12-26-2017: Segwit2x Hard Fork Expected December 28th

According to the Segwit2x project’s official website, the SegWit2x Bitcoin hard fork will launch on December 28th on block 501451. The project’s Founder and Lead Developer, Jaap Terlouw, stated on their site that the fork aims to address issues of “commission and transaction speed within the Bitcoin network,” adding that currently, Bitcoin is “almost impossible to use as a means of payment.” In total, eight exchanges are listed as official supporters of the fork. The top U.S. crypto/fiat exchange Coinbase is not listed as a supporter.

Last Friday, Bitcoin payments provider BitPay had announced that it is updating the minimum payment amount on its platform from $5 to $100. The blog stated “Bitcoin miner fees are now more than $30 per transaction on average … Bitcoin payments under $100 are quickly becoming impractical for users to send and for BitPay to process.” However, just two days later, the payment processor has retracted the change, returning the minimum invoice limit back to its previous value of $5. BitPay still shows no signs of supporting SegWit.

Dash saw a major price lift from a base of $274 on November 6th to a high of $1,570 this past week. Dash began 2017 at a price of only $11.26, bringing about 139-fold gains so far this year. Part of the price surge is due to software updates and bigger blocks. Some individuals migrated to Bitcoin Cash after the SegWit2x hard fork was canceled, however, DASH implemented 2mb blocks and hopes to get to hundreds of megabytes per block.

Lightning Network transactions have successfully deployed on Bitcoin’s mainnet, marking the first step in a tech upgrade, which will likely transform user experience. A testnet platform for Lightning transactions currently allows anyone to create a wallet and get a sense of how the technology works using test bitcoins (tBTC). Transactions using the tool complete in several seconds. And lastly, the South Korean Fair Trade Commission is conducting in-person investigations into 13 of the country’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges. Other government bodies are planning to undertake further measures aimed at protecting citizens who trade in digital assets.

NOTE: This is an emergent and evolving highly technical space. You should understand how involvement in this space impacts you and acknowledge all risks before participating or implementing any recommendations.

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