LONDON — Bitcoin cash, the cryptocurrency that split off from bitcoin earlier this year, jumped to an all-time high against the dollar on Friday.
Bitcoin cash is up 30% against the dollar to $US870.90 as of 12.00 p.m. GMT (7.00 a.m. ET):
Analysts say the surge is down to developers abandoning plans for SegWit2x, a planned upgrade to the software underpinning regular bitcoin that would have improved transaction speed on the network.
Joshua Raymond, a director at forex and CFD broker XTB, told Business Insider: “The delay to Segwit2x has damaged confidence amongst bitcoin investors concerning the much-needed resolution to speed up bitcoin’s slow processing speed.
“Everyone was hoping the Segwit2x would address this but unfortunately, the delay due to a lack of consensus on the mechanics has affected confidence. Confidence on transaction speed in Bitcoin has deteriorated significantly in recent months. As Bitcoin Cash enjoys much faster transaction speeds, we have started to see a recycling of positions out of Bitcoin into Bitcoin Cash as a consequence.”
Bitcoin cash was created in August by “forking” the blockchain record that underpins bitcoin, creating a parallel network. Bitcoin cash allows for bigger “blocks” transaction to be processed, speeding up the network.
SegWit2x was a proposed update to bitcoin’s network that would have sped up transactions. However, not enough participants agreed on the proposal and its implementation risked “forking” the network again. As a result, the project was abandoned on Wednesday.
Bitcoin fell to a five-day low on Friday as people cycle into bitcoin cash. Bitcoin is down 3% against the dollar to $US6,893.98 at 12.10 p.m. GMT (7.10 a.m. ET):
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