In relief rally, bitcoin jumps more than 20% from June low

Key Points
  • In less than three days, bitcoin bounced more than 20 percent from its low of the month.
  • Developers appeared to reach some agreement on a technological upgrade that threatened to divide bitcoin in two.
  • Bitcoin remains more than 150 percent higher year-to-date.
Denarium Bitcoins.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Bitcoin quickly bounced back from the lows of June, amid improved sentiment about the future of the digital currency.

traded higher Saturday near $2,680, up more than 20 percent from a June low of $2,185.96 hit Thursday that had erased gains for the month, according to CoinDesk.

Worries about overexuberance in digital currencies overall and heated debate among developers about how to upgrade bitcoin's technology weighed on its price.

"A proposal was accepted to merge the two upgrade methods, making them compatible," Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and founder of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy, said Friday. "So we have seen a relief rally on this progress."

Kelly added that the latest development "reduces the threat of a coin split, but we are not out of the woods yet. The miners still need to agree to this merged upgrade."

Bitcoin one-week performance

Source: CoinDesk

Bitcoin development fight

Bitcoin's future relies on a network of developers, who have announced two incompatible methods for upgrading the digital currency system: BIP148 and SegWit2x. Both are set to go into effect later this summer, and their potential for dividing bitcoin in two has ramped up uncertainty among investors.

This week, a developer named James Hilliard announced a proposal that would make the two upgrades compatible, and SegWit2x developers said Friday they would adopt Hilliard's idea, according to Bitcoin Magazine.

Bitcoin remains more than 150 percent higher year-to-date, while another digital currency called ethereum has skyrocketed more than 4,000 percent this year and came closer this week to topping bitcoin in market value.

A slew of other major events in the digital currency world rocked bitcoin as well after it topped $3,000 for the first time last Sunday.

  • Adding to worries of overexuberance, money flooded cryptocurrencies as Bancor raised a record $153 million Monday in a process called an "initial coin offering." Separately, IOTA began trading Tuesday on Bitfinex in a record debut that sent its market value to $1.5 billion.
  • Meanwhile, the largest U.S. dollar-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex and a smaller BTC-e exchange reported distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks.
  • Wall Street took note of bitcoin's meteoric rise this week, with Morgan Stanley issuing a report on bitcoin's blockchain technology and Goldman Sachs saying in a technical analysis of bitcoin's price that it should fall slightly.