Wednesday, February 8, 2023

NO2X Is the New UASF: Bitcoin’s New Anti-Big Block Movement Gains Steam

NO2X Is the New UASF: Bitcoin’s New Anti-Big Block Movement Gains Steam

Members of the former “UASF” (user-activated soft fork) Bitcoin movement have switched focus recently, adding “NO2X” to their Twitter handles. In case you’re wondering, it signals opposition to “2X” — the part of the “SegWit2x” roadmap that introduced segregated witness transactions, with the proviso that a block size increase to 2MB be considered a few months later.

Also read: Xapo: You Can Have Your Bitcoin Cash, but We’re Not Supporting It

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Block Size Debate Rages On

As we’ve noted at Bitsonline previously, introducing SegWit and hard-forking Bitcoin did not solve the “block size debate”. At best, it kicked the can a few months down the road to November, where the network will face another potential hard fork.

Now that time is approaching, those who oppose hard forks and block size increases have switched from “UASF” to “NO2X”. Litecoin creator Charlie Lee today joined their ranks:

Why Do Some Oppose SegWit2x and 2MB Blocks?

The SegWit2x roadmap was part of the so-called “New York Agreement” (NYA) from May 2017. It was billed as a compromise plan in which SegWit-supporters and “big blockers” got something they wanted.

NYA signers agreed to support SegWit on condition the network considered a 2MB block size increase a few months later. They included key industry players, BitFury, BitGo, Bitmain, BitPay, Blockchain, Bloq, RSK Labs and Xapo.

Crucially, Bitcoin Core developers did not sign the NYA, nor did any of its representatives attend the meeting where it was proposed.

2X or Not 2X

Here are the condensed and simplified arguments for and against the “2X” plan*:

Pro-2X: Major Bitcoin companies and identities signed the New York Agreement, which contained the understanding that a 2MB block size increase would follow SegWit. Miners signaled over 90 percent support for SegWit2x. SegWit fans got SegWit, now they must complete the deal by supporting a 2x block size increase to 2MB. At least, they shouldn’t be out there campaigning against it.

Anti-2X: SegWit was mainly what we wanted for Bitcoin, and it has happened. Increasing the block size to 2MB requires a hard fork, which we oppose and do not feel is necessary at this point to scale Bitcoin. Bitcoin Core developers did not support or sign the New York Agreement. In any case, SegWit2x did not guarantee a block size increase — it only asked its signers to choose later, which they’re doing. “Big blockers” already had their hard fork anyway, when they split to create Bitcoin Cash.

*note: these are not Bitsonline’s arguments, just a basic summary of those we’ve heard.

Waiting for the NO2X Hats

One of the most visible (and effective) elements of the UASF movement was the camouflage air force caps, created by Blockstream CSO Samson Mow (a.k.a. “Excellion“).

Now NO2X tags are appearing on Twitter and elsewhere, will they soon make the jump to the physical world?

We haven’t seen any NO2X caps in the wild yet, though Mow is expanding his headwear design business. Maybe it’s only a matter of time.

Bitcoin continues to be divided between its so-called “business community” and “user community”, who may or may not have the same interests. It depends on who you speak to — the “communities” are not clearly defined and there are supporters/opponents on all levels.

In the middle of that sandwich are the miners, who also play a significant role in deciding which changes to support.

If 2MB proponents get their way and another hard fork happens, could we see yet another version of Bitcoin? It’s possible, though this time the “lesser chain” is more likely to wither than Bitcoin Cash did. However, if the prospect of Bitcoin blocks remaining at 1MB indefinitely is unappealing, Bitcoin Cash itself may see greater support.

What do you think will happen in November? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Twitter, @MadBitcoins

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