Bitcoin is going through a rocky patch. While it isn’t anything particularly new for the cryptocurrency, this week’s roadblock with transaction limitations has users and enthusiasts worried.
Users have been reporting that their transaction times have been slowing down, in some cases from 10 minutes to more than 40 minutes. The fear over how much capacity Bitcoin’s network had left has been a debate raging for some time. Some developers and users believe a change to the core software is in order, others disagree.
Bitcoin transactions are carried out in blocks. New blocks are created by Bitcoin miners and each block holds around 1MB of data. A group of Bitcoin developers wants to change this to 2MB but this doesn’t have widespread support with opposition to changing its core software in any way.
What can’t be disagreed on though is that Bitcoin has been suffering as result. Following this week’s network disruptions, the value of Bitcoin dipped to $410.
Bitcoin was once championed as the future of currency. Enthusiasts imagined a cashless, bankless future where people bought their morning coffees and shopped online using only Bitcoin. Not even a semblance of this has come to pass.
There are some big names that accept Bitcoin, but it’s also smaller business that are saying no more to the cryptocurrency and backing away. A bar in the UK for example has been angered by the slowdown in transaction times, or in some case outright failing to process. It posted its concerns to Reddit which has gathered some steam over the last few days.
On a bigger scale, Expedia accepts Bitcoin but with a strict ten minute window. If transactions don’t clear in this time, they’ll simply fail.
This is the latest hurdle that Bitcoin is facing. It peaked in late 2013 with valuations over a thousand dollars and since then hasn’t been able to bounce back to those heights.
Back in January, Mike Hearn, one of Bitcoin’s high profile developers announced that he had become disillusioned with the cryptocurrency and how it’s being run. The “experiment has failed” he wrote.