Bitcoin prices surged this week as an overwhelming majority of miners, the computer operators who maintain its network, backed a software upgrade that will boost the speed of processing transactions, likely averting a split that could have resulted in multiple versions of the digital currency.
Through an online voting mechanism, miners representing 99% of the cryptocurrency’s computing power, backed a new piece of software, known as Segregated Witness, or SegWit, that would boost bitcoin’s processing power without altering the underlying software, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
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The debate leading up to the vote marked a split that largely pitted miners and entrepreneurs, who wanted to increase block size and maximize bitcoin’s value as a payments network, versus developers who fear larger block sizes will increase operating costs for miners, driving some out and leading to more centralized control, wrote the Journal’s Paul Vigna.
Bitcoin prices dipped early this week on fears over a potential split. Bitcoin BTCUSD, +7.81% One bitcoin traded at $2,813 at midday Saturday, according to Coinbase, up nearly 40% on the week.
– Market Watch-