So SegWit2x is dead, and there will be no hard fork next week. That’s the end of the controversy, and Bitcoin can continue taking over the world… right? Alas, nothing in Bitcoin is ever that straightforward. Here are a few factors that could still disrupt the harmony in the near future.
The Fork Is Dead, Let’s Party
For the “#NO2X” crowd, the end of SegWit2x was like V-J day in 1945. Literally like it, for some:
— Bitcoin is Saving (@BitcoinIsSaving) November 8, 2017
— WhalePanda (@WhalePanda) November 8, 2017
— BTCkhaleesi (@BitcoinKhaleesi) November 8, 2017
— Mad Bitcoins (@MadBitcoins) November 8, 2017
However, anyone who remembers their WW2 history probably knows V-J Day wasn’t the end for everyone — Hiroo Onada kept fighting for his emperor’s cause in the Philippines till the mid-1970s.
There are a number of reasons to believe those who oppose the Bitcoin Core and Blockstream vision for Bitcoin, with its 1MB block size limit and proposed transaction layers, will keep fighting too.
SegWit2x Futures Still Have Value
Sure that value plummeted from over $1,200 USD to $153, immediately after the official announcement that S2X would be postponed indefinitely. Since then, however, the value has actually climbed back and sits around $344 at press time. By rights, if S2x is dead, that value should be zero.
Wonder why #btc and segwit 2 futures are going up? Apparently, about 20% of #bitcoin mining power is going rogue and proceeding with the hard fork. I hope someday someone makes a movie about all of this. #cryptocurrency #blockchain #fintech $btc #Crypto #SegWit2x pic.twitter.com/fuEoOb8aQd
— Alex Melen (@amelen) November 9, 2017
It may be just wishful thinking, or echoes of denial from those who bought S2X Futures. There was outrage over at 4chan from some investors, who appeared not to understand that a futures contract is a speculative bet on an asset that may not even exist in the future.
Needless to say, there was little sympathy from fellow 4channers:
The persistent SegWit2x Futures value could also be a last desperate attempt by bagholders to pump the value and mitigate their losses. We’ll be watching that chart over the coming days.
Speaking of charts, over at data site Coin.dance, graphs still showed 77.78 percent of miners signaling support for S2X — although that figure is irrelevant if the fork isn’t going ahead.
There are also rumors that a percentage of miners do intend to carry out the fork. On the Linux Foundation SegWit2x mailing list, user bitpico claimed 30 percent of Bitcoin’s hashrate has “disappeared”, and will still support S2X.
Bitcoin Cash’s $630 Reminder That It’s Still Here
Bitcoin Cash (BCH or BCC) is probably the biggest elephant in the room here. Next week’s hard fork may have been averted, but perhaps the fork that mattered already happened in August. Bitcoin Cash value has also remained steady, even gaining — it’s currently $636.
Today Bitcoin failed to scale.
Bitcoin Cash is ready for @BitPay
— Bitcoin SV (@_BitcoinSV) November 8, 2017
Reddit’s r/BTC forum is infamous as a hangout for the “big blocker” fanbase, and in recent months a repository for Bitcoin Cash news. Members are openly calling for their fellows to abandon BTC Bitcoin entirely, and unite behind BCH.
Last week we reported that a Bitcoin version of “The Flippening” could occur in the event of an S2X fail. Dissatisfaction with Bitcoin’s chosen scaling solution could see a sudden or gradual shift in economic and mining power to the alternative. Bitcoin Core supporters will scoff, but The Flippening remains a very real, and some say likely, possibility.
Altcoins Stronger Than Ever
Alternately, supporters of various altcoin projects are now seizing the opportunity to pick up new users.
There were big gains across the board on CoinMarketCap today, with around half the top 20 currencies posting double-figure percentage gains. Even Ethereum’s ether, which has disappointed holders of late, jumped 5.6 percent to $314.
The thought of any altcoin snatching significant market share from Bitcoin would have sounded far-fetched a year or two ago. But in November 2017 we have $300+ ETH, $64 litecoin, $330 DASH and $115 Monero. Bitcoin will need more than just its history and reputation to maintain those $7,000+ records.
Bitcoin Itself Not Losing Value Yet
That said, BTC has not collapsed in the wake of the news — though it rose to over $7,700 and fell sharply after the S2X announcement landed, it’s still $7,385 at press time. The price is higher than it was a few days ago, when investors were still anticipating free fork coins.
Those investors, including several whales, are also now free to move their dollars and yen away from BTC, should they choose. Evangelist Roger Ver has (so far) been silent on the fork, but posted this message just a few days ago:
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) November 3, 2017
NO2X may be dancing in the streets today, but total victory is far from certain. Bitsonline will be keeping a close watch on all these potential disruption triggers over the coming months.
What do you think will happen to Bitcoin next? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Jon Southurst, Twitter, 4chan