The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Bitcoin, hit an all-time high on Friday morning, November 17th. The coin managed to hit a price as high as $7,998.40, before falling as low as $7,535.85. This week alone has been incredibly volatile for the currency as the market capitalization has gone from $92 billion to upwards of $133.5 billion. This data is according to the website coinmarketcap.com.
Since Sunday, November 12th, the coin has gone up in value by a staggering 45%. One of the main issues with the currency that led to the extreme volatility was the cancellation of the SegWit2x update to the blockchain, which was scheduled for November 16th. This led to a large amount speculation, and thus an increase in the price at first, but then the coin quickly dropped as people were unsure of the stability of the currency. There have already been two forks this year alone, so adding a third would’ve brought a certain high level of instability to the coin. Although this hard fork was not fully wanted, the underlying need for it still exists.
The network that bitcoin runs on is increasingly becoming slower, and unable to handle the high level of transactions occurring. As of Friday, November 17th, Coinbase sent out a note to investors that the possibility of a fork may still exist. Given that Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, it made it a big deal. For the cryptocurrency world to exist, there needs to be the process of mining.
Miners as they are referred to, solve computational problems to essentially verify transactions, which can then be put through the system. With no miners wanting to get behind the fork, it might make it difficult for this update to ever come to fruition.