Segwit2x, a protocol change to Bitcoin slated for release next week, has been postponed indefinitely. A source of controversy since its inception, its proponents advocated on the basis of expanding on-chain transaction throughput — while critics cited chain instability and replay attacks, among other things.
The BTC price leapt to over $7,700 in the immediate wake of the cancellation. However it has since fallen back to around $7,260 — possibly as investors realized there would be no “free money” in the event of a hard fork that produced two coins.
Much Ado About No2x
All the contention of the past year, including furious mudslinging on social media, now seems to have been in vain. A letter authored by Mike Belshe of BitGo and released on the Segwit2x Mailing lists announced the retraction of the Segwit2x launch. The letter was cosigned by Jihan Wu, Jeff Garzik, and Erik Voorhees, all involved with Segwit2x promotion and development.
The announcement follows several NYA participants’ withdrawal from the proposal in the weeks before the proposed launch date. Belshe cited user and industry turmoil as the reason for cancellation despite strong miner support:
“Our goal has always been a smooth upgrade for Bitcoin. Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger block size, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together. Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x.
As fees rise on the blockchain, we believe it will eventually become obvious that on-chain capacity increases are necessary. When that happens, we hope the community will come together and find a solution, possibly with a blocksize increase. Until then, we are suspending our plans for the upcoming 2MB upgrade.”
The long-term permanence of this withdrawal remains unclear, but at least for now, the Core implementation has won out as the de facto standard.
Is that the end for efforts to increase the Bitcoin block size? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Pixabay Jeff Garzik