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Bitcoin continues to climb, hits new all-time high of $3,500

Bitcoin continues to go from strength to strength despite predictions of "chaos" after the blockchain forked on 1 August, creating the new Bitcoin Cash.

Uncertainty surrounding the fork caused the cryptocurrency to drop below $2,000 in mid-July for the first time in two months, with the software upgrade known as Segwit2x approved by the community to help address network limitations.

That upgrade was opposed by many, with former Facebook engineer Amaury Sechet saying that the upgrade does not go far enough to scale Bitcoin's capacity.

Sechet's faction launched the fork and created Bitcoin Cash; with early mining difficulties now dissipated, block production has accelerated from one per thirteen hours to one per hour.

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Bitcoin Cash raised some potentially serious issues for investors - some miners may well have been tempted to jump ship and turn to the new blockchain method, undermining the original Bitcoin.

Now, however, the price of Bitcoin has rocketed in the past three days, rising by $600 and surpassing the $3,500 mark - a new all-time record high - as Bitcoin still remains more profitable to mine than Cash.

Bitcoin from 8 July, 2017 to 8 August, 2017
Bitcoin from 8 July, 2017 to 8 August, 2017

As well as this, Tuesday has been dubbed SegWit lock-in day as the number of blocks needed to be mined to activate will be passed later that day. 

This upgrading in services will be delayed two weeks in a grace period which is designed to let miners upgrade their software so they can all change in unison - miners who have not upgraded risk losing their rewards as their blocks will not be compatible with other miners'.

Analyst Kay Van-Petersen is already predicting the next big rise of Bitcoin - he predicted that it will hit $100,000 by 2027. 

Van-Petersen calculated that cryptocurrencies will be used in 10% of average daily volumes of fiat trade which will lead to an increased market cap - up from $37.8bn to $1.75trn.

By that time, around 17 million Bitcoins will be in circulation, meaning each one will be worth around $100,000, but Van-Petersen has called these estimates "conservative."

Bitcoin's value from August 2016 to August 2017
Bitcoin's value from August 2016 to August 2017

 

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