Segwit2x

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software

It seems July 17 has initiated the beginning steps towards Segwit2x activation as the code has been released and miners who supported the “New York Agreement” (NYA) have started running the new BTC1 software.

Also read: A Brief Glimpse Into the Lives of Chinese Bitcoin Miners

Miners Begin Running the New Segwit2x Software

As the price of bitcoin dropped to new lows this weekend, some bitcoin proponents were patiently waiting for the promised BTC1 software. Now it seems in a short period of time the bitcoin ‘community’ may see the protocol Segregated Witness (Segwit) activated as the mining community has begun to signal BIP91. The proposal BIP91 is a combination of Segwit2x and BIP148. The version 1.14.4 code has been pushed to the repository by the Segwit2x working group, and a few mining pools have already started running the protocol. The China-based Bitmain technologies announced their support via Twitter by stating;

All of our bitcoin mining pools will start running the new Segwit2x software today  

Other mining pools signaling and mining BIP91 blocks include Bixin, Antpool, BTC.com, Bitfury, and Bitclub so far. Now spectators are waiting for other pools like BTCC, F2pool, Slush, and a few others to join. Back in June Bitcoin.com reported on how a vast majority of the hashrate was signaling their initial support for Segwit2x. Miners running the new BTC1 software and currently signaling BIP91 means that if enough hashrate reaches over 80 percent and continues for a 336 block period, Segwit will “lock in”. If all is successful, this will then lead to another 336 block period that will activate the Segwit protocol on the main chain.

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
Mining pools mining BIP91 blocks on July 17, 2017.

Bitcoin Community Sentiment  

It’s still a bit early and hard to gauge the overall sentiment of bitcoiners, but there are definitely a lot of individuals on forums and social media who support the Segwit2x plan. For instance, Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures revealed he favored Segwit2x adoption on July 17 via the investor’s blog.

“I am for the Segwit2x proposal and hope that we see it broadly adopted later this month,” explains Wilson. “There is a chance that doesn’t happen, and a user activated soft fork (UASF) could be used to force Segwit into the market. I personally hope that a user activated soft fork doesn’t happen as it would create a lot of turbulence.”

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
An explanation of BIP91.

Rootstock Chief Scientist, Sergio Demian Lerner also states his opinion of the Segwit2x compromise revealing he doesn’t believe the intention is to “fire core programmers,” which is one of the conspiracies that has been spread around the community.

“In my humble opinion the New York Agreement wanted to start from Bitcoin Core 0.14 because the group wants core to keep leading Bitcoin,” explains the Rootstock developer and initial creator of the Segwit2x proposal.

It doesn’t try to be the next core — If NYA intention was to dump Core, they would have started from BU or Bitcoin Classic or they would have removed the witness discount

Further Sergio Demian Lerner details that he knows Segwit isn’t perfect but he doesn’t think perfection is obtainable anyway.

“I audited Segwit in 2016. Found problems. Code far from perfect. HOWEVER I DO support Segwit because I don’t believe in perfection,” says the Rootstock engineer. “You have to know the actual code in detail to say you know Segwit. That’s the problem with Segwit. That’s a community fault.”

Many Others Just Want This All to Be Over

The Bitcoin Scaling Countdown: Miners Begin Running Segwit2x Software
BIP91 begins to gather support on July 17, 2017.

There are still those who vehemently disagree with the progression of BTC1 and are showing sole support for either UASF or UAHF, vowing never to compromise. However, gauging sentiment via Twitter or Reddit forums is a horrible metric, and the only things that matters now in this debate are the actions from the network’s participants, rather than mere internet chatter.

People are also discussing the next step of the Segwit2x plan after the Segregated Witness protocol is implemented, which is the 2MB hard fork. The hard fork subject is also a contentious topic, and people are wondering if NYA participants will still support the hard fork after Segwit gets implemented. If Segwit2x continues to be agreed upon then exactly 12,960 blocks (~3 months) after Segwit activates  The hard fork will commence.

Now if mining pools continue to do what they agreed upon in regards to the NYA plan and other miners join in then the implementation of Segwit will likely happen soon.

What do you think about Segwit2x? Are you in favor of this compromise? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, XBT.eu, and Bitcoin.com.


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