In the afternoon of March 18, Bitcoin price plunged to $926 on Coinbase’s GDAX and $940 in most global Bitcoin exchanges, recording a 16 percent drop in value within a day, falling from $1,100 to $926. Within minutes, Bitcoin price recovered, bouncing back from $926 to $975.
Similar to the price trend of most digital currencies and alternative assets, Bitcoin price heavily fluctuated in value, mostly due to the unresolved issues surrounding Bitcoin scalability. Bitcoin price increased by $20 in the past 24 hours, reaching $995 on March 19.
Bitcoin price stalls as community debates over solutions
Cointelegraph previously reported that the downward trend of Bitcoin price is ultimately beneficial for the Bitcoin network and community. If Bitcoin price continues to climb up and reach new highs, it will exponentially increase transaction volume of Bitcoin.
The Bitcoin network is already struggling to deal with mempool clearance and its current volume of transactions because of Blockchain congestion. A rapid increase in Bitcoin price at the moment will only worsen Bitcoin network scalability issues.
Currently, the Bitcoin community is trying to come to a consensus on a viable solution. The main debate between Segregated Witness (SegWit) and Bitcoin Unlimited has seen some progress in the past few days after an internal bug was discovered in the Bitcoin Unlimited software which led to a six-hour downtime for miners. The majority of the community argues that a closed group of developers can’t be trusted to lead Bitcoin development if network issues and severe bugs continue to surface.
The miners and community’s indecisiveness on the matter is allowing Bitcoin price to fluctuate wildly on a daily basis. Today, global Bitcoin exchanges opened trading at $1,068. At their peak, Bitcoin price reached $1,100 and in their lowest trading points, Bitcoin price plunged to $926. Such volatility is making it difficult for Bitcoin businesses and merchants.
China’s Central Bank makes an announcement
The People’s Bank of China also released a statement to announce that a new round of meetings will be held next week. PBoC officials are expected to meet with Bitcoin exchanges to discuss regulations and policies.
Previously, these discussions led to the suspension of withdrawals for OKCoin and Huobi users. Therefore, the Chinese market is reacting negatively to the statement of PBoC, even if Bitcoin price is quite resilient toward external factors such as PBoC, regulations and ETFs.
In the upcoming days, Bitcoin price is expected to fluctuate, as discussions on SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited continue. If Bitcoin exchanges including Bitfinex, Bitstamp and BTCC continue to support their view on Bitcoin Unlimited as an alt-asset, the market will likely stabilize. However, if the network nears a hard fork, Bitcoin price may decrease further.