Bitcoin Cash Extends Slide as Hard Fork Drama Escalates
The selloff of bitcoin cash intensified Wednesday as speculation continued to swirl that the network was heading for a hard fork with potentially game-changing consequences.
Bitcoin cash reached a session low of $414.47, according to CoinMarketCap, extending its weekly loss to more than 25%. At press time, the BCH price was down 6.9% at $423 for a total market capitalization of $7.3 billion.
The share of the cryptocurrency market cap held in BCH has declined over the past three months. Today, roughly 4% of the $186 billion crypto market is represented by bitcoin cash, down from 5.4% three months ago and 6.8% at the start of the year.
Bitcoin cash’s total trade volume amounted to $350 million on Wednesday, with BitForex processing more than two-thirds of the transactions via BCH/USDT.
Hard Fork Looms?
Bitcoin cash has been the center of a PR firestorm after Craig Steven Wright, chief scientist at cryptocurrency development firm nChain, announced plans to launch his own version of BCH that is more closely aligned with the original blockchain. This immediately prompted speculation that BCH was headed for a hard fork – a fate that some say could spell the end of the network. Wright isn’t without controversy, having claimed to be the real Satoshi Nakomoto.
The hard fork debate intensified last week after Jihan Wu, the head of Chinese blockchain conglomerate Bitmain, accused a Japanese financial services giant of assisting Wright in his quest for BCH dominance. In a Sept. 6 tweet, Wu alleges that the investment arm of SBI Group is “attacking” bitcoin cash by supporting Wright’s attempted coup of the network.
“SBI threaten to attack BCH with their hashing power, to help CSW control BCH. They are bad people, and they will fail,” he said.
Some have argued that a hard fork would destabilize bitcoin cash and cause proponents to lose faith in the network. The debate initially began after developers announced plans to integrate smart contracts with new opcodes. This fork is being opposed by nChain, which is planning to launch its own network node software that will not be compatible with the previous proposal. The nChain team is supported by CoinGeek, a bitcoin cash miner that controls more than a quarter of the network.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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