- Bitcoin hit a new record high Friday and was within touching distance of the $8,000 handle
- Coinbase said that there was still a possibility of a planned Segwit2x upgrade happening that would cause bitcoin to split and create a new cryptocurrency
- The possibility of the Segwit2x upgrade appeared to be the catalyst for the rally
Bitcoin hit a new record high Friday, coming within touching distance of the $8,000 handle.
The cryptocurrency was trading at $7,998.40 in the early hours, U.K. time, according to industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin did pare some of those gains, however, falling as low as $7,535.85; it was trading around $7,750 by mid-morning.
It's been a wild week for bitcoin, which sold off heavily last weekend, falling to around $5,500. Since Sunday, the cryptocurrency has risen from that low to Friday's high, marking a 45 percent increase.
In that time, bitcoin's market capitalization, or the total value of the digital coins in circulation, has risen from $92 billion to $133.5 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.
The price dip last weekend came after an upgrade to the bitcoin network, SegWit2x, which was planned for November 16, was called off. The aim was to increase the transaction speeds of SegWit2x, which has increasingly slowed down over the years. If the upgrade took place, it would have caused what is known as a "hard fork," causing a new bitcoin spin-off to be formed.
Two previous forks have already happened earlier this year, leading to the creation of bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold.
But support for the Segwit2x upgrade waned, causing developers to call off its planned implementation.
This appeared to be the initial catalyst for the sell-off.
But on Friday, Coinbase, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said there is still a possibility of a fork.
David Farmer, director of communications at Coinbase, said on a blog post that a "small number of miners may attempt to go forward with a fork."
A miner is a key part of the bitcoin network. It is a person who runs a "node", or a high-powered computer that is able to solve the complex mathematical equitation required to verify bitcoin transactions.
If a large number of miners upgrade the software on their nodes, it could cause a fork. Farmer warned that this small number of miners still supporting the Segwit2x proposal could cause a fork.
If a fork happens, holders of bitcoin will receive the newly-created cryptocurrency called "bitcoin2x" for free, essentially giving them free money. That is why bitcoin rallied Friday.
Coinbase said that it will disable the function of sending and receiving bitcoin at 2 a.m. PT on Friday on its platform, and halt buying and selling an hour before the fork, which is forecast between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. PT.
All functionality will be re-enabled shortly after, Farmer said.
The Coinbase communications executive said that there are two scenarios that could occur. The first is that the new bitcoin2x network is unusable because there is not enough support, in which case Coinbase will not facilitate trading or withdrawals because "it will not be possible to move these assets." Farmer said that this is the most likely outcome.
The second scenario is that the bitcoin2x network is usable because miner support is strong.
Bitcoin has had a rocky year but the price has continued to rise and is up around 700 percent. But many critics have thrown cold water on the rise of the cryptocurrency, with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon calling it a "fraud". Regulators in some countries have also cracked down on bitcoin trading, with China banning bitcoin exchanges.