On Monday, Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges resumed Bitcoin services. Many shut down the day before so they could introduce a faster settlement method, holding off a fork in the virtual currency.
One of Japan’s largest exchanges, Bitbank, resumed Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals at 3pm on Monday. A subsidiary of Remixpoint, Bitpoint, reopened at 4pm, but Zaif and Fisco Cryptocurrecy Exchange resumed services shortly after 3pm.
Jumping ahead of competitors, Coincheck reopened on Sunday. BitFlyer never suspender their services.
The new method allows transaction history to be logged more efficiently on the blockchain, which is the distributed ledger that underpins Bitcoin. The soaring popularity achieved by Bitcoin has made completing each transaction more time consuming.
Repairing the issue has become a point of disagreement in the Bitcoin community. Many warning of a fork in the currency as two factions compete with differing solutions.
One faction would like to raise the cap on block size, allowing more transaction information to fit. The other faction would like to keep the limit, but find another way of squeezing more data in to each block.
The current solution is the compromise of the two.
The original date for the new process to be implemented was 1st August, but the date was moved forward to Sunday because of widespread support for the move. To guard against unforeseen glitches, exchanges suspended service temporarily.
However, the Bitcoin community remains alert. Bitcoin Cash has been launched by those who don’t support the current solution. By creating the alternative virtual currency, they are trying to force a divide within the community.
This position is common among Chinese and other “miners”, or anyone who verifies transactions and adds them to the blockchain in exchange for Bitcoin and other virtual currency.
Some exchanges intend to suspend Bitcoin services for a second time around 1st August, to brace for another possible divide.
Bitcoin held steady in the 2,700 USD range.