A software upgrade to make bitcoin’s underpinning network faster has officially reached its lock-in threshold.
And that has the CEO of one bitcoin exchange bullish about the coin’s future price.
The so-called Segregated Witness, or SegWit, is a solution to the years-long debate over how to improve the coin’s scalability and make it faster to process more transactions.
As bitcoin has gained traction among consumers, its network, which was built to only handle a set number of transactions, has slowed.
“SegWit is a clever solution that essentially increases transaction capacity for the original bitcoin,” according to Aaron Lasher, the chief marketing officer of Breadwallet, a bitcoin wallet company.
Some miners who didn’t think SegWit went far enough completely forked from bitcoin’s original blockchain network to form the new bitcoin cash cryptocurrency.
SegWit will not officially go into full-effect for another two weeks, according to Lasher.
“The network will move into a roughly two-week ‘grace period,’ to give users and mining pools a chance to upgrade their software,” according to CoinDesk, a cryptocurrency news site. “After that, which looks to end August 21, SegWit will activate and miners will start rejecting blocks that do not support the change.”
Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, a bitcoin derivative exchange, thinks SegWit marks an important milestone for bitcoin’s future.
“At long last, the solution touted to solve bitcoin’s scaling problems, Segwit, is activated,” Hayes said.
“With Segwit implemented, I believe $5,000 Bitcoin is within striking distance,” he concluded.
Josh Olszewicz, a bitcoin trader, told Business Insider he thinks SegWit will trigger a “small price bump overall, but there will be a $300 pullback before it marches to $5,000.”
Bitcoin is up 2% today, at $3,457.