A coin representing Bitcoin cryptocurrency is reflected on a polished surface as it sits in a pool of translucent liquid in this arranged photograph in London, U.K. (Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg)

Bitcoin Reaches Major Scaling Milestone as Users Adopt Upgrade

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(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin has quietly reached a major milestone in its quest to reach the masses.

Segregated Witness, or SegWit, the software upgrade designed to speed up Bitcoin transactions, is gaining traction. The number of transactions using the technology doubled to more than 30 percent in just the past three days, according to the SegWit.Party website, which tracks the data. The following chart shows the percentage of transactions using SegWit in the past week.

As Bitcoin grew in popularity in the past year, the cryptocurrency’s network became clogged, making transaction times and fees soar. In December, transaction costs climbed to as high as $55, according to BitInfoCharts. SegWit is meant to solve that problem by taking some of the work needed to confirm transactions off the main chain, speeding up the process.

Major crypto-asset exchanges Coinbase Inc. and Bitfinex started using SegWit this month, helping to speed up adoption. The upgrade was first released in August.

Transaction fees have dropped to a four-month low of $2, though confirmed transactions per day have also dropped to around 200,000 from more than double that number in December.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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