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.
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.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.