The latest bitcoin activity has seen the price of the cryptocurrency shoot up to yet another record high. This time, the value of bitcoin has passed $8,000 ($6.038) for the first time in its history.
One of the possible reasons given for this price increase is the idea that the controversial Segwit2x upgrade could still go ahead. This planned hard fork was postponed on the 8th of November, after the idea split the bitcoin community.
There is the possibility that this split could result in a new bitcoin being created, joining bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold as well as the classic currency. This can be a tempting proposition for existing coin owners, as they would get given free coins in the new currency as well, although some analysts blamed the uncertainty over this potential hard fork as being behind last week’s price falls.
Segwit2x was originally planned for the 16th of November and was aimed to deal with the issues of increasing length and cost needed to deal in bitcoin. Current rumours suggest that this upgrade could soon be back on the agenda.
It has been suggested that a comparatively small number of bitcoin miners may attempt to push through this upgrade now. If enough of them get together and upgrade their software then they could force through a hard fork.
The rumours suggest that a new currency known as bitcoin2x could then be produced. Everyone who currently hold bitcoin will automatically get coins for this new offshoot.
At this point, it is possible that a relatively low level of support for the new coins could see it fail, as there wouldn’t be enough demand for bitcoin2x to make it viable. On the other hand, if it gains widespread support then it will become the 4th type of bitcoin to be available.
This uncertainty has apparently caused people to buy into bitcoin in the hope of getting free money, whereas last week it appeared to be turning people away from investing, causing some of them to sell up.
A 45% Increase Following Big Falls
The volatility of the digital currency can be seen in the fact that just last weekend the price fell to around $5,500 (£4,151) before rising again with a stunning 45% increase. In addition, it is only a matter of a few weeks since bitcoin smashed through the $7,000 (£5,283) barrier for the first time.
At the time of writing, the price had dropped slightly from $8,000 to around $7,500 before recovering again and reaching $7,894 (£5,982).
Naturally, all of these price fluctuations have had a big effect on the overall market capitalisation of the digital currency as well. For example, the recent flurry of price increases have seen it shoot up from $92 billion to over $133 billion.
The same volatility has been seen in bitcoin cash and bitcoin gold lately too. For example, bitcoin cash dipped as low as $884 (£667) yesterday before rallying and climbing back up to $1138 (£862).