THE crypto-catastrophe seems to have been averted: the price of bitcoin is moving back up towards $3,000. Last week a majority of bitcoin “miners”—firms and individuals operating powerful computers that process transactions in the crypto-currency before they are confirmed—signalled support for an upgrade of the system to increase its capacity. An alternative proposal, which was supposed to be implemented on August 1st, could have led to at least two versions of bitcoin. Has the “bitcoin civil war”, as some call it, come to a peaceful end after more than two years of infighting?
At issue is the size of a “block”, the name given to the batches into which bitcoin transactions are assembled before they are confirmed. It is currently set at one megabyte, which means that the system can only handle around seven transactions per second.