Bitcoin soars to record as buyers look past miner’s split

HONG KONG • Bitcoin extended gains to a record, ignoring a split in the cryptocurrency over its future.

The digital exchange rate jumped as much as 16% from last Friday to an unprecedented US$3,292.41 (RM14,092), even after bitcoin’s division last week.

The debate has revolved around how to upgrade its underlying technology, with a group of developers backing a solution called “SegWit2x” against miners — some of whom have created an offshoot called Bitcoin Cash — who want to increase the size of data blocks more drastically.

“The miner-orchestrated hard fork has had limited traction and will not impact the price or future development of bitcoin,” said Aurelien Menant, CEO of Gatecoin Ltd, a cryptocurrency exchange in Hong Kong, referring to the split.

“The activation of SegWit is a significant milestone in bitcoin’s technological evolution.”

The price of Bitcoin Cash has plummeted 62% from a record high reached last week to US$274, CoinMarketCap data show, bolstering the appeal of its older cousin. — Bloomberg