The price of ZClassic (ZCL) continues to soar ahead of its upcoming fork-merge with Bitcoin (BTC) which will see the creation of Bitcoin Private (BTCP). According to data from CoinMarketCap, ZCL/BTC hit a new all-time high on Wednesday (4:29am UTC) at 0.0185, having roughly doubled in value over the past three weeks.

Just days before Christmas, ZCL/BTC hovered around 0.0003; today’s price represents more than 60x this value. Granted, Bitcoin has shed about a third of its value since such a date. Looking at fiat value (ZCL/USD), the price at the time of writing is $163, which represents a weekly price increase of 188.8 percent (coming off a February 6 low of $56.45).

Why the focus on the price of ZClassic when paired against Bitcoin? Because it is incredibly relevant for the eventual price of Bitcoin Private when the main net launches approximately two days after the February 28 price snapshot of the two cryptocurrencies.

Indeed, the distribution of BTCP is such that holders of ZCL and/or BTC will be granted BTCP on a 1:1 basis, whilst still being able to keep their existing coin(s). At the time of writing, there are ~3.3 million ZCL and ~16.9 million BTC in circulation. If the hard fork were to occur today, it would mean that the circulating supply of BTCP would be ~20.2 million.

So, with the price of BTC currently some 55x the value of ZCL, it has prompted an onslaught of FOMO-based buying of ZCL coins given that BTCP coins will be distributed on a 1:1 basis, despite the enormous price differences between BTC and ZCL.

Notable Twitter accounts have been covering ZCL for several weeks, which collectively may also be placing upward pressure on the privacy coin’s recent price run. These include @CryptoYoda (166k followers), @VentureCoinist (145k), and @cryptodemedici (77.9.k).

There are plenty of price-sensitive announcements to come in the next two weeks, such as the publication of the Bitcoin Private whitepaper, a resolution of Cryptopia’s current freezing of ZCL movements to and from the exchange, and announcements from exchanges (e.g. Bittrex) regarding their support of the hard fork.

There also remains the possibility that Binance approves the listing application of ZClassic’s before the 28th. Optimistic community members have noticed that the Twitter account of Binance recently followed ZClassic.

To ensure that holders receive their “free” BTCP coins, it is being advised that they transfer their balances into wallets where the keys are user-controlled (e.g. Electrum, Coinomi). Should holders’ relevant exchange(s) announce their support of BTCP, then keeping BTC/ZCL balances with them remains an option.

As for what happens to the ZClassic network after the imminent hard fork, it remains to be seen. A lot will depend on whether all, some, or none of the developers migrate across to the Bitcoin Private project.

This hard fork is rather unique, particularly given that ZCL is a fork of Zcash (ZEC), which itself forked from BTC. Considering the absence of any new technology, some onlookers see the entire fork-merge as perplexing. These suspicions intensify when one considers the never-before-seen pricing method of Bitcoin Private, which is distributing to holders of ZCL and BTC equally, despite their prices being orders of magnitude apart.

When BTCP does go live, it will have various competitors in the crowded anonymity/privacy space, such as Monero (XMR) and fellow zk-SNARK compatible coins like BitcoinZ (BTCZ), Komodo (KMD), HUSH (HUSH), ZenCash (ZEN), ZEC, and (potentially) ZCL itself.

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