Bitcoin Market Share at 52% as Hard Fork Looms

Bitcoin rose briskly on Monday, bringing its total market share above 50% as investors eyed an upcoming hard fork of the world’s leading blockchain.

Another Fork in the Road

The latest uptick in bitcoin partly reflects investors positioning themselves to capitalize on an upcoming fork in the blockchain. On Oct. 25, a group of cryptocurrency miners plan to fork the Bitcoin blockchain network, creating a new algorithm called Bitcoin Gold (BTG). Investors who own BTC before the fork will receive an equivalent amount of Bitcoin Gold after the chain split. This is an attractive bet for those of us already bullish on bitcoin.

The BTG developers plan to open a trading exchange by Nov. 1.  The goal of BTG is the same as any hard fork – namely, to improve the protocol. By forking from the current software branch and introducing a new version, Bitcoin Gold is taking aim at the current challenges facing the mining community.

The Bitcoin Gold project is being led by Jack Liao, who heads the Hong Kong-based mining firm LightningASIC.

Of course, whether or not exchanges support the newly minted currency is an entirely different question. Not all platforms were keen on supporting Bitcoin Cash (BTH) following the Aug. 1 fork. Coinbase was the most prominent example. The leading cryptocurrency exchange eventually made BTH available after its customers threatened to sue.

“We are planning to have support for Bitcoin Cash by 1 January 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time,” Coinbase announced back in August.

If recent history is any indication, it could be a rocky road ahead for investors looking to sink their teeth into Bitcoin Gold.

Bitcoin Rallies

The BTC/USD rose 3% against the dollar on Monday, reaching a high of $4,741.50, according to Bitstamp. Prices are in a firm upward trajectory, with $5,000 looking more like a possibility.

At present values, bitcoin owns roughly 52% of the $151 billion cryptocurrency market. The latest uptick in prices has discounted several leading altcoins, a sign that investors are looking to capitalize on the upcoming split

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi