Despite the ongoing demise of Bitcoin Cash (down another 13% today) since the fork 4 days ago, cryptocurrencies are surging higher this morning with Bitcoin up 12% to a new record high at $3230.
CoinTelegraph reports that various experts and developers including Paxos principal architect Jimmy Song have noted earlier this week, Bitcoin price is likely rising due to the imminence of SegWit activation.
Since the mining community has already agreed to activate SegWit via Bitcoin Improvement Proposal BIP 91 and 141, the original SegWit proposal, SegWit is likely to be activated on the Bitcoin network by Aug. 14.
As the abovementioned date approaches, Bitcoin is expected to continuously increase in value, establishing new all-time highs.
And indeed it is...
Why is SegWit pushing Bitcoin price up? The debate between the mining community and Bitcoin developers regarding the activation of SegWit has delayed scaling in Bitcoin for years. The first attempt to scale the network which was presented at the Hong Kong roundtable consensus event failed and it took over a full year since then for the Bitcoin industry, mining community and developers to come to a consensus to activate SegWit. More importantly, the activation of SegWit marks the first major milestone in Bitcoin in terms of scaling, as Bitcoin has continuously operated within the 1 MB block size limit established by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto upon its launch in 2009. SegWit will also establish the infrastructure necessary for two-layer solutions such as Lightning Network to operate. The implementation of Lightning Network and other solutions including TumbleBit will further scale the Bitcoin network by enabling micropayments and applications that were not possible before.
Notably the 'value' of Bitcoin Cash has collapsed relative to Bitcoin since its 'birth'... (Bitcoin Cash is now trading near record lows)
Another driving factor of Bitcoin price is rising demand from institutional investors. This week, CBOE, the largest options exchange in the US announced that it will integrate Bitcoin futures contracts and options on its trading platform by partnering with regulated Bitcoin exchange Gemini.
Additionally, CoinTelegraph notes that the public's interest in virtual currencies has sparked a boom for hedge funds with crypto exposure...
“Hedge funds with crypto exposure "exploding," tweets economist and investor Tuur Demeester.
According to his quoting a related article, over 70 such funds are now being in the pipeline.
The linked article includes a comment by Arthur Bell manager Corey McLaughlin who says:
“I’ve been in the hedge fund space since 1998, and I’ve never seen anything like it in volume of launches in a particular area. It’s just crazy.”
The market will likely continue to call for increasing numbers as the funds continue to outperform other market spaces.
With the massive rise in values, hedge fund managers are seeing the need for new funds that link to cryptocurrencies and the public is calling for such funds. A recent revealed the number of such new funds, totaling nearly 70.