Is the Upcoming Bitcoin Hard Fork a Bad Thing?

Is the Upcoming Bitcoin Hard Fork a Bad Thing?

For many in the cryptocurrency world, unless they have been hiding under a rock, they know that Bitcoin (BTC) is about to undergo a “hard fork.” The rationale is simple: the purpose behind cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin is to conduct transactions on the internet in a quick and efficient manner. Bitcoin though takes a while before its transactions clear. One underlying cause is due to the fact that Bitcoin’s blockchain at 1 MB block size is outdated and cannot support the amount of transactions in 2017 as it did back in 2008.

The fork, which will split Bitcoin into two cryptocurrencies, is supposed to address that issue. Bitcoin Cash (BCC) is supposed to utilize a new and improved blockchain at 8 MB per block. This will address the issue of a super-slow blockchain for the near future.

What some crypto investors are concerned about is that this will spell the end of Bitcoin as we know it, and that it’s worthwhile to invest in other cryptocurrencies or cash out. For investing in other cryptocurrencies there doesn’t seem to be much point as Bitcoin will always be the “mother” of all cryptocurrencies and if Bitcoin goes down, so will all others, better blockchain technologies be damned. To be clear, the blockchain technology will remain in use for other applications, but the perceived value of all other cryptocurrencies will drop, so the “end of Bitcoin” isn’t going to happen. As for cashing it out, that may be an investor’s prerogative but it might end up backfiring in the event Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash shoots up in value.

The above said, what’s a Bitcoin investor to do? Here’s what I would do: many wallet companies and exchanges (Ledger, Kraken, Bittrex to name some) offer to have BTC and BCC show up in your account. In other words, you essentially are doubling your coins by having the same amount of BCC as BTC since it’s the same blockchain doubled – that’s the effect of the fork. I would put my bitcoins there. I would also advise those having a wallet that won’t support or give you your rightful BCC (Coinbase, itBit, etc.) to temporarily move your BTC to a new wallet that will support BCC which gives you that currency as well. Once the fork is done you can move your BTC back to your previous wallets and have some BCC left over. Regarding Bitcoin being devalued, yes, there is a realistic possibility that BTC will go down quite a bit, but will likely go back up as it has in the past.

So is this hard fork necessarily a bad thing? I don’t think so.

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Rafi Hecht

Rafi Hecht is a web programmer and digital marketing specialist with over 12 years experience. He holds a Masters of Science degree from Stevens Institute of Technology and is both Adwords and Bing Ads certified. Rafi currently lives in Toronto.

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