2x Called Off: Bitcoin Hard Fork Suspended for Lack of Consensus

A controversial plan to change the bitcoin software has been abruptly called off, just weeks before its expected release.

AccessTimeIconNov 8, 2017 at 5:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:08 a.m. UTC

The organizers of a controversial bitcoin software update are suspending their attempt to increase the block size by way of a hard fork.

Known for its strong early support from bitcoin startups and mining pools, the plan, called Segwit2x, or simply '2x,' was to trigger a block size increase at block 494,784, expected to occur on or around November 16th. The goal of the project, according to those involved, was to use the measure to increase bitcoin's transaction capacity, which is today constrained by the nature of the software's rules.

The suspension was announced today in an email written by Mike Belshe, CEO and co-founder of bitcoin wallet software provider BitGo. One of the leaders of the Segwit2x project, he argued that the scaling proposal is too controversial to move forward.

He wrote:

"Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean block size upgrade at this time. Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x."

"Until then, we are suspending our plans for the upcoming 2MB upgrade," he added.

The note is also signed by companies that originally supported the plan, forged at an in-person meeting in May, including Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Bloq CEO and co-founder Jeff Garzik, Blockchain CEO and co-founder Peter Smith and Shapeshift CEO and founder Erik Voorhees.

The group said that it still hopes the block size will be increased further down the line, once there is more agreement from stakeholders.

In statements to the BTC1 Slack group, developer Jeff Garzik said the alternative software would continue to be developed, and that it may support "other chains such as bitcoin cash, litecoin and other bitcoin-family chains."

For more coverage on the hard fork visit our guides here.

Cancelled image via Shutterstock

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