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article imageBitcoin recovers as it breaks through $11,000 easily

By Ken Hanly     Feb 20, 2018 in Technology
This morning bitcoin's price went past the $11,000 mark easily reaching a high above $11,600 in trading this Tuesday morning as its recovery continues.
Bitcoin's price recovery today
At about 07:00 UTC the price reached $11,645.12 before dropping back. At about 20:00 UTC, it had reached $11,746. as a high so far today. It opened the day at $11,159. At around 21:20 it was about $11,692 A gain of about 4.8 percent for the day so far.
Korea prices bitcoin at a premium
On South Korean markets the figures are inflated with Bithumb and Upbit trading bitcoin at over $12,300. This price differential may mark a return to confidence in the bitcoin after regulatory statements and actions caused market fears and a drop in global prices.
The Korean Financial Supervisory Service is reported to have said that the government would support "normal" cryptocurrency trading. Though the statement was vague it seems to show a softening of the country's regulatory position after a total ban on trading appeared a possibility.
Bitcoin's rise was matched by other cryptocoins. Market capitalization of the coins now stands at almost $510 billion a far cry from just $282 billion only 2 weeks ago.
Bitcoin is able to lower its transaction fees
On Sunday the median daily transaction fee on the bitcoin network fell to just $0.79 — a six-month low. This is a huge 97 percent decline from the high of $34 reached last December 23rd. The fee remained at more than ten dollars from mid-December up until mid-January but has been dropping since that time.
The higher fees caused business people to back away from the network as it had started with near zero transaction costs.
Steam stopped accepting payments in December, and Bitpay a company accepting bitcoin payments set a minimum transaction price of $100. Stripe, a major credit card processor, also stopped accepting bitcoin payments last month because of the high fees.
Bitcoin making better use of Segregated Witness
Bitcoin has changed it code and is able to make better use of Segregated Witness. Segregated Witness is defined as follows: "SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain. Segregate means to separate, and Witnesses are the transaction signatures. Hence, Segregated Witness in short, means to separate transaction signatures."
The use of SegWit is explained on the appended video. SegWit is in large part the reason why bitcoin has been able to overcome the traffic congestion and high fees associated with its success.
Andrew Chow of Bitcoin Core said: "The primary change is the addition of SegWit in the wallet. This lets users... easily create SegWit addresses."
UPDATE: On Wednesday bitcoin has fallen back far below $11,000 reaching almost $10,500 Wednesday morning.
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