Bitcoin avoids split into two blockchains

Digital currency Bitcoin, on Friday, averted a split into two currencies after its network supported an upgrade to its software that would enhance its ability to process an increasing number of transactions.

Bitcoin’s miners have signalled their support for the so-called Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91, avoiding a split of Bitcoin into two blockchains. The miners represent a network of computer operators who secure the blockchain or a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions.

The software upgrade attempts to address the Bitcoin network’s limitations in processing millions of daily transactions. Bitcoin’s network has not kept pace with its growth and is unable to process all the transactions fast enough. The network is currently limited to roughly seven transactions per second. In comparison, Visa on average handles 2,000 transactions per second.

“Bitcoin now has a clear run to add features that allow for faster transactions with lower costs,” said Charles Hayter, chief executive officer of digital currency analytics firm Cryptocompare.