Bitcoin is splitting between BTC and BTU. BTC is Bitcoin Core and BTU is Bitcoin Unlimited.
Why is Bitcoin splitting? Bitcoin is splitting because it is growing in use and popularity. It is considered normal that new technologies go through such growing pains. Put simply, Bitcoin is approaching a technical limit (1MB block size).This poses issues about how the system can handle more transactions. For years, the Bitcoin community had been discussing how to solve it.
Some people say that we keep the 1MB restriction as laid out by the designer Satoshi Nakamoto. (Nakamoto's identity is yet unknown. We do not know if he is an individual or groups of individuals.) They propose a solution called Segregated Witness (SegWit), which effectively enlarges the block size from 1MB to 2MB. These group of people are referred to as the Bitcoin Core Group.
Alternative to the Bitcoin Core Group is the Bitcoin Unlimited Group. They say, let's just get rid of the block size altogether. That way, we do not have to worry about this problem anymore.
There are discussions as to the good and bad reasons between these two solutions. But ultimately, these two camps cannot convince each other of which is the better option. Inevitably, it seems the issue is going to be resolved by splitting Bitcoin into two and see how each solution fares.
It is because of this issue that Bitcoin's price has been dipping the last few weeks. Uncertainty does that.
How does this all affect you? If you merely bought Bitcoin as an investment or long-term trading play, and you do not transact heavily, then apparently, this will all be resolved eventually. What will happen is that the Bitcoins you own will be copied in both networks. This means you will own both BTCs and BTUs if you have your Bitcoins where you control your private keys. With those where you don't, it is a bit uncertain. Then hold back at least until the dust settles (a few weeks) before you decide to transact or get back to your normal operations.
The big tip that I gathered however, was to transfer your Bitcoins to actual wallets (paper or hardware) and ensure that you have your Private keys with you. Back them up. If you want to know what I am doing, I am simply transferring my Bitcoins to a paperwallet. That seems to be the best option at the moment.
If you have Bitcoins in Exchanges, you might want to check with them to see what they recommend you do.
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