Bitcoin is at a crossroads. The digital currency and its deregulated network is maturing, but members of the community are lost — they can’t decide what the network should look like when it grows up.
Bitcoin is a decentralized currency that’s transacted on a public ledger called the blockchain. Transactions are verified and posted to the blockchain by a group of people called miners, who are rewarded with Bitcoin for their work. Not just anyone can be a miner, because of the intense computing power required to verify transactions.
Last week a Bitcoin company incited a flood of transactions on the network to give fellow Bitcoin users a sense of what will come to pass if the currency goes mainstream. The offending company, CoinWallet, put 200 Bitcoin up for grabs, initiating a torrent of transactions as people raced to claim the money. The following day there were 190,000 unconfirmed transactions. Today, the miners have a backlog of 145,000 transactions on the Bitcoin network.
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