Daily Bitcoin News Update
Crypto prices are running hither and thither again. It has become the norm and we’re not complaining. On Wednesday morning, Bitcoin prices are routing even though we have good news to celebrate today. It just goes to show that prices are not true indicators of value anymore.
The good news is that following Coinbase‘s example, Bitfinex has likewise announced plans to adopt “SegWit” for Bitcoin. The two major crypto exchanges have chosen to integrate the new technology just as Bitcoin developers add SegWit as a key upgrade in the 16th iteration of Bitcoin’s code. The update 0.16.0 is slated to be released sometime in the coming days.
With the majority of the blockchain running SegWit, Bitcoin is going to hush up its skeptics. To make sense of this technical mumbo-jumbo, let’s consume this news by bit.
“SegWit” (shorthand for “Segregated Witness”) is a little tweak in Bitcoin’s blockchain technology that would increase the speed of transactions on its platform. Since SegWit takes the weight off the blockchain by unclogging it, the network, in turn, charges fewer fees to complete a transaction.
So SegWit is a two-pronged solution to Bitcoin’s problems. Not only does it solve the problem of slow processing speeds, it also cuts down on costs. Simply put, it makes Bitcoin more favorable to use as a monetary unit.
Mind you, crypto users have been abandoning Bitcoin as a medium of exchange in favor of rivals Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, which are much cheaper and faster to use for day-to-day transactions.
One Bitcoin developer identifies that the new Bitcoin update 0.16.0 will ultimately benefit BTC users. He said, “Native segwit support (bech32) is going to get much more adoption as a result of this update. This will reduce block bloat and encourage more wallets in the ecosystem to adopt bech32.” (Source: “SegWit Gets Its Big Debut As Latest Bitcoin Core Version ‘Introduces Full Support’,” CoinTelegraph, February 20, 2018.)
Chart courtesy of TradingView.com
Coinbase, which is the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world, has confirmed that it’s completed testing SegWit and will be making it available to users by next week.A quick reminder here that Coinbase has recently launched a payment processing service, “Coinbase Commerce,” which allows businesses to accept Bitcoin payments. By adopting SegWit, Coinbase increases the Bitcoin platform’s efficiency and delivers a quality product to its customers.
Rival exchange Bitfinex has likewise chosen to move to SegWit. Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino explained the move in the following words.
“By supporting SegWit addresses, Bitfinex is tackling three of the biggest crypto-enthusiast concerns: transaction fees, transaction speed, and total network capacity. We are delighted that through this implementation we can provide our customers with bitcoin withdrawal fees that are up to 20 percent lower, as well as faster-than-ever transaction speeds.”
(Source: “Bitfinex Adopts SegWit,” Medium, February 20, 2018.)
The adoption of SegWit will eventually pave the way for the smooth integration of the “Lightning Network” (LN)—another tweak in technology that would increase transaction speeds and decrease network fees manifold.
All in all, we’re welcoming the upgrade in a bid to see Bitcoin becoming the go-to digital medium of exchange. Our Bitcoin price forecast is upbeat ahead of the upgrade with a BTC price target of $15,000 for 2018.