The majority of bitcoin's mining power is lining up behind a scaling solution that would increase the network's transaction capacity.
Known as Segwit2x, the proposal – if passed – could mark a significant advancement in bitcoin's years-long scaling debate, effectively spurring the activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit), a scaling proposal introduced by developers in 2015, and doubling the current 1 MB block size. But while the actual Segwit2x code is not ready for mining pools to run yet (it's still in the testing phase until 30th June), this isn't stopping mining pools from demonstrating they support the measure.
Mining pools AntPool, Bitcoin.com, Bitfury, Bixin, BTC.com, BTC.top, BW Pool, F2Pool, and ViaBTC (which represent about 71% of the network's mining power) are already adding a piece of text to each block that they mine to show their support.
Once the code is ready for showtime on 21st July, mining pools will be able to run the software. The Segwit2x scaling agreement will require 80% of the mining hashrate to run the code for roughly three days starting on that date.
Mining firms already announced their intent to support Segwit2x, but after a meeting in Chengdu last week, 16 total mining manufacturers, exchanges and mining pools "unanimously" agreed to a set of resolutions, including their intent to follow through with locking in SegWit by 31st July.
As such, the roundtable bears similarities to past miner meetings, such as one held in late-April where mining pools agreed to signal support for SegWit on litecoin, an alternative blockchain platform.
In the resolution, there is also no explicit mention of BIP 148, a soft fork that aims to lock-in SegWit in a different way, and whose supporters have been vocal about what they feel has been a resistance to SegWit over political and social issues.
As for whether the full terms of Segwit2x will be enacted, however, that remains to be seen.
A hard fork has long been seen as a contentious move by developers and some users. (Mining pool ViaBTC is already taking steps to indicate it could take aggressive actions to ensure a hard fork would enforce a 2 MB upgrade).
As such, it remains unclear what the final impact of Segwit2x will be on the network, and how many mining pools will ultimately run the terms of the resolution.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which acted as organizer for the Segwit2x proposal.
Green light image via Shutterstock