BITCOIN DIARY: Is the great Bitcoin angst of 2017 finally over? Mmmmaybe ...
'This is what those of us in the Bitcoin community (pulls hoody further over eyes) call a SegWit Activation Kludge'
* Lance Boyle is a pseudonym. Get over it
Isn't that a sight for sore eyes? A big green arrow pointing up.
A nice double-figure positive percentage move. And it's been like that for a few days for Ethereum, the other digital currency, and for Bitcoin over the last few days.
Aaaah. The natural order has been restored and the bulls are dipping their hooves back into the stream. The bears are heading back to their caves to hibernate. Or write new code. Or something.
I can now report that my "real money" portfolio is in the black. I'm holding Bitcoin, Ethereum and something else called 'Litecoin' because it seemed churlish to ignore it when it was also on the ticker with little green arrows blinking seductively.
So what has swung the sentiment? Well, apparently, most of the Bitcoin miners are giving SegWit a soft landing, reducing the uncertainty over the future of Bitcoin and the likelihood of a 'hard fork'. (See definition from Investopedia below):
DEFINITION of 'Hard Fork'As it relates to blockchain technology, a hard fork (or sometimes hardfork) is a radical change to the protocol that makes previously invalid blocks/transactions valid (or vice versa), and as such requires all nodes or users to upgrade to the latest version of the protocol software. Put differently, a hard fork is a permanent divergence from the previous version of the blockchain, and nodes running previous versions will no longer be accepted by the newest version. This essentially creates a fork in the blockchain, one path which follows the new, upgraded blockchain, and one path which continues along the old path. Generally, after a short period of time, those on the old chain will realize that their version of the blockchain is outdated or irrelevant and quickly upgrade to the latest version.
So, what happened, see, was that the Bitcoin developer community achieved consensus on something called BIP 91 - that's 'Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91' to those of you too shy to ask.
This is what those of us in the Bitcoin community (pulls hoody further over eyes) call a SegWit Activation Kludge. What is a kludge? you ask. Well, it's a "a workaround or quick-and-dirty solution that is clumsy, inelegant, inefficient, difficult to extend and hard to maintain", see?
Which does make one worry a little. Like it could easily all fall apart, or something?
But, when the cyber bulls are running, like when the housing market was whistling like a kettle, or when sub-prime loans looked like a really clever way to help poor people, who cares?
Certainly not me. Not today anyway.
MEANWHILE, IN EUROPE ...
An Austrian called Ewald Nowotny has warned against accepting Bitcoin as an official payment.
Reuters reports him saying: "Bitcoin lacks the one thing that makes a good currency, namely stability."
Apparently what he says really matters because he is in charge of something called a "central bank". These institutions actually believe they control the flow of money around their nations and the world. I know, right?