- 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.
@TheEconomist: Has the bitcoin civil war come to a peaceful end?
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