ON THE SURFACE, bitcoin is having a very good year. Its price reached record highs well over $1,000 after years of stagnation following a major crash. But if you pull back the curtain, the civil war rages.
The global community of companies, coders, and opportunists who control bitcoin is now on the verge of revolt after more than two years of infighting. The bitcoin network is moving data at a painfully slow pace, and the community can’t agree on how to fix it.
So, one increasingly powerful group is threatening to “hard fork” the project. In other words: They could split bitcoin into two separate digital currencies.
The ongoing battle represents a fundamental flaw not only with bitcoin, but with so many other projects based on the idea of a blockchain, the underlying technology that makes bitcoin possible.