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The Bitcoin Price Record And The Buzz Lightyear Effect

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Bitcoin seems to have emerged the winner of the August 1 fork, having reached a new all-time high of $3,344 over the August 5-6 weekend. This is significant, not only in how well Bitcoin price record keeps going, but also in how well Bitcoin Cash is not. Last Tuesday’s fork let loose the new currency (symbolized both as BCC and BCH), and it rallied for a short period, doubling in value before starting on its rapid descent, in a style reminiscent of Buzz Lightyear’s ill-fated first flight through Andy’s house in the original Toy Story. For those who do not remember, it was the pivotal scene in which Buzz, after a short upwards trajectory, learns he cannot actually make it “to infinity and beyond,” and tumbles, incredulous, back to terrestrial reality.

The immediate surge in the value of Bitcoin Cash in those first hours was likely the result of speculators eager to cash in on the excitement of this new currency, especially with its bizarre entrance. Every holder of Bitcoin automatically received an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash, theoretically doubling their holdings. It is likely that many of the most sophisticated and well-connected investors did just that. It is suspected that at the very least, the people behind the WannaCry ransomware hack did.

However, many others, who held their Bitcoin at exchange houses like Coinbase, and certain online wallets, found themselves out of luck, frozen out of any trading opportunities due to an unwillingness on the part of these companies to either accept Bitcoin Cash, or release it. (Coinbase has since relented, and promises to handle BCC as of January 1, 2018).

The Bitcoin price record of this weekend highlights an ongoing resilience on the part of cryptocurrency’s most famous star. It has survived another challenge to its legitimacy, and has come out stronger. Investors have looked at its younger brother and have discovered there’s no “there” there, and they have refocused their interest on Bitcoin.

This is not to say Bitcoin Cash is doomed to perpetual squalor. The cryptocurrency business is nothing if not unpredictable. Much like its cousin, Ethereum Classic, the mechanical principles behind BCC may emerge victorious at a later date.

But the weekend belongs to Bitcoin. Not only did its surge become a Bitcoin price record, reaching unprecedented heights, it also shed some of its perceived stigma of being a criminal’s favorite laundering place. Bitcoin, it seems, is not as untraceable as it was made out to be, which has the potential to drive them to other cryptocurrencies, while making Bitcoin seem that much more trustworthy.

No one can accurately predict the movement of currencies like Bitcoin, of course, but it continues to accumulate “achievement badges” that collectively boost its credibility, and in so doing, build the very asset base that all currencies require.

A slow and steady ascent, punctuated by drops due to single investor sell-offs, or events like the August 1 fork, is still an ascent. The drops just happen at a higher altitude and don’t quite descend as far. Recovery rates are quick. It looks like a healthy currency.

Bitcoin Price Record To Be Beat? What’s Next? Another Surge? No! Another Fork!

But hold on to your hats, and your wallets. SegWit isn’t done with you yet. In fact, it’s only half done. SegWit – or more accurately, SegWit2x, is a retroactive protocol that was designed to improve the speed and capacity of blockchain miners by opening up the acceptable block size from 1 megabyte to 2 megabytes. SegWit2x is one of two Bitcoin Improvement Protocols that have been discussed and argued over for a couple of years.

The events of August 1 were the activation period of BIP 148, the protocol that was eventually “accepted” by the mining community, and because of this, the full SegWit hard fork will occur roughly 90-days later, in November. This, too may have adverse effects on the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, or it might not.

Like so many other areas of cryptocurrency, the outcomes of the next three months rests somewhere between the much-discussed roadmaps and timelines on one side, and the proclivities of the marketplace on the other.

In short, from most people who are not Bitcoin miners or programmers, November is the next date to watch.

However, the recent Bitcoin price record makes it unlikely that the currency will fall precipitously ever again. Its base seems to be solidifying like lava – tumbling on occasion, but overall building a much larger and more permanent landmass upon which others can build.

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