Bitcoin Price Shakeup Continues as Bitcoin Cash Adds 150%

Bitcoin’s upheaval continued over the weekend, as the world’s No. 1 digital currency shed another 20% en route to three-week lows. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the recently spawned alternative to the original blockchain, has added a staggering 150% since Thursday.

Bitcoin Nosedives

BTC/USD was down another 12% on Sunday to trade at $5,863. Prices reached a low of $5,507 before consolidating at current levels. Since Friday, bitcoin has declined more than 20%.

At present levels, bitcoin is capitalized at $96.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The coin’s market cap exceeded $125 billion at the height of its rally last week.

Bitcoin Cash Makes Its Biggest Statement Yet

After months of mediocrity, BCH has surged into the limelight following last week’s cancellation of the Segwit2x hard fork. Bitcoin Cash was up 72% on Sunday to trade at $1,625. The coin has added more than $1,000 over the past five days.

BCH reached a high of around $2,380 over the weekend, levels that would have been unfathomable just one week ago.

Bitcoin’s latest reversal exceeds what many would call a healthy retracement following its record-setting run. The sharp swing below $6,000 suggests that the recent breakdown in price will be more sustainable as the market shifts from one extreme to the other.

BCH’s total market value briefly surpassed $30 billion this weekend, briefly surpassing Ethereum.

No Fork in the Road

The battle of the bitcoins was really no battle at all until backers of Segwit2x aborted their mission, citing a lack of consensus for the new protocol. When investors caught wind that the fork wouldn’t happen this month, they immediately loaded up on BTC before shifting gears to BCH.

Some interesting developments have happened since 2x was cancelled. For one, Bitcoin Cash’s hashrate has officially surpassed bitcoin’s, a sign that more processing power was being used for BCH.

Bitcoin’s forced split was scheduled to occur on or about Nov. 15 following months of heated dispute about scalability. The Segwit2x program was considered by many to be a strong solution to bitcoin’s block size debate. Backers of the proposed protocol believe bitcoin transaction blocks should be two times larger than current levels.

Interestingly enough, Bitcoin Cash emerged out of the same debate that divides the classic bitcoiners from those who back the new Segwit protocol. Its proponents view it as a store of value and means of exchange – something backer Gavin Andresen reminded his Twitter followers this weekend. As Christian Catalini reminded, there’s usually a trade-off between the two.

It didn’t take long for a rogue person or entity by the name of ‘BitPico’ to declare that Segwit2x would go on as planned. The group said it will carry out the fork regardless of what the broader market thinks.

As we saw over the weekend, the cryptocurrency market is highly prone volatility. Although the underlying trajectory remains up, multiple pain points continue to plague the industry. It remains to be seen whether Bitcoin Cash’s acceleration is a one-off or a sign of things to come. Previously, traders had complained that it was the bitcoin alternative’s intrinsic value was difficult to evaluate.


Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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