The code for a long-in-development bitcoin scaling solution could be ready for activation as soon as 15th November.
The new software – version 0.13.1 – will include more code for Segregated Witness (SegWit), enabling users (and, perhaps most notably, miners) to begin the upgrade process. The launch will kick off a process by which the extended stakeholders in the distributed network will be asked to signal whether they support SegWit.
The November release date doesn't mean bitcoin's capacity issues will be instantly resolved, however.
For example, SegWit won't become the law of the land, so to speak, until 95% of the world's bitcoin miners signal their support by running the upgraded version. Furthermore, 2,016 transaction blocks need to pass after that threshold is reached before the network begins enforcing the change.
While promising, the release could spark further debate within the bitcoin community about the ways in which the bitcoin network can be scaled to support more usage given that tensions have recently been heightened over a perceived lack of progress on the issue.
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.