To the surprise of very few who pay attention to cryptocurrency, there are cracks starting to show in BitCoin’s facade. Surprisingly, this isn’t due to the lack of central authority, the mysterious nature of the currency’s founder, or even the reputation of the currency itself. What’s tearing the currency apart is, oddly, the users itself. Now that the blockchain is starting to approach what some might think of as a critical mass, there are very clearly divided camps with strong opinions on the future of the currency. One side, the miners that have a bested interest in increasing the block size. On the other, the developers, who want to halt growth. As the two go to war, it is the consumers who are likely to suffer.
The Heart of the Argument
At the heart of the argument is, in essence, control. If miners have their way, Bitcoin will be able to handle more transactions and, in a sense, ‘get bigger’. If the developers win out, though, the currency will stay much the same – growing, yes, but at a much slower rate. Whoever wins the argument is going to be the party that ends up controlling the future of the cryptocurrency. While about 40% of miners are currently in favor of the growth proposal, one can only imagine what will happen as the numbers of each camp begin to grow even closer.
The Hard Fork
The much-feared scenario at this point is the so-called hard fork, the point at which BitCoin would have to split into two different sets of currency. The block size argument as it stands isn’t going away, and the two parties are unlikely to come to any sort of agreement. This will morph into what’s going to essentially be two blockchain sets, each of which has some claim on being the one true heir of the prime currency. This, as you might imagine, is when things might go wrong.
Consumer Confidence Crash
Because of the possibility of the fork, it’s the consumers that are going to suffer the most. There’s no central authority here – there’s none of the safeties that a currency like OneCoin, for example, has in place. If the split occurs, coins are going to be lost. People won’t know what’s the offshoot and what’s the true currency, and when confusion reigns the market will begin to falter. If the argument isn’t settled soon, the value of this currency will drop. However it ends up being settled, real problems have been discovered that will never be fully fixed.
This civil war is still in its early stages, and consumers should take note. Safer currencies like OneCoin are the best way to avoid the inevitable drop in value that is to come. The biggest problem with not having a central currency authority isn’t the lack of regulation – it’s the fact that changes can come down the pipe without any safety net. As things continue to develop, the world of cryptocurrencies will continue to change.