Full Steam Ahead? Segwit2x Reaffirms Bitcoin Hard Fork Plan

Segwit2x has reconfirmed plans to move forward with its 2mb hard fork in three months. Will this lead to another split?

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2017 at 4:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:48 a.m. UTC

The technical team behind the bitcoin scaling proposal Segwit2x is doubling down on its controversial plan to introduce code that would seek to hard fork the network in three months time.

Now that Segregated Witness has locked-in on the bitcoin blockchain, and "step one" of the group's proposed roadmap is complete, Bitcoinj developer Jean-Pierre Rupp has filed an in-progress announcement that would recommit the group to increasing the block size parameter to 2 MB.

While the official statement is still being reviewed by the open-source group, it has achieved "general approval" from Segwit2x members, according to Bloq founder and Segwit2x developer Jeff Garzik.

As such, the confirmation is emerging as one of the first signs that bitcoin could be headed for more turbulent times ahead.

Since many bitcoin users don't support the change (at least not so quickly), the fork could lead to another split of the bitcoin network and the creation of another bitcoin cryptocurrency. Bitcoin cash, which split from the bitcoin blockchain last week, has already attracted criticisms for creating brand confusion, though its price (currently $318) has held steadier than some expected.

Also still backing the move are bitcoin's miners. According to the GitHub announcement, miners making up 90% of bitcoin's computational capacity plan to dedicate hash power to the new, hard-forked blockchain starting in November.

And though many in the community remain skeptical about Segwit2x's timeline for a 2 MB hard fork, the confirmation of a coming announcement should also put to rest speculation that the creation of bitcoin cash, and its struggles to so far attract users to a chain with more capacity, would have quashed the idea the change is needed.

Software shuffle

Also notable is that the post highlights the Segwit2x group's outlook toward its software use, as well as how scaling debates are playing out in their development.

For example, the announcement notes that Segwit2x is not compatible with Bitcoin Core, the network's most widely used software implementation. Further, it seems Bitcoin Core isn't interested in its software being compatible with Segwit2x's tech.

On Monday, developer Matt Corallo filed a pull request to further separate Segwit2x and Bitcoin Core nodes, a move that could hint the groups are preparing for a formal separation that would find them continuing on separate blockchains.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which organized the Segwit2x proposal.

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