Bitcoin Could Split According to Developers

Developers have announced that rows over the software that produce Bitcoins could eventually split the virtual currency.

A new version of Bitcoin, known as BitcoinXT, is being recommended by Gavin Andresen, the currency's chief scientist.

BitcoinXT's developer Mike Hearn believes its adoption is essential in order to make sure the currency can cope with growing demand.

Many, however, are resisting XT which will lead to a drop in control over the currency.

A digital ledger of all transactions made with the currency is measured by Bitcoin's blockchain and is currently made up of 1MB blocks. Bitcoin XT would enable these blocks to grow to 8MB and this change would mean that BitcoinXT was no longer compatible with existing Bitcoin software.

This is likely to create two separate currencies and a loss of trust in both.

Many people are unhappy with the core development team at Bitcoin, as they are aware that the team is disagreement over whether Bitcoin XT is the future for the currency.

Mining groups in China have said they will not adopt the software unless it's wholly adopted by the core team.

Mike Hearn said: "If you look at the guys working on the Bitcoin core, they talk about consensus all the time - but if you ask them what they really mean, they can't tell you.

"There is no consensus about what consensus means."

The Oxford's Internet Institute's Dr Vili Lehdonvirta believes the adoption of BitcoinXT would mean the community has "much fewer guarantees of being listened to".

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