Bitcoin had a wild weekend, as prices for bitcoin (BTC) got smoked while bitcoin cash (BCH) rocketed higher.
The weekend price action saw bitcoin cash hit a record high above $US2,600 a coin — after trading around $US300 in recent months — as the battle over bitcoin’s transactional capability continues to rage.
A short time ago, it had almost halved to around $US1,300, while Bitcoin remains more than $US1,000 below its levels above $US7,000 prior to the weekend.
Meanwhile, among the other major cryptocurrencies (measured by market capitalisation), investors have swung sharply into Dash coin today.
This monthly chart shows the scale of the move. After trading in a narrow range around $US300, a short time ago it had almost doubled to an all-time high:
The Dash network operates on a two-tier platform, split between miners and network “nodes” which approve new transactions.
To create an incentive system for nodes to help the network run smoothly, the value of each new block on the blockchain is attributed equally — 45% to miners and 45% to the master node. The remaining 10% goes into a joint pool of funds held by the network.
Last week, one of the platform’s developers announced a network update which will increase the transaction size for each block to 2 megabytes (MB).
That’s the size which bitcoin developers just rejected, electing to maintain a capped size of of 1MB, while BCH has an 8MB capacity.
The weekend price action reveals the prevailing stand-off among bitcoin developers around what the cryptocurrency stands for and how it should be used — whether it’s a store of value (like gold), or a faster, trustworthy and more convenient means of exchange.
Dash CEO Ryan Taylor has previously indicated he sees the cryptocurrency as more of the latter — an improved technology which allows for faster payments.
Either way, while the technology around the major cryptocurrencies continues to develop, it’s likely to remain as an asset class for the brave — offering the potential for big returns along with high volatility.