Bitcoin could very well hit $6,000 by the end of the year. But with the Segwit2x deadline coming up in November, it will be a rough, gut-wrenching ride.
It has been quite the ride for bitcoin as several historic events unfold. And while experts believe that bitcoin will reach the $6,000-mark by the end of the year, the road to that peak will be rough.
A big event is coming up for bitcoin and this could cause even more volatility in bitcoin’s value. On August 24, the first phase of SegWit (Segregated Witness) was activated, where signatures are removed from transaction data to free up space for other transactions. Its second phase, called SegWit2x, is set to be triggered 12,960 blocks or 90 days after this activation. This falls in mid-November.
Segwit2x is a major upgrade on the blockchain that would increase bitcoin’s block size from 1Mb to 2Mb. But in order for this to succeed, Segwit2x must obtain 95% hash power in a span of two weeks before the deadline to trigger activation.
As of posting, Segwit2x has received a 95.1% support. But with over a month still left before the deadline and some miners threatening to reject the change, people are on the edge of their seats as to whether another split is on the horizon.
Some do not trust the key advocates of the fork, as it takes power away from small miners and gives it to big businesses. Among those who do not support Segwit2x is bitcoin’s core development team, Bitcoin Core. They believe that increasing the block size desecrates the essence of the “real Bitcoin.”
And without their backing, Segwit2x cannot garner the support of other players, such as banking and payment processor Bitwala. Last month, lending platform Wayniloans followed suit and withdrew its support of Segwit2x, and other companies have also opted to deploy on the bitcoin cash blockchain instead. Calls are also being made for Segwit2x supporters to switch to the bitcoin cash blockchain, saying the November fork will fail.
But despite this storm ahead, Gatecoin marketing and APAC business development head Thomas Glucksmann says their $6,000-prediction still stands: “Throughout the year we’ve been predicting the bitcoin price will surpass $5,000 and creep closer to $6,000 by year’s end. That prediction is looking more in line with market sentiment these days.”
In addition, CryptoCompare CEO Charles Hayter believes recent updates in legislation will be aiding the rise of bitcoin. As China bans ICO’s and cryptocurrency exchanges, Japan, on the other hand, has officially licensed 11 exchanges to operate in the country. “Bitcoin’s biggest price catalyst is regulation. Japan has breathed life into the price and as the fog of uncertainty clears in other jurisdictions, clarity on regulation will release a break on the price,” Hayter said in an email to CNBC.