Bitcoin Averts Currency Split
Digital currency bitcoin on Friday averted a split into two currencies after its network supported an upgrade to its software that would enhance its ability to process an increasing number of transactions.
Bitcoin’s miners have signaled their support for the so-called Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91, avoiding a split of bitcoin into two blockchains. The miners represent a network of computer operators who secure the blockchain or a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions.
BIP 91 is the first step toward a larger effort to upgrade bitcoin through a software called SegWit2x. On Friday, the support for BIP 91 reached nearly 100%, exceeding the required threshold of 80%, according to analysts and market participants.
Some investors have warmed to bitcoin, wooed by its explosive performance and potential to compete with gold and government-issued money as a means to store value. Demand for bitcoin has grown in eight years to a market capitalization of more than $40 billion.
But fears about the bitcoin split dampened demand for bitcoin in recent weeks. After hitting record high near $3,000, bitcoin dropped as low $1,830 on the Bitstamp platform. On Friday, it traded at $2,647.