To add to the fear, uncertainty and doubt clouding sentiment, there will be a further attempt to tackle the bitcoin scalability issue by implementing the SegWit2x proposal to improve transaction times and reduce fees. The hard fork is slated for 28 December and may add to volatility levels.
The previous attempt to implement SegWit2x was abandoned in early November due to “lack of consensus” and it is by no means clear if those behind the latest attempt ( http://b2x-segwit.io ) have the wide community support required among core developers, miners and industry representatives.
It is currently more expensive to transfer bitcoin than it is to wire fiat currency, with the latest transaction fee average coming in above $60.
If network users fail to allocate a high enough fee payment to their transactions they can find their bitcoin sitting in limbo for days in the “mempool” as miners pick up the business that has the highest fees.
This is all a far cry from the original Satoshi Nakamoto vision, as expounded in the bitcoin whitepaper that envisioned near-free and instant money transfers. There are currently 202,000 transactions pending confirmation, according to Blockchain.info.
Gary has been writing about cryptocurrencies since 2013 and currently works as the cryptocurrency analyst at interactive investor, the UK’s second-largest online investment platform. Gary contributes for Coin Intelligence News in a personal capacity and none of his commentary should be considered investment advice. Gary is the winner of the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2018 Cryptocurrency Writer of the Year. Contact Gary on twitter at: @gary_mcfarlane