On July 22, 2017, at approximately 04:46:31 UTC at block height 477120 — BIP91 was activated on the Bitcoin network. As of this point, if the Segwit2x plan is successful, blocks that don’t signal Segregated Witness (BIP141) will be rejected.
Segwit2x Progresses Forward
BIP91 has activated on the Bitcoin network after it was enforced by a collaborative effort of mining pools. Over the course of the past 24-hours, nearly every block on the network has been signaling for the protocol change. The threshold for Segwit activation is 80 percent of the network, and 88.2 percent has shown signaling support in the last 24 hours.
Mining pools showing BIP91/Segwit activation include:
- BW Pool
BIP91 Activates: Grace Period Ends
The past two and half days have allowed miners time to upgrade their nodes, as from now on every block not signaling Segwit (bit-1) should be rejected. If all goes well and everybody is on board with Segwit (bit-1) blocks, then it will ensure Segwit’s lock-in period. All of these signaling phases make sure everyone agrees, and the next chapter of consensus commences. Roughly around the end of August, the Segwit protocol will be officially implemented and active on the Bitcoin network.
Many community members seem pleased with the Segwit2x progress so far, while others are very doubtful – showing lots of skepticism in forum discussions. Both small blockers and big blockers are still fighting. Further on social media, many bitcoin-business executives, developers, and luminaries are still showing contempt for those disagreeing with their subjective valuations. There’s a lot of narratives to follow with people talking about blockchain re-orgs, replay protection, the user-activated hard fork (Bitcoin Cash), exchange contingency plans, and the biggest of all: whether or not the network will upgrade to 2MB this November.
The User-Activated Hard Fork (Bitcoin Cash)
There are those with the opinion that the user activated hard fork (Bitcoin Cash/BCC) will happen regardless of the Segwit2x working groups progress. There are many bitcoiners discussing this scenario and a recent Medium post written by Juan Manini-Rios goes into great detail about the subject.
“Segwit2X locked-in on July 21st with +90% miner support so many people could now be tempted to assume that the scaling debate is over and Bitcoin is now good to scale to the masses,” explains Manini-Rios.
Unfortunately, that is not the case at all, and a Bitcoin fork is still almost certain.
Manini-Rios says even though people believe the UAHF was just a contingency plan against the user-activated soft fork (UASF), it still will happen. Bitcoin Cash developers have recently added a ‘slow’ mining difficulty reduction algorithm if they don’t get many miners to back the minority branch. Further, it seems Bitcoin Unlimited, Classic, and ABC will be assisting the chain with their separate clients.
Segwit2x developer Jeff Garzik has also been discussing the possibility of a BCC fork.
“Now that everybody sees Segwit2x being activated on schedule and as agreed, the UASF disruption to BTC holders should be near-zero,” explains Garzik. “One remaining question is the amount of hashpower that will be dedicated to BCC vs. BTC. Seems like small-but-noticeable bitcoin diff dip is possible.”
BCC will be a responsible chain split, not noticeable to BTC holders. To coin a new term, ‘chain cloning’ — Not disruptive like UASF.
Bitcoin Cash Trading Begins in China
As well as talking about Bitcoin Cash, the start-up Viabtc has added two digital assets called BCC and “BTC_FROZEN2” to their newly launched exchange. “BTC_FROZEN2 represents all tokens besides BCC that may split from the original BTC chain, and is not available for trading,” explains the China-based company. Since Viabtc launched the digital token Bitcoin Cash, the market did quite well on July 22 trading at nearly $900 (¥6000). At press time the price is $533 (¥3600) per BCC and is up over 80 percent over the past 24-hours.
Alongside this, the UASF node count has increased, and supporters of that movement say they will continue running BIP148 nodes until Segwit gets activated. Many UASF supporters believe miners will renege on Segwit activation. Coincidently, hard fork proponents believe small blockers will also renege on the November 2MB hard fork. Additionally, some exchanges like Coinbase may not honor BCC tokens, so those looking to acquire coins from the BCC branch should hold their own private keys.
Throughout the next few weeks, Bitcoin.com will be sure to inform our readers of all the events that are taking place with the network proposals and possible implementations.
What do you think about the BIP91 activation and the progress with Segwit2x? What do you think about the possibility of a Bitcoin Cash branch? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Viabtc, Bitcoin Cash, Twitter, and Coin Dance.
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