Volatility is already here. Bitcoin’s price went up some $300 yesterday, from $2,600 to $2,900, to then quickly free-fall down to $2,650 before stabilizing somewhat at around $2,700.
The quick rise in price may be in anticipation of the hardfork, which is to occur around 12:20 UTC in two-three hours, as speculators may have been buying bitcoin to get their Bitcoin Cash (BCC).
However, another reason may be an apparent Bitfinex trick detailed by Emin Gün Sirer, which has led to an all time high in shorts at Bitfinex as shorters try to play the way it is to distribute the BCC.
Those shorts eventually will have to close, so traders may have tried to front-run them, sending the price quickly up, until the resistance of $2,900 which bitcoin has failed to overcome for the third time now.
Interestingly, bitcoin’s price has held up and has even increased despite the now imminent hardfork, in contrast to ethereum’s experience last year which saw its price go down prior to the hardfork, followed by a rally once the upgrade was completed.
Which may suggest the market welcomes the fork as some uncertainty regarding scalability comes to an end with the two communities hopefully able to move forward amicably.
Although that does seem unlikely at this stage with the two communities still throwing mud at each other rather than focusing on their own projects.
But that may change. After nearly three years since inception, Blockstream might manage to launch a product and focus on building things rather than polluting Twitter and Reddit.
While BCC will have to sell itself, which means launching features that bring to life Nakamoto’s bitcoin, such as perhaps enforcing the first seen rule to make 0-confirmed transactions even more safe, bringing back the tagline of as good as instant and as good as free.
The two now will have to compete in the open market where words are usually hallow. And both will have to compete with ethereum which has been given the space to build things.
Neither will have a choice on whether to do so or not, but whether they can remains to be seen. However, one thing has now become clear.
The public blockchains picture has just gotten bigger and the race just a bit more interesting as Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum now go head to head for that number 1 market place.