Bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, jumped more than 16 percent on Saturday (August 6) to an all-time high of $3,360.87 before hovering around $3,303, propelling market capitalization to more than $54 billion.
According to a news report in CNBC, the virtual currency has more than tripled in value since the start of the year and is up 15 percent in the early days of August. In the middle of June, the Bitcoin price reached $3,025 and had been trading around that price until Saturday. The surge is being attributed to both a relief rally after the recent split of the cryptocurrency into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and to new investors getting into the virtual currency space.
Bitcoin wasn’t the only cryptocurrency to gain over the weekend. CNBC reported Ethereum was up more than 12 percent to $250, according to CoinDesk.
Last week, Bitcoin split its digital currency into Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. According to news reports from CNBC, the split occurred when a minority of developers moved ahead with an alternative upgrade proposal. Investors that had Bitcoin at the time of the split received an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash. Bitcoin Cash could be traded as of early last week, though some of the Bitcoin exchanges accepted the new cryptocurrency deposits later in the week. The result was Bitcoin’s value dropping 36 percent on Friday, but it has since somewhat recovered.
The idea of the split made news at the end of July when investors created Bitcoin Cash. The hope with the new Bitcoin offering is to ramp up the number of transactions occurring in a shorter time frame. The Bitcoin-Bitcoin Cash split is being referred to as a “hard fork” by the cryptocurrency arena.
One place where traditional Bitcoin miners won’t see Bitcoin Cash being traded is on Coinbase. The virtual currency exchange shared it is not moving forward with listing Bitcoin Cash for sale because its entire system would need to be reworked in order to process the faster transactions. Many newly-minted Bitcoin Cash consumers are upset, and some are even threatening to sue.