Bitcoin hits fresh all time highs; Bitcoin Cash adds to gains

© Reuters. – Bitcoin surged to all-time highs on Thursday, as investors continued to pile into the digital currency amid rising expectations that it could soon hit $5,000, which would take its market cap close to $100 billion.

On the U.S.-based Bitfinex exchange, bitcoin rose to $4,726.9, up $162.3 or 3.56%, surpassing its recent all-time high of $4,644.2.

Following its recent rally, Bitcoin is set to close nearly 80% higher in August, boosting its market cap to $77.83 billion, highlighting the elevated demand for the largest cryptocurrency by market cap.

Over the past year, Bitcoin has surged more than 400%, easily outperforming US stock benchmarks such as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

In other crypto-currency trade, Bitcoin Cash rose $31.36, or 5.57%, to $594.86, but remained well below its peak of $935.50 while Ethereum, added 0.42% to $387.45

Bitcoin Cash was created as a result of a ‘civil war’ in Bitcoin, after a minority of bitcoin miners rejected the first part (SegWit) of a two-step software upgrade called SegWit2x – a proposal, which was adopted by the majority of bitcoin users, aimed at speeding up transactions on the bitcoin network.

Proponents of Bitcoin Cash believe that SegWit2x fails to adequately address bitcoin’s scaling problem.

Bitcoin transactions are limited to 1-megabyte every 10 minutes – or seven transactions per second. This compares to 2,000 per second for Visa and means that at peak times bitcoin transactions can take hours to be fulfilled, inhibiting the currency.

The Bitcoin Cash blockchain supports an 8-megabytes block size whereas SegWit moves transaction data outside of the block on a parallel track. The second step of the SegWit2x update due later this year aims to double bitcoin’s block size to 2-megabytes.

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