Bitcoin services provider Xapo has announced it plans to support both blockchains following the SegWit2x (S2x) fork scheduled in November 2017. But what does that mean for users?
Xapo’s Pragmatic Approach
According to a blog post, Xapo is taking a pragmatic approach to the SegWit2x drama. Users don’t have to do anything during the fork. The company will take care of all security concerns and your bitcoins will be safe in its wallets.
Xapo will also make any new coins available to sell or withdraw. It made a similar choice after the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, allowing users to access and convert/sell BCC, but not keep it in their wallets after this year.
Xapo said it will list the blockchain with the most accumulated difficulty as “Bitcoin” or “BTC”. If the minority chain is with 1MB blocks, they will call it “BC1” — and if the minority chain has 2MB blocks, they will call it “BC2”. The post continued:
We are going to do our best to continue to work without interruptions during the fork, like we were able to do during the Bitcoin Cash fork. But if we consider that doing so compromises the security of our customer’s bitcoins in any way we may decide to halt operations for a few days or up to a week, at our discretion. If you want to ensure access to your bitcoins at any time during the fork, you should withdraw your bitcoins from Xapo now.
Xapo released this guideline for users after Bitcoin.org promised to “denounce” popular companies that support SegWit2x, and don’t publicly agree to meet certain demands. Especially, these companies must agree to only use the word “Bitcoin” and its symbol “BTC” to refer the original blockchain (whether it’s the majority chain or not). They are not allowed to do anything that would “deprive users of their bitcoins”.
What Is Segwit2x and Why Is It Controversial?
The word SegWit stands for “segregated witness”, which activated on Bitcoin after 1st August 2017. The SegWit2x (S2X) fork is scheduled to occur about 90 days later.
When the network mines block number 494,784 — probably on 18th November, 2017 — new blocks between 1MB and 2MB in size will be generated by Bitcoin miners in order to increase the network capacity.
At this point, it is expected that some miners may decide to ignore the larger blocks, and continue mining on the 1MB maximum-sized blockchain. There are several technical and ideological reasons for this.
This would create an another “hard fork” on the Bitcoin network, resulting in two blockchains and two different coins. Please see Bitsonline‘s previous article for more background.
The complete technical guide to SegWit2x is also available on GitHub.
What are your personal plans for the SegWit2x fork? Let us know in the comments.
Images via Xapo, Pixabay