Yesterday, March 1, 2016, bitcoin mining pool Slush Pool released a voting switch to let users vote on which Bitcoin protocol they want to dedicate their hashing power to. Although the overwhelming majority of Slush Pool users haven’t voted yet, the ones who have voted have given Bitcoin Classic a huge lead over the other choices.
Slush Pool Lets Users Vote on Major Protocol Choices
The pool gave its users 4 choices for where they could direct their mining power:
- Bitcoin Classic: Formally known as BIP 109, this fork proposal immediately increases block sizes to 2 MB, with provisions for periodic increases over time.
- Bitcoin Core: The current rules dominating the Bitcoin network. Core currently has block sizes capped at 1 MB, an artificial limit that is currently slowing down the network dramatically.
- BIP 100: This BIP calls for an immediate block size increase to 8 MB, with provisions for future increases
- Don’t Care: This option lets the pool AI select which protocol the user dedicates their hashing power towards.
At press time, a total of 217 users have voted on which protocol they want to dedicate their mining power towards. This leaves 17,288 Slush Pool users who haven’t voted, making up 98.76% of the pool’s user base.
This low level of voter turnout is to be expected; the voting switch was only announced on Reddit 14 hours ago, and only received 173 upvotes as of press time — relatively low compared to other big developments in the block size debate.
However, among the people who have voted, Bitcoin Classic is winning by a landslide. Classic has received 193 votes, making up 1.1% of Slush Pool’s user base. These users have dedicated 591.5 Th/s to mining Classic blocks — which is 1.15% of Slush Pool’s total hash rate.
The other choices have received only a fraction of the votes gained by Classic. The vote distribution as of press time is as follows:
- Bitcoin Classic: 193 votes; 1.1% of the user base; 591.5 Th/s
- Bitcoin Core: 13 votes; 0.07% of the user base; 23.91 Th/s
- Don’t Care: 9 votes; 0.05% of the user base; 4.738 Th/s
- BIP 100 (8 MB): 2 votes; 0.01% of the user base; 51.13 Gh/s
Here is a graphical breakdown of the current voting results, not counting users who haven’t voted:
A Bright Future for Bitcoin Classic?
According to blockinfo.org, Slush Pool holds only 4.4% of the network’s total hashrate, meaning that the long-run outcome of their protocol voting will probably not have a significant effect on the outcome of the block size battle. Furthermore, with F2Pool — currently the largest mining pool at 24.5% of the total hashrate — threatening to withdraw its support for the consensus achieved at the February 21 roundtable, Classic’s early lead on Slush seems even less significant.
However, as Core blocks near their 1 MB limit, and with the entire network consequently slowing down, larger portions of the mining ecosystem may end up flocking to bigger blocks. With frustrations flaring over rising confirmation times, a move to Classic may be on the not-so-distant horizon.
Do you think Bitcoin Classic will succeed over Core? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of CoinMonitor, Slush Pool
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