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
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, 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.