Bitcoin’s price climbed to a new record high of more than $8,000 Friday before falling precipitously to around $5,600. At the same time, bitcoin cash, the three-month-old cryptocurrency cousin of bitcoin, also quadrupled in value overnight.
Now, some analysts are wondering if the recent success of bitcoin cash indicates there are deeper rifts in the bitcoin community that may play out in different ways.
The past several weeks have been tumultuous for bitcoin. First, bitcoin developers, miners, and investors waited anxiously as an impending hard fork associated with the SegWit2x protocol approached.
Then, just days before the hard fork was to be finalized, the proponents of the split called the entire thing off, pointing to a desire for unity across the different groups with an interest in the future of the cryptocurrency. (See more: What Happens Now That the Bitcoin Hard Fork Was Canceled?)
Scaling Question at Heart of Conflict
The fundamental reason for the disputes among…