Bitcoin goes through a bad stretch now. August 24 was a real Black Monday – bitcoin price dropped by 13% within one day. Remarkably it’s the first time for the last half of the year that bitcoin costs less than $200. Only one month earlier bitcoin was at its peak as situation in Greece came to the deadlock.
Bitcoin society faces not only break-neck fall in price. Recent announcement of Bitcoin XT had a burst effect. Debates are not going to stop. The modification of habitual software was developed by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn – both stood at the origins of bitcoin. They offered to increase block size to 8 megabytes which will allow up to 24 transactions per second – so-called Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 101 (BIP 101). Bitcoin XT needs 75 percent of miners to approve the software till January 11 which now seems rather unlikely. (Update from August 01, 2017: the result of heated debates became Bitcoin Cash)
In response Jeff Garzik came up with BIP 100 granting miners the right to vote the block-size limit up or down. The proposal has already found support among interested people.
F2Pool administrator Wang Chun expresses the thought that Bitcoin XT issue is tightly linked to politics and calls the initiative of Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn “a manipulation and an attempt to split the community”.
Unlike most mining pools AntPool seems to be quite favorable to Bitcoin XT. Jihan Wu, CEO of AntPool’s head company Bitmain, claimed to be ready to support the software.
I support increasing the block size. @BITMAINtech ‘s AntPool will be prepared to switch to XT, IF we see majority has switched.
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) August 17, 2015
While the market is shaking, bitcoin and blockchain go beyond the scope of only payment method. “The technology behind Bitcoin and other crypto currencies can be an indispensable tool for protecting information,” says Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science at the Stanford University School of Engineering, and hits the spot. By the way the school is the first one to launch a cryptocurrencies course. Boneh strongly believes in the potential of bitcoin as a revolutionary replacement of traditional transactions. Students will have a possibility to study engineering secure software, current bitcoin regulation as well as the nature and principals of work with bitcoin itself.
The course called Crypto Currencies: Bitcoin and Friends is only one part of the program devoted to information technologies. More detailed information you can find here.
As if inspired by Stanford School MIT Media Lab also started a course in digital currencies. The education in the sphere is becoming more and more popular which allows hoping that generation of bitcoin-savvy specialists is growing.