Finance Bitcoin swings ahead of Tuesday's big decision

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Bitcoin's civil war will be decided Tuesday.

A sign being installed at the first bitcoin retail store opening in Hong Kong in 2014. play

A sign being installed at the first bitcoin retail store opening in Hong Kong in 2014.

(Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)
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Bitcoin traders are on edge as they await the outcome of the civil war that will decide the fate of the crytpocurrency. Bitcoin is trading up 0.52% at near $2,773 a coin.

On Tuesday, core developers and miners will decide whether bitcoin remains as is or whether there will be a hard fork that splinters the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin developers want to keep the blocks that make up bitcoin's network limited in their size to 1 megabyte per block, while miners want to make the blocks bigger to improve the network's speed.

Until recently, it looked as if everyone was on board with SegWit2x, a proposal that, according to bitcoin evangelist Paul McNeal, moves the threshold for implementation down to 80% and also allows for a small increase in the size of blocks on the chain to 2 MBs. That was until bitcoin cash, an alternative to both bitcoin and the SegWit2x version, entered the picture.

"Bitcoin cash basically came out of nowhere," Charlie Morris, the chief investment officer of NextBlock Global, an investment firm with digital assets, told Business Insider. "A group of miners who didn't like SegWit2x are going to opt for this new software that will increase the size of blocks from the current 1 megabyte to 8."

For what it's worth, the majority of bets placed in the gambling markets aren't predicting a good outcome for bitcoin. Accroding to Ed Pownall, a company spokesman at Bodog, of the 470 people who have wagered on the event, "310 people think the price will dip below $2,000 per coin."

Bitcoin is up 186% in 2017.

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(Markets Insider)