Bitcoin swings ahead of Tuesday's big decision

Hong kong bitcoinLam Yik Fei/Getty ImagesA sign is installed at first bitcoin retail store open in Hong Kong on February 28, 2014 in Hong Kong. Asia Nexgen, a Hong Kong based bitcoin exchange has launched a physical store enabling customers to purchase bitcoin and store it in their digital bitcoin wallets. Bitcoin Group HK and Hong Kong Bitcoin ATM plan to launch bitcoin ‘ATM’s machines in the area. in 2008 Bitcoin was launched as an alternative currency, with the commodity boasting the ability to be transferred without the need of the traditional monetary banking system.

Bitcoin traders are on edge as they await the outcome of the civil war that will decide the fate of the crytpocurrency. On Tuesday, core developers and miners will decide whether bitcoin remains as is, or if there will be a hard fork that splinters the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin is trading up 0.52% at near $US2,773 a coin.

Up until recently, it looked like everyone was on board with SegWit2x, a proposal that, according to bitcoin evangelist Paul McNeal, moves the threshold for implementation down to 80% and also allows for a small increase in the size of blocks on the chain to 2 MBs. That was until bitcoin cash, an alternative to both bitcoin and the SegWit2x version, entered the picture.

“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.”

For what it’s worth, the majority of bets placed in the gambling markets aren’t predicting a good outcome for bitcoin. Accroding to Ed Pownell, a company spokesperson at Bodog, of the 470 people who have wagered on the event, “310 people think the price will dip below $US2,000 per coin.”

Bitcoin is up 186% in 2017.

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.