Bitcoin is embroiled in a civil war and now the betting markets are weighing in on how it will end.
Folks on sports gambling site Bodog are placing their bets on bitcoin’s future price after an August 1 deadline that will decide the fate of the cryptocurrency.
For years, bitcoin powerbrokers have been squabbling over the structure of the blockchain network that underpins the red-hot currency.
On one side of this war, there are so-called core developers who want to keep the blocks that make up the network limited in their size to protect it from hacks. On the other side, are miners who want to increase the size of blocks to make the network faster.
In order to find some middle ground, some business executives and miners came up with a proposal known as SegWit2x. And up until a couple days ago, it looked like nearly everyone was on board with SegWit2x.
That was until bitcoin cash, an alternative to both the original bitcoin and the SegWit2x version, entered from stage left.
“Bitcoin cash basically came out of nowhere,” Charlie Morris, the chief investment officer of NextBlock Global, an investment firm with digital assets, told Business Insider.”A group of miners who didn’t like SegWit2x are going to opt for this new software that will increase the size of blocks from the current 1 megabyte to 8.”
As a result, a split in bitcoin on August 1, the deadline for Segwit2x implementation, appears to be very likely.
The majority of the 470 people who have placed bets on Bodog are convinced the price of bitcoin will fall after August 1, according to company spokesperson Ed Pownell.
“310 people think the price will dip below $US2,000 per coin,” he said.”The rest think it will be over $US2,500.”
No one placing bets on Bodog thinks the price will be in between $US2,000 and $US2,500 after the August 1 deadline.
“It’s a bit like a soccer match, people hate backing the draw,” Pownell said. “The middle is where people want to be.”
The price of bitcoin has been on a tear, up near $US900 since mid-July.
Get the latest Bitcoin price here.