On June 16 the alpha code for the scaling solution Segwit2x was released to the public following a large number of mining pools having vocally supported the plan. Since then a large majority of miners who back the Segwit2x roadmap have started signaling with their hashrate.
The New York Agreement Moves Forward With the Segwit2x Alpha Release and Significant Miner Support
Over the past few weeks, the topic of scaling the Bitcoin network and the recent Segwit2x plan has been a hot subject amongst bitcoiners. A few days ago NgsCrypto.com reported on the many Chinese mining companies who have agreed to back the Segwit2x protocol. Alongside this, the Digital Currency Group’s Barry Silbert who organized the New York agreement has been sharing information on the progress every day via Twitter.
On June 18 the mining pool Bitfury began signaling for the New York agreement by using the call letters “NYA” in its mined blocks. The very next day a large majority of miners have also started showing support for the Segwit2x plan. As of right now, mining pools who support the agreement by signaling NYA in their blocks are Antpool, NgsCrypto.com, Bixin, BTC.com, BTC.top, F2pool, Viabtc, and 1hash. The amount of support for the Segwit2x agreement is close to 70 percent of the network hashrate.
What Will Happen If Segwit2x Reaches Consensus?
The Segwit2x idea was first introduced by Rootstock’s Chief Scientist, Sergio Demian Lerner. Since then many miners and businesses within the bitcoin industry signed a pact during the Consensus conference in New York last month. The code itself is being worked on by a Segwit2x working group with Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik leading the way. Since the alpha code has been launched mining pools are now signaling their support for the protocol implementation.
A recent Reddit public service announcement (PSA) that details how Segwit2x will actually work gives a great explanation of the entire process. Essentially if enough hashrate continues to support Segwit2x and reaches 80 percent over a 336 block signaling period that will lock in Segregated Witness. The protocol will then activate after another 336 blocks later for those running Segwit2x implementations. The Reddit thread also explains how the following hard fork (HF) after Segwit will be implemented on the main network.
Then, exactly 12,960 blocks (~3 months) after Segwit activates on the Segwit2x clients, the Segwit2x 2MB hardfork will automatically activate on any/all nodes that are still running Segwit2x at that time. That hardfork, if it maintains 75+% of the hashpower at the time of its activation, will force every other node in the entire network to update to SegWit2x (or Segwit2x compatibility), or be forked off the network.
Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik also adds his two cents to the PSA.
“Very close on 2M HF activation,” explains Garzik. “The prediction is that miners activate rapidly. Therefore, block 485218 (BIP102_FORK_MIN_HEIGHT) becomes the hard fork point. “+3 months” is the fallback safety measure, in case activation is slower than predicted.”
The Possibility of a 4MB Increase and 8,000 to 10,000 Transactions Per Block
On forums and social media, there are quite a bit of people within the bitcoin community on both sides of the debate who agree with the Segwit2x plan. On the other hand, there are also those who vehemently disagree with the idea of this type of compromise. However it seems a vast majority of mining pools, and many bitcoin-centric businesses are moving forward with Segwit2x despite forum commentary.
The protocol is nearly identical to Core’s 0.14.1 client with some minor changes for signaling Segwit2x and the following activation of a soft fork and hard fork across the network. If consensus is reached, block size results would be roughly around 4MB as opposed to 1MB and will hopefully process 8,000 to 10,000 transactions per block. It will be interesting to see the outcome of the New York agreement as it seems to have gained more ground than the Hong Kong agreement in the past. It’s also worth noting that normal bitcoin users who hold their private keys will not have to do anything during the process except watch the procedure unfold.
What do you think about the Segwit2x plan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.