Bitmain Pools Signal for SegWit2X: Bitcoin Scaling Drama Finally Over?
The block size debate may finally be over after bitcoin mining giant Bitmain announced early this morning that all its pools would begin signaling for the SegWit2X upgrade today.
Bitmain Starts Signaling for SegWit2X
Bitmain made the announcement on its official Twitter at 2:48 AM EST on the morning of July 17.
— BITMAIN (@BITMAINtech) July 17, 2017
Shortly after, reports began surfacing on Reddit of Bitmain-owned pools mining BIP 91 blocks in support of SegWit2X. Explaining to a fellow redditor what this development means for the future of Bitcoin scaling, user “Rannasha” said:
“This [SegWit2 signaling] is the expected next step of SegWit2X. Once 80%+ of all blocks in a ~2 day period are of this type, miners that run the SegWit2X software still [sic] start to drop any block that doesn’t signal SegWit.”
In the hours since Bitmain pools began signaling SegWit2X, miner support for the upgrade has surged upwards. According to one report on Reddit, hashing power signaling for the upgrade had risen to 33 percent of the global hash rate just three hours after the initial announcement.
Worries Over a Bitmain-Initiated Hard Fork
This development came as a surprise to many community members, who expected the bitcoin mining company to force a hard fork on August 1 with its User Activated Hard Fork (UAHF) proposal.
Bitmain unveiled the UAHF in June — since dubbed “Bitcoin ABC” — as a contingency plan. In the event the small block faction tried to obstruct SegWit2X activation and force a User Activated Soft Fork (UASF), Bitmain would hard fork the blockchain to preserve on-chain scaling.
This would create two competing Bitcoin blockchains, much like what happened when Ethereum hard forked into ETH and ETC.
Although officially designated as a contingency, those skeptical of Bitmain’s intentions suspected the company would hard fork Bitcoin regardless of what happened on August 1.
Despite the abundant conspiracies, though, it seems Bitmain will keep its word.
Since this morning’s announcement, the bitcoin price has rebounded by more than US $80, rising from yesterday’s low of $1976 to $2059 at press time.
Bitsonline will continue following this story and will provide updates as they become available.
Do you think this announcement marks the end of the block size debate? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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