Bitcoin: Prices fell throughout the weekend before rebounding
Tuesday July 18
9.55am: Bitcoin is continuing to bounce back, and is currently trading at $2275.12 as traders predict that a hard fork in the digital currency will be avoided.
A new software update known as SegWit2x had threatened to divide Bitcoin into two competing assets if enough miners had not supported it.
However, around 55 per cent of blocks mined in the last 24 hours were done so with SegWit2x, according to coin.dance.
If a total of 80 per cent of miners back the update over the next two days, the new code will lock-in, moving Bitcoin away from a split.
“Traders are excited by the prospect of a resolution to the scaling debate, which is why the price has rallied,” said Thomas Glucksmann, head of marketing at Hong Kong-based bitcoin exchange Gatecoin.
6:30am: The current value of Bitcoin now stands at £1663.41
The value if Bitcoin plummeted over the week but has since rebound
Monday July 17
10.45pm: The current value of Bitcoin now stands at £1661.87.
10.22pm: Micropayment startup SatoshiPay is to phase out its use of the bitcoin blockchain.
SatoshiPay CEO Meinhard Benn announced today: “We love bitcoin for its pioneering role in the creation of our industry but some blockchain networks it inspired have evolved faster than bitcoin itself, so we decided to move on to superior technology.”
7.39pm: Cryptocurrency exchange GDAX is considering temporarily suspending bitcoin trade after the August 1 software update.
“In either scenario we will implement safeguards to ensure the safety of our customers’ funds,” the exchange said on its website.
“This decision will be based on our assessment of the technical risks posed by the fork, such as replay attacks and other factors that could create network instability.”
5.51pm: A host of Bitcoin miners are already showing their support for Segwit2x ahead of another round of testing.
AntPool, BitClub, Bixin, BTC.com and BitFury have joined around 43 per cent of the mining pool to signal for the change.
The news coms from Coin Desk which is a subsidiary of the Digital Currency Group which helped organize the Segwit2x agreement.
3.36pm: Jon Matonis, Vice President of Corporate Strategy at nChain, says that Bitcoin has held up “relatively well” and that other alternative currencies could be using Bitcoin as a safe haven.
“Bitcoin prices are down approximately one-third from the most recent high of $2980 per bitcoin,” he said.
“This is less of a retracement than Ethereum (Ether) which is down approx. 70% from recent high of $407 per ETH.
“This is normal for bitcoin to retrace somewhat considering the quick run-up from April 2017 price levels.”
Mr Matonis also thinks that the upcoming hard fork could become dangerous for miners looking to mine on a minority fork.
“It would be equally dangerous for users to transact during that time period until the situation becomes clear for majority hash power chain,” he said.
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum were hit with a price fall
3.15pm: Ryan Selkis, a founding member of Coin Desk and Digital Currency Group has noted the harsh drop in bitcoin prices, but pointed out that the overall market is still up from the start of the year.
Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital has also said that he does not see any “value in focusing on day to day crypto price change”.
Mr Bogart thinks that the markets are underestimating the resiliency of the cryptocurrency.
“Historically, Bitcoin has had many periods of doubt and uncertainty, its resiliency has consistently been underestimated by the market,” he tweeted.
“While upcoming situation has me relatively concerned, I’m inclined to bet that the market is once-again underestimating BTC’s resiliency.
“That said, I think price goes lower before higher, hence “averaging-in”, start small and build as/if price trends down.”
2.06pm: OKEx, the Hong-Kong based exchange company will suspend Bitcoin trading between July 31 and August 2 to prevent risks associated with the upcoming hard fork.
In the event of a split on August 1, the company is promising blockchain users ownership of their coins.
“On OKEx contracts trading, for existing undelivered maturities, the calculation of the Index price will be the sum price of all Bitcoin types of the respective exchanges should they support them,” the company wrote.
“After delivery, new OKEx contracts will be tied to a particular version of Bitcoin, and OKEx will take steps to support contract trading for all types of Bitcoin.”
1.29pm: The current value of Bitcon stands at around £1,549.38 ($2,023.74) according to Coindesk.com
10.40am: The digital currency reached a low of $1843.53 yesterday (Sunday July 16) afternoon after free-falling throughout the weekend.
A week ago, on Monday July 10, the cryptocurrency was changing hands for as much as $2,536.53 – still 10 per cent down its price one month ago. Bitcoin was trading at $2,807.60 on June 20.
Prices have bounced back slightly this morning to $2,086.69 after opening at $1,938.94.
Wolf Richter, the financial blogger and author of the Wolf Street site, says that he expects Bitcoin to continue falling.
“Given the volatility, Bitcoin is not a usable currency,” he told CBS news.
“And given transaction costs, it’s a very expensive form of payment. And it takes a long time to process a transaction. So unless you’re trying to hide your identity, it doesn’t make economic sense to pay with Bitcoin.”
Jordan Hiscott, chief trader at Ayondo Markets, has warned that Bitcoin “could be in an asset bubble that may reach a crescendo within days”.
He compared the “astounding rise” to the technology bubble of 1999.
“This uncertainty and short-term speculation could lead to a deflating of the asset bubble,” he explained.
Bitcoin: The cryptocurrency market had fallen by 45.2 per cent on Sunday
Bitcoin was originally launched in 2009 with a value of less than a cent, and reached parity with the US dollar in early 2011.
The market has already crashed three times between 2011 and 2014, plunging by more than 50 per cent each time.
The total value of all publicly traded cryptocurrencies – including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple – has dropped by more than $10 billion since Friday.
The market reached an all-time high of $115 billion in June, but has since fallen 38.3 per cent to $71 billion as of 10am Monday morning, according to data from Coinmarketcap, after hitting a low of $63.2 billion on Sunday.
At the end of the month rival software updates will be released which threaten to split Bitcoin into two.
SegWit2x will be released on July 21, which changes how some data is stored on the network, and sets a timeline for doubling the network’s blockchain size to 2MB.
It is favoured by many developers and Bitcoin enthusiasts, and keeps the currency decentralised.
A competing update, Bitcoin Unlimited, will be released on August 1 and will allow miners to vote on increasing the block size, giving them effective control of the network.
Bitcoin Unlimited’s release will introduce a hard fork, splitting the network into two separate currencies.