The price of Bitcoin set another record as it surpassed $3,200 for the first time since its release, only days after a feared network split, or “hard fork”, was finalized. According to CoinDesk data, the cryptocurrency saw a jump of approximately 16% during the weekend when it broke the record, while the current price is showing an even bigger increase.
Namely, the data shows that Bitcoin was being sold near to $2,800 last Friday when it finished the day close to this price range. But starting Saturday, the price began climbing rapidly and moved out of the $3,000 mark to end up over $3,300 by the afternoon. Bitcoin hasn’t been near $3,000 since June, hen demand from Japan and China reportedly drove the price over its previous highs. Currently, one Bitcoin trades close to $3,500, while its market capitalization is at $57 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.
The price surge follows a critical turning point for the cryptocurrency that happened August 1st, when Bitcoin’s blockchain was forced to split, creating a new virtual currency called Bitcoin Cash in the process. The “hard fork”, as the minimum community calls it, was activated after a much-heated debate over the scalability of Bitcoin, i.e. the size of the blocks in its digital ledger – the blockchain.
Only two scalability proposals gathered enough support from miners: SegWit 2x and Bitcoin Cash. On August 1st, the blockchain was split to accommodate both proposals, with Bitcoin Cash splitting as an independent cryptocurrency and the original Bitcoin awaiting the next phase in the SegWit2x proposal, which would increase the block size to 2MB in two months time, but only if the mining community rallies again to support the next step.
Speaking to CNBC, Ari Paul, CIO of cryptocurrency investment firm Block Tower Capital, said that the increase was due to a “relief rally” after the “relatively uneventful” split. According to Paul, buyers now see a “smooth road ahead for the next two months” considering the split has already passed.