F2Pool Reneges: Bitcoin Pool Pulls Segwit2x Support Over Hard Fork

Alyssa Hertig
Aug 31, 2017 at 20:15 UTC
NEWS

Chinese mining pool F2Pool no longer supports the controversial scaling agreement Segwit2x.

Though the proposal has garnered support from many large bitcoin companies and the majority of mining pools, many take issue with its aim to boost bitcoin capacity by way of a hard fork, a mechanism that could lead the cryptocurrency to split into separate blockchain networks.

Tension has been high with developers already hotly debating the merits of the hard fork (a grassroots movement has sprung up in opposition as well), even though the change is not slated for more than two months from now.

Although F2Pool was an original signatory of the agreement, its operator Wang Chun is now among the proposal's detractors.

In an email, Chun told CoinDesk:

"No. I don't support [the] Segwit2x hard fork."

Chun went on to add that F2Pool did not run the Segwit2x codebase, BTC1, for the first part of the agreement, when mining pools rallied around the long-debated code optimization Segregated Witness (SegWit).

Representatives from Segwit2x were not immediately available to comment on whether the mining pool has alerted the rest of the group or formally withdrawn from the agreement.

Supporters remain

While F2Pool has flipped, however, other mining pools seem to be steadfast, again, most claiming they'll follow through with Segwit2x.

"We are strong supporters of the New York Agreement (Segwit2X). We support scaling bitcoin and doing so responsibly. We hope that the hard fork part of Segwit2X will also be upheld," said BTCC CEO Bobby Lee.

Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov echoed this sentiment, saying, "The initial agreement for SegWit2x has not changed."

Even with support still high, major mining pool Slush Pool, who did not sign the agreement when it was orignally released, remains undecided.

Marek Palatinus, co-founder and CEO of SatoshiLabs and Slush Pool founder, told CoinDesk, the reason for their indecision is the hard fork. Yet, he didn't seem pressed to make a decision since the hard fork is still months away.

Do miners matter?

There's been much debate about how much mining pool support matters, and how much power the Segwit2x group has over decision-making.

Some bitcoin developers argue that users don't follow mining pools, rather, mining pools chase cryptocurrencies that are the most profitable, typically those with the most users and demand.

Bitcoin cash, the cryptocurrency that split from bitcoin on August 1, provides an interesting and complex case study. Mining pools, such as ViaBTC, arguably played a big role in launching the cryptocurrency, yet most mining pools only seem to be mining bitcoin cash to make a profit.

But the allegation is Segwit2x is still pushing the narrative that miner support is necessary, arguing that because so much mining power supports its change (roughly 85% now with F2Pool and Slush Pool out), it's the correct decision for the future of bitcoin.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which helped organize the Segwit2x agreement, and has an ownership stake in BTCC. 

Departures image via Shutterstock

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Mining PoolsHard ForksF2PoolSegWit2x

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