Prior to the August 1 hard fork initiated by China-based bitcoin mining pool ViaBTC, the market, investors and traders remained uncertain in regard to bitcoin’s future. Some analysts, including Vinny Lingham, were confident that bitcoin would struggle to recover and maintain upward momentum throughout August.
Lingham said :
On reflection, I was wrong to try to prevent a #Bitcoin bubble. Missed big gains, but getting back in. Bitcoin needs bubbles & busts to win.
Reflecting back, ShapeShift founder and CEO Erik Voorhees, a well-respected figure within the bitcoin industry, was accurate all along, in that he emphasized that the execution of a hard fork will likely have minimal impact on the bitcoin network and that the bitcoin industry, community and market can’t possibly assume the security issues of a hard fork execution if it doesn’t occur.
The price of bitcoin continued to skyrocket after the execution of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork, when the market and investors began to realize that the hard fork had little to no impact on the bitcoin network and that the activation of the Bitcoin Core development team’s transaction malleability fix and scaling solution Segregated Witness (SegWit) meant that for the first time in the history of bitcoin, the activation of a major scaling solution was locked in and in sight.
Normally, after a contentious hard fork that leads to a chain split, a blockchain network struggles to sustain upward momentum until the market stabilizes and relaxes. However, the bitcoin market and industry used the hard fork as a trigger to establish momentum and continue to increase in value.
As a result, some of the largest bitcoin exchange markets including the U.S., South Korea, China and Japan experienced drastic increase in demand towards bitcoin, as the digital currency hit a new all-time high at $3,470 in global average.
The Japanese bitcoin industry in particular, demonstrated exponential growth rate in terms of merchant adoption and daily trading volumes of local exchanges. Apart from the Philippines and China, Japan is one of the few markets that has been considering bitcoin as a digital currency rather than as digital gold and a long-term investment.
Some of the largest retailers, hotels, airlines and department stores in Japan are accepting bitcoin as a payment method. More to that, in the upcoming months, hundreds of thousands of cafes, restaurants, bars, stores and merchants are expected to integrate and accept bitcoin through AirRegi, Japan’s leading Point-of-Sale service provider.
Most recently, Mauri, a mainstream retailer and department store in Japan, announced that it has begun to test bitcoin payments in its locations in Shinjuku with BitFlyer, the largest bitcoin exchange in the country. According to the Digital Currency Group, the bitcoin-focused investment firm that has stake in BitFlyer, the retail giant will test bitcoin transactions with a cap of 100,000 Japanese yen until October 31.
Despite the recent hard fork, which many analysts predicted it would lead to a decline in bitcoin adoption and downward trend for bitcoin price, leading economies in Japan are seeing drastic increase in mainstream adoption and perhaps most importantly, the market is demonstrating confidence towards bitcoin.
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