Bitcoin is looking increasingly likely to splinter off again in November, creating a third version of the world’s largest cryptocurrency as miners and developers pursue separate visions to scale its rapidly growing marketplace.
Major industry players, including the bitcoin investor Roger Ver known as “Bitcoin Jesus” for proselytizing on behalf of the digital currency, say consensus between opposing camps looked increasingly unlikely. That opinion was echoed by some of the biggest mining pool operators and also programmers -- known as “Core” developers -- who were instrumental to developing the infrastructure of the original bitcoin network.
In recent weeks, a group of miners -- people who crunch complex math problems to generate and transact the digital currency -- split off from the legacy bitcoin to use a new version known as Bitcoin Cash. Ver is moving some of his funds into the new offshoot as he anticipates what would be the second split of the currency of 2017. Ver admits he could potentially benefit from such a schism as more coins are created.
“There’s probably going to be another split between bitcoin legacy and SegWit2X version of bitcoin but that just gives me more coins that I can sell for the Bitcoin Cash version,” Ver said in an interview on Bloomberg Television at a conference organized by Bitkan in Hong Kong.
Bitcoin’s popularity has led to congestion in trade, with transaction times and processing fees at one point soaring to records. Debate over how to deal with the problem has divided the trading community, with some proposing boosting the number of transactions in each block that has to be verified by miners, and others advocating for moving some information off the main network.
One faction of the community is pushing for a network upgrade in November, which could lead to a split if no consensus is made.
Read more about the fracas over the fate of the currency