Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Bitcoin Cash Had a Big Day, Hinting at a Deep Conflict in the Cryptocurrency Community

November 14, 2017

The fight for Bitcoin’s soul rages on. A polarizing proposal to split the currency in two was shelved last week, but that wasn’t enough to bring about a ceasefire in what has become a fierce battle.

This piece appears in our new twice-weekly newsletter, Chain Letter, which covers the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Sign up here—it’s free!

Over the weekend, it appeared that supporters of a proposed “hard fork” were flocking to a three-month-old cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin’s value plummeted, while Bitcoin Cash—itself the product of a hard fork that sent shock waves through the cryptocurrency world—made massive gains, quadrupling in value overnight. (Wondering what a hard fork is? See “Wait, Bitcoin Just Did What?”)

It’s part of a long-running and bitter dispute over how to upgrade Bitcoin’s software so it can handle more transactions, which many believe is necessary if the currency is ever going to be practical for mainstream payment applications. The hard fork that was supposed to happen this month would have broken with Bitcoin’s core developers—but it also would have addressed capacity issues by increasing the size of the “blocks,” the groups of transactions that make up the blockchain. (For more: “What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters”)

Having multiple hard forks in the space of three months is not a good look, and it underscores the tumult underlying Bitcoin even as investor exuberance remains in the stratosphere. Until this weekend, though, Bitcoin Cash had been very much on the sidelines. Now here it is, front and center, and it’s shown that under certain circumstances it can put a serious dent in Bitcoin’s value.

It’s too early to tell what this all means, really, except we can say for sure that the battle over Bitcoin is showing no signs of settling down.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Embracing CX in the metaverse

More than just meeting customers where they are, the metaverse offers opportunities to transform customer experience.

Identity protection is key to metaverse innovation

As immersive experiences in the metaverse become more sophisticated, so does the threat landscape.

The modern enterprise imaging and data value chain

For both patients and providers, intelligent, interoperable, and open workflow solutions will make all the difference.

Scientists have created synthetic mouse embryos with developed brains

The stem-cell-derived embryos could shed new light on the earliest stages of human pregnancy.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.