The economic crisis in Greece has turned some attention to Bitcoin again. The price of the digital currency has rallied over the past few days, partly because some Greeks have been snapping up the currency amid bank closures and cash withdrawal limits. It’s trading at the highest rate since March, and Bitcoin bulls expect demand to go even higher if the situation worsens. Citing the Greek crisis, Coinbase waived fees last week for customers buying Bitcoin with euros.
But over the weekend, Bitcoin’s software provided a well-timed reminder of why it’s not the perfect financial system, either. Bitcoin transactions have been taking five times longer than usual to complete, according to Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. That’s because the system for authorizing and approving transactions within the Bitcoin network has been functioning incorrectly. So anyone who sells a computer, say, on Craigslist for Bitcoin may want to wait five hours to confirm that the payment actually went through, Luria says.
The problems stem from a new version of the Bitcoin software