jasper hamill

Bitcoin on the up as software update prompts cryptocurrency price surge
Bitcoin software update ‘lays foundation’ for further growth (Photo: AFP/ Getty)

The price of Bitcoin has surged this week after an upgrade to the software which powers the cryptocurrency network.

Bitcoin Core has just rolled out Segregated Witness (SegWit), which makes transactions cheaper and quicker.

The announcement appears to have caused the price of Bitcoin to shoot up, before it dropped again today. This price increase has been dubbed the ‘SegWit takeoff’.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is worth just over $10,530 – which is still higher than the important $10,000 mark.

Bitcoin on the up as software update prompts cryptocurrency price surge
The price of Bitcoin surged, before dropping back again (Chart: Coindesk)

SegWit solves some of the major problems with Bitcoin, which can only process a limited number of transactions every second.

It reduces the cost of transactions and makes the much speedier.

In a Medium post, the cryptocurrency exchange BitFinex wrote: ‘SegWit also lays the foundation for future Bitcoin development efforts, including the implementation of Lightning Network, which will allow the network to process millions of transactions per second.’

‘By supporting SegWit addresses, Bitfinex is tackling three of the biggest crypto-enthusiast concerns: transaction fees, transaction speed, and total network capacity.’

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Yesterday, the European Union threatened to regulate cryptocurrencies and clamp down on the trading of virtual coins.

Over the last year, some crypto investors have made fortunes from the wildly fluctuating price of Bitcoin or other forms of digital dosh, while other have endured heavy losses.

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