Antpool Signals for Bitcoin Unlimited

Antpool Signals for Bitcoin Unlimited

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The Bitcoin block size debate heated up on Monday as Antpool officially entered the fray. The largest mining pool is now signaling for Bitcoin Unlimited (BU).

Also read: New 22 Petahash Mining Pool Signaling Bitcoin Unlimited 

A Whale Enters the Water

Antpool controls the largest percentage of Bitcoin’s mining hashrate, currently at 15.28 percent of the total mining power. Despite previously refraining from signaling for any Bitcoin client, the pool began mining its first BU-signaling block, number 456039, on Monday. At press time, five BU-signaling Antpool Signals for Bitcoin Unlimitedblocks have been mined by Antpool in total, representing a third of the total number of blocks mined by the pool during that time.

These blocks can be tracked on several different websites such as Coin Dance which shows BU achieving a new high, at 22.8 percent of the total network hashrate. Meanwhile, competing client Segwit is signaling at 25.7 percent, down a couple of percentage points from the previous day. BU’s overall block count is creeping very close to overtaking Segwit once again.

Antpool Signals for Bitcoin Unlimited

How Signaling Works

In order for Bitcoin miners to make their choice between upgrading to Bitcoin Unlimited, Segwit, or any other version of Bitcoin, they must edit their mining software to make a small mark on the blocks that they mine. This small flag is called a ‘versionbit’ and its only purpose is to reveal to the world their choice of software client. Only Bitcoin miners can make these ‘votes’ and only when they have successfully mined a block.

When enough blocks are mined and signaled with the same versionbit, the new client software can be safely upgraded by those miners with little fear of the network splitting into two different Bitcoins. However, if the miners attempt to upgrade to a new, incompatible version of Bitcoin before enough miners are signaling the same version, Bitcoin could split into two or more different Bitcoins, like Ethereum’s blockchain split last summer. Such a move could destroy investor confidence in Bitcoin, a fate that most people want to avoid.

Why Now?

Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, whose company runs Antpool, has not specifically revealed the reason why he has started signaling for BU. However, many people in the Bitcoin community have speculated that the move may be in response to recent calls for a “User Activated Soft Fork” (UASF) which would theoretically transfer the power of signaling for the next version of Bitcoin away from Bitcoin miners into the hands of node operators instead.

Wu disapproved of the concept and tweeted his response shortly after the idea was suggested. “UASF will split the blockchain and create 2 or 3 kinds of Bitcoin if majority miners vote “no”. Exchanges should be careful”, Wu tweeted.

What do you think of Antpool signaling for BU? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Antpool, Coin.dance, and Nodecounter


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  • Craig Grant

    UASF = shot self in foot

  • Depriv

    If Ver wants BU, ypu can be sure its THE WORST possible solution for the bitcoin comunity.

    • Kaardilugeja

      Elaborate.

    • Tony

      So much drama for a single variable change.

      • Matt Campbell

        You don’t understand the implications of changing said variable. That’s why you don’t comprehend the drama.

    • Zyo

      Ver is not alone, in fact there is more hashpower into BU than SegWit. Miner are the owner of bitcoin, they are the one who invested millions and validate the transactions.

      • Matt Campbell

        Miners do not own Bitcoin. No one owns Bitcoin. SegWit hash power is low right now because we need better libraries that abstract away the changes to the protocol that SegWit introduces into well-tested code. People are actively working on those libraries, and once they are out SegWit activation signaling will go up. Just give it time.

        • Zyo

          Ok, miners majority “control” bitcoin by creating the longest chain that is most of the time the one used by nodes, wallets, exchanges, company, atms because it’s the most secure one. For instance the ETC hashrate is about 5-6% hash poker of ETH. That means a mining pool with 6-7% of ETH could switch [temporary] to ETC, double a bunch of nasty thing including double spend transaction, reverse blocks, mining empty blocks… In the case of Bitcoin, that would be same thing, the forked chain with the lowest hashing power is in danger!

        • Parakletos

          Without miners, you can’t protect the system from malicious forks. So like it or not, the miners control the destination. Miners aren’t going to shoot themselves in the foot by removing the competition for quicker block inclusion which goes to the pool who solves the block. Sites like nicehash may well be used to give a FALSE impression of what the miners want for a short period of time, though.

    • D1ldoBaggins

      I think this kid was deprived as a child…. just a hunch.

  • Erik

    What I have understood is that BU’s hard-fork path is one of a straight up battle ? 51% and than is go time to make the longest block ? Or did i miss understood (i am finding it hard to find the proper answers on this). I can understand the power struggle and I can understand miners going for BU, because they are understanding that SEGWIT, services some alternative motifs that do not serve miners, because the want and need fee’s, and SEGWIT aims to go offchain and sidechain.

    I would very much like to see the same approach as Bitcoin XT, gaining 75% and than signalling 75% support for about x time and than the split kicks in.

    • Tim Learner

      You misunderstand. BU has no “path.” BU simply removes Core’s deliberate obstacle (the 1MB hardcoded limit) that is getting in the way of the miners and the economically significant nodes reaching an agreement on their own as to when and under what conditions it is safe to hard fork to bigger blocksize caps.

      There is no specific threshold. The users decide that, with advice from all corners, just like it is now but WITHOUT the central planning by Core dev interfering.

      • Erik

        No disrespect Tim, i don’t think you understand what term hard-fork means. It means that the network splits in parts. In this case one part of the network, will stay on the bitcoin-core client and implement segwit, and the other clients will mine bigger blocks with BU. The two types of blocks are not compatible with one and other.

        Further more there always needs to be planning to move forward, and sadly that also involves some people that choose which code will go in and which will not. The main thing how ever is when do you decide to work together and when to split up.

  • David Bennett

    If the value of my Bitcoin plunges it would seem that Ver and Wu could be directly responsible. If so could a class action suit be filed against their personal holdings?

    • Zyo

      Maybe we should have sue anyone every time bitcoin price dropped? Bitcoin is based on the game theory. Nobody did anything wrong… everyone is free to mine and or fork the code as they wish.

      • Nunya Bidness

        There is a difference between market forces and a full blown attack vector.

        • D1ldoBaggins

          lol, “full blown attack vector”? overly dramatic much?

          • Nunya Bidness

            Not dramatic at all. It is my view and your mileage may differ. But this is an attack vector.

          • Zyo

            I see core block increase block as a “full blow attack vector” against the Bitcoin I knew. As you said it’s a matter of perception. But the way bitcoin is build it’s all about hash power who decide the faith of the currency!

          • D1ldoBaggins

            Yes, your view, a view that was formed in the mind of a retard…. so basically of zero value.

            elelelelelelelelelelelelelel, these are the segwitards that support blockstream and segwitting.
            You can’t make this shit up.

          • Nunya Bidness

            Is that an argument?

    • Vic A.

      the beauty and detriment of bitcoin is something like that can’t happen.

      • Nunya Bidness

        Agreed, but now I have no idea if the BTC I hold now will be usable because Ver and Wu want’s control. The BU plan doesn’t seem very coherent and the dev base doesn’t seem like it is large or have any anyone of notable coding.

        • richardamullens

          If Blockstream/Core have their way, your Bitcoin will be worthless because the transaction fee will rise above your holding.

          • Nunya Bidness

            So you are saying that the Bitcoin I hold will not be end up being a ‘different’ Bitcoin (a-la Ethereum split) but rather the network I use will be the issue?

            So, I am getting a hardware wallet and when it gets here I immediately get all BTC off of all the exchanges I use. Once I hold the private keys then, if Segwit miners go one way and BU goes another, will I have the choice of networks I choose to use?

          • richardamullens

            I don’t know the answer to your question. What I am saying is that if you have just $1 in bitcoin then you won’t be able to spend it as that is approximately the transaction fee now.

            If the block size is not increased then the transaction fees will increase and more bitcoin holdings will become unspendable. Bitcoin will become a club for the very rich only.

          • Ricky Bickerton

            There is nothing wrong with that for those that truly believe in bitcoin and have invested their life into it, the people who will not benefit are those holding a few satoshi hoping to eventually get rich. For bitcoin and crypto’s to completely replace Fiat globally, we will need a gold standard, bitcoin MUST be the digital gold of the crypto world, if all Fiat is gone, what do you then use to put value on your bitcoin ? And if bitcoin is used for everyday purchases, with bitcoin hyper deflation, you would never get to drink your coffee, as by the time you got to the front of the queue the price would be lower, and you would then think mmmm, if I go to the back and queue again the price will be lower again, it simply would not work. For day to day spending we need altcoins or bizcoins which are backed or get their value from their worth in bitcoin.

          • D1ldoBaggins

            The answer is you will have one choice, segwitards will fail 100%, mark my words.

            So…. one choice little buddy, the sooner you realize that the better off you will be, trust me.

          • Nunya Bidness

            Are you feeling well? Segwitards? Little buddy? I do not see the value in your attack.

  • richardamullens

    Segwit on its own is a coup attempt by blockstream/core who have allowed the situation to get out of hand – giving rise to long confirmation delays, dropped transactions and increased fees. Blockstream/core have broken promises to the miners and are damaging Bitcoin usability – so they deserve to go the way of the Dodo. It cannot happen soon enough.

  • richardamullens

    Jihan Wu takes on the anal retentive Back, Maxwell and Luke-jr who wish to subvert Bitcoin for their own ends.

  • FuckTheHood

    Bitcoin needs to disappear. What a shitty system, really.

    • D1ldoBaggins

      lol, you jelly?

  • Rohn

    Nobody is the owner of Bitcoin, will be the owner or can be the owner of Bitcoin, not the government, not some individuals (like Ver), not some mining mafia (like viabtc) that’s the beauty of Bitcoin and a greedy person like Roger shouldn’t be able to influence it so that he can become the next 1% of the world! which won’t happen until he stops his brainless approach. Bitcoin was designed to be decentralised and by adopting BU in the future just like now how all the personal data of every person connected to the internet is centralised with in a small group of internet companies who can intensionlly or unintentionally misuse our data for their personal gain all the mining power will be centralised within a few mining companies with large infrastructure because just like now how we store or personal info on cloud services since large corporations like Apple want to milk you by providing lowest storage options to the people, we cannot run a full node independently since the blocks become larger and larger and they can choose to collectively block transactions from your address just how central banks/governments do but segwit + LN (also decentralised) will allow any one to run a full node ( just keep adding 128 GB SD cards every 10 years) and let any old device(IoT) of yours will cheaply earn Bitcoins for you even though it might be millistatotshi now just think about future is all I’m saying and not a hard fork please either by off or on scaling solutions which will cripple the crypto markets and send us back to the dark ages of fiat currency.
    I’m also happy if there is no solution at all and the network functions the way it is because it however faster than the traditional bank transfer system of fiat when huge amounts are involved and of fiat system topples it is still faster to send Bitcoin than transport huge sums of gold! :p

    P.S : just so that everyone knows in this comments section that this website is party owned by Mr.Roger(yes that greedy fuck whom I now doubt is even a real supporter of bitcoin or thinks of it as a get rich fast scheme to earn some fiat and let fiat rule again) and all their articles are biased towards BU to influence the common unassuming human being and my question to you folks what’s the guarantee that when the network Hard forks the network won’t split? and that it won’t happen again in the future to omitt a transaction just like ethereum? will you accept if your transactions are omitted or blocked? and just understand one thing that this is just like granting a licence if you have proved it once that you can drive that you can do it lifelong or until you licence expires and are there any expirations on hardforks? Hardforks for ethereum is justified for a certain limit because it’s a service not a store of value or money for using the service you payup that is what proof of stake might establish (idk anything actually) for money to be the medium of barter it should have value / divisibility / should be a limited resource and should not be tainted.

  • MC Kuky

    I think BU is in the long term better. Increasing block size will increase number of transactions and lower transaction price. This will make Bitcoin more usable (everyday use) while I honestly do not trust team behind SegWit. Tone comes across as a liar, someone completely not in touch with reality. Tone is a professional trader, you know, the same kind of people rigging prices in current exchange system. As far as I’m concerned SegWit team could very likely be funded by the people in control of the current economic and financial system.

    BU is likely the way to go forward so that Bitcoin can become what its meant to be as designed by the originator.

    • Matt Campbell

      > Increasing block size will increase number of transactions and lower transaction price.

      In the short term. What happens when the network grows and the 2MB+ limit is hit? Then what? We’re in the exact same spot as we are today, searching for *actual* scaling solutions.

      > Tone comes across as a liar

      Not relevant to SegWit. He didn’t write any of the code. What you think of him is not relevant.

      > As far as I’m concerned SegWit team could very likely be funded by the people in control of the current economic and financial system.

      In fact, the SegWit team is the group that’s actively fighting to preserve Bitcoin’s decentralized nature. If you increase the block size, it becomes more difficult & more expensive to run a fully-validating node (aka ‘full node’), and that pressure Bitcoin towards being more centralized since only incumbents can afford to participate in the network. The original vision of Bitcoin is that anyone, anywhere, can participate, with just the software and a little bit of money. So, you are exactly backwards on this point.

      > BU is likely the way to go forward

      If you think that then go run a BU node or mine for BU. Nothing is stopping you. And nothing is stopping BU from hard forking – why don’t they fork already if BU is objectively the better scaling solution? (Hint: it’s not, they know it, and they know that their fork would die very quickly and would be nothing more than a very, very expensive PR stint.)

      • Parakletos

        $10k/bitcoin means that it requires 1/10th the number of bytes to represent the same amount of value as compared to $1k/bitcoin. The scaling is done with price.

    • Parakletos

      You don’t seem to realize that the miners are the ones who secure the network. You’re trying to screw them out of the picture thinking that they’re not needed any longer. That’s very VERY naive. And while there is a upper limit on the block size, there is no upper limit on the price of a BTC. And as the price of a BTC rises, it requires less and less bytes in a block to represent the same amount of value. If a bitcoin was worth $10k instead of $1k, it would require 1/10th the number of bytes to designate $100, for example. You’re just trying to have your cake and eat it too — thinking that you don’t need miners and can get the same level of security by paying them less.

      Those people who are cheap asses and don’t want to pay ~1% fees can still pay less and have their blocks confirmed during off-peak hours. And that seems to be bad to you — likely because you don’t run a mining rig and pay for electricity to do so.

  • Patrick

    current software requires 95% mining power or something to upgrade to a new version of software. These 2 versions Kevin are stuck in a stalemate. It’s going to be an option C, D, E, F, G, that are coming down the pipe that will have the likelihood to make that 95%–not these options A and B

  • Rohn

    you guys know why Bitcoin price is falling?…because if its going to hard fork then Bitcoin will be dead!

  • Rohn

    you guys behind the desk selecting which comments to publish, why do you even support bitcoin when you can appreciate what it represents?

  • Rohn

    open my profile to see the truth

  • BU is Bitcoin’s best bet at the moment.

  • Matt Campbell

    So it sounds like ‘signaling’ is free for miners, so why do we care what they signal? In general, should one care about someone’s opinion if they have no ‘skin in the game’? (Hint: No.)

  • Fritz Wagner

    BU is ok, Right now we are just fine… If we do the BU think, ok… But if we split the chain… Good bye Bitcoin.. lets go for Dash and Ethereum.

  • Ikechi Jacobs

    Cool

  • Parakletos

    You don’t understand the underlying mechanics of how the system works. CLEARLY.

    It takes roughly 1/10th the number of bytes in a block to represent $1000 if bitcoin is at $10k/bitcoin a it does to represent the same $1000 if bitcoin is valued at $1k/bitcoin. To not understand this very basic fact is to simply not understand the fundamentals.

    What do you think is being inserted into the blockchain when you send bitcoins to someone? It’s list/ledger of the satoshis you’re sending. If bitcoins are worth more, you are sending FEWER satoshis. Those fewer satoshis require smaller amount of space in the block to represent them.

    Try to hold off on your opinions until you have the facts. Mkay? Thx.

  • Parakletos

    http ://statoshi .info/dashboard /db/transactions

    If you look at that page, you will see data that is helpful. The problem comes with transactions that take an inordinate amount of space in the block to represent them, because their inputs are from many tiny individual transactions. Miners tend to sit on their coins until the price goes up. Then they rush to send their coins to an exchange to sell all at the same general moment in time.

    Since miners tend to be paid in many smaller payments across time, when they attempt to send their coins to an exchange (or anywhere for that matter), the transaction ledger that is created has to represent each and every one of those input transactions. It’s NOT simply saying “Send X BTCs from wallet Y to wallet Z.” If the miner has a total of 3 BTCs, which came to the miner from 1,000 individual mining payouts of 0.003 BTC, that 3 BTC send transaction will need to contain the transaction ID of each and every one of those 1,000 individual mining payouts. That is what EATS UP SPACE in the block.

  • Bitcoin Believer

    Hi everyone. I am a newcomer and the owner of the first commercial establishment in my country to accept Bitcoin. I lo e what Bitcoin stands for and truly believe in it. I have been reading your comments and tje article above. Can anyone help me with a link so I may undestand more of what is being said here? My small two cents: I bfirmly believe that Bitcoin Must stay the way it was designed because it was designes precisely to stop banks from raping us. In order for Bitcoin to be used daily it must be more user friendly, it must ve easier to buy. I know many people who want to participate in Bitcoin bit can not buy it Thank you and long live Bitcoin!