December 28, 2017 Bill Still

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Bitcoin B2X Fork Today, 1955


Synopsis: Bitcoin has slowly drifted downwards in the last 48 hours in anticipation of today’s Bitcoin B2X fork. As the old soothsayer said: “markets hate uncertainty”, and that usually means a price decline until the uncertainty passes. In this case the uncertainty is how the markets will react to the Bitcoin B2X fork. This will be the 5th fork in the blockchain – the basic cryptography undergirding Bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies. Interestingly, all of these previous 4 forks have all occurred in the last 5 months. What is a fork? Bitcoin is just one of over 800 cryptocurrencies. They all ride on what’s called a blockchain – the underlying cryptography that makes them safe. This blockchain is open source. That means that it is a piece of software that is completely open to anyone’s inspection and is the product of many software developers around the world. When a group of developers think they have come up with an improvement to the existing blockchain, they put it out into the system as a fork. If it is accepted by the community, it becomes the new blockchain. If not, it is abandoned. Why this fork? To improve the system. Bitcoin is slow. The new fork will quadruple the original size of the blocks. That should slash transaction speeds down to 2.5 minutes. That’s still not yet fast enough to make everyday purchases, but a big improvement in the system.