Industry Businesses Pledge to Avoid Bitcoin Network Split
A group of bitcoin miners, exchanges and service providers have issued a letter stating that they would not back hard forks of the network.
Just hours after the release of an alternative implementation of the bitcoin software, a group of miners, exchanges and service providers who work with the digital currency issued a letter stating that they would not back any "controversial" changes to the bitcoin network.
calls for an increase in the cap that currently limits the bitcoin blockchain's transaction processing capabilities while also voicing support for a proposal called Segregated Witness, code previously put forward by the team behind the majority-used Bitcoin Core software as part of a broader scalability roadmap.
Those signing the letter said they reject the viability of a "contentious hard-fork", a change to the bitcoin software that makes previous versions incompatible. In this instance, all of the network's users would either have to download new software in order to be part of the new chain, or transaction history, or continue running the old version.
In the case of Bitcoin Classic, the change could result in one network operating with blocks with a 2MB block size cap and another with the existing 1 MB cap.
The letter reads:
The publication followed the release of Bitcoin Classic, an effort to raise the block size limit of the bitcoin network by means of a hard fork. Prior to the release of the client, those backing the project claimed significant support from the bitcoin mining community, going as far as listing a number of mining entities on the project’s main website.
Yet, doubts remained as to the level of support from miners (particularly those based in China) for the Bitcoin Classic proposal.
The letter’s signatories include mining entities BitFury, BW.com, BTCC, F2Pool and GHash.IO, a list that constitutes close to 70% of the bitcoin’s hash rate distribution, according to data from Blockchain.info.
Most notably, the letter states that signatories would not run production-grade versions, nor would they mine blocks as part of a hard fork of the bitcoin network, naming Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin XT, an earlier proposal to hard fork the network, specifically.
The letter explains:
Those signing the letter also called for greater collaboration with the team behind Bitcoin Core, though the wording notably does not preclude those involved from running test versions of the Bitcoin Classic network.
"In the next three weeks, we need the Bitcoin Core developers to work with us and clarify the roadmap with respect to a future hard-fork which includes an increase of the block size," the letter states. "Currently we are in discussions to determine the next best steps."
A full list of signatories can be found here.
Log splitting visualization via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.