Bitcoin Splits, but Clone Off to Slow Start

  • NEW YORK — Bitcoin’s underlying software code was split on Tuesday, generating a new clone called “Bitcoin Cash,” but the new virtual currency got off to a slow start due to lackluster support for its network.
  • The initiative was headed by a small group of mostly China-based bitcoin miners – programmers who essentially operate the bitcoin network – who were not happy with scheduled improvements to the currency’s technology meant to increase its capacity to process transactions.
  • These miners, who get paid in the currency for contributing computing power to the bitcoin network, initiated what is known as a “fork” on Tuesday, where the underlying blockchain splits into two potential paths, creating a new digital currency.
  • The blockchain is a shared online ledger of all bitcoin transactions and has spawned a range of financial and business applications.
  • Bitcoin’s split has created a new competitor to the original digital currency, which remains the oldest and most valuable in circulation.

Bitcoin’s underlying software code was split on Tuesday, generating a new clone called
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A crypto-currency civil warMaking Bitcoin work better

  • But it is also top-down: Mr Nakamoto set not only the block size but other technical parameters, including the stipulation that there would only ever be 21m bitcoins in circulation.
  • To alleviate the system’s congestion, Mr Back and other leading coders, collectively called “Bitcoin Core”, have developed a solution to pack blocks more densely, using a technique known as “segregated witness”, or SegWit.
  • Bitmain is not only selling mining hardware, but minting bitcoin for its own account (Mr Wu claims he controls about 10% of the system’s computing power).
  • Whereas Mr Wu and Mr Back are surprisingly polite when talking about each other, the foot-soldiers in this fight haven’t pulled punches: mining farms have been attacked and the bitcoin system spammed to worsen congestion.
  • In response, Mr Wu in June released a “contingency plan” that amounts to getting rid of the developers: should the other side force his hand, he would extend a blockchain of his own and move to a block size of two megabytes—which would have led to a bitcoin split.

IN DIFFERENT circumstances the two people could be good friends. Each is rather shy and very smart. And each is passionate about bitcoin, a digital currency.
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The Economist explainsHas the bitcoin civil war come to a peaceful end?

Has peace finally come to the bitcoin market?? via @TheEconomist

  • Last week a majority of bitcoin “miners”—firms and individuals operating powerful computers that process transactions in the crypto-currency before they are confirmed—signalled support for an upgrade of the system to increase its capacity.
  • At issue is the size of a “block”, the name given to the batches into which bitcoin transactions are assembled before they are confirmed.
  • One question is what bitcoin should be: more like gold (smallish and secure) or more like cash (and comparable to a conventional payment system)?
  • Another is how decisions should be taken: by committee or by market forces (for example: making the version of the bitcoin software that is preferred by a large majority of miners the standard)?
  • And should it occur, bitcoin’s brand would suffer, perhaps fatally: it could lose its role as the anchor for other crypto-currencies to Ethereum, a rival system—an eventuality insiders call the “flippening”, which would occur when the value of the “ether” issued by Ethereum overtakes that of bitcoin.

THE crypto-catastrophe seems to have been averted: the price of bitcoin is moving back up towards $3,000.
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Bitcoin splits in technology dispute, with new clone getting slow start

Bitcoin splits in technology dispute, with new clone getting slow start

  • Bitcoin’s underlying software code was split on Tuesday, generating a new clone called “Bitcoin Cash,” but the new virtual currency got off to a slow start due to lacklustre support for its network.
  • These miners, who get paid in the currency for contributing computing power to the bitcoin network, initiated what is known as a “fork” on Tuesday, where the underlying blockchain splits into two potential paths, creating a new digital currency.
  • Yet only a small fraction of bitcoin miners have been contributing their computing power to the new blockchain, and it took nearly six hours for the first batch of Bitcoin Cash coins to be mined this afternoon, according to Blockdozer Explorer, a company providing data on digital currencies.
  • After the split, Bitcoin Cash has all the history from bitcoin’s blockchain, creating the same number of tokens, plus the new currency created.
  • People who held bitcoins before the split now have access to an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash for free, which they will then be able to trade for fiat currencies — legal tender such as euros and dollars — or other digital tokens.

Bitcoin’s underlying software code has been split, generating a new clone called “Bitcoin Cash,” but the new virtual currency got off to a slow start due to lacklustre support for its network.
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Bitcoin split in two, here’s what that means

  • After ongoing debates over how to scale the digital currency called bitcoin, some people have decided to make an entirely new currency called Bitcoin Cash.
  • Currently, there are an average of about 1,700 transactions that can be saved per bitcoin block, at about three transactions per second, Manain said.
  • It will only be successful if people decide en masse to create the blocks for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.
  • However, not all bitcoin exchanges (where people store their bitcoin) will accept Bitcoin Cash, and that could potentially hinder the widespread adoption of the new digital currency.
  • And in order for Bitcoin Cash to be used for mainstream transactions like buying coffee, businesses will have to accept it, regardless of whether they already accept bitcoin or not.

A new digital currency is born.
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Daily chartWhy it is closing time for so many London pubs

Why it is closing time for so many #LondonPubs  #dataviz

  • According to the British Beer and Pub Association, the total number of watering holes in Blighty has fallen by 25% since 1982, to 50,800.
  • The decline has been especially pronounced in London, where the total number of pubs fell from around 4,835 in 2001 to 3,615 in 2016.
  • Measured at the level of the city’s 32 boroughs, which have roughly 250,000 people each, he found two variables that were associated with greater levels of net pub closures.
  • With this caveat, he found that whereas the relationship between the original number of pubs and the proportion that closed was replicated at the ward level, the percentage of Muslims in a ward did not affect the number of pubs.
  • Returning to the borough level, areas on London’s periphery saw bigger percentage declines than those in the wealthy city centre.

THE public house, once a linchpin of British nightlife, is in decline. According to the British Beer and Pub Association, the total number of watering holes in Blighty has fallen by 25% since 1982, to 50,800. During the same period, Britain’s population has risen by 16%. Why are pubs falling out of favour?
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