On August 23 at approximately 10:00 pm EDT on block 481822 Segregated Witness finally activated and is now live on the Bitcoin network.
Segwit Is Now Live on the Bitcoin Network
Segregated Witness (Segwit) was an idea that was introduced by the software developer, Peter Wuille, in 2015 at the Hong Kong Scaling Workshop. The protocol is meant to relocate witness inputs from the transaction hash, which will theoretically help malleability and create more block size space. The concept was at first well received by the bitcoin ‘community, ’ but some had hoped a block size increase would also follow. The community and developers couldn’t come to terms with increasing the block size, and lots of infighting began. Further, this meant the Segwit protocol sat on the shelf for quite some time as some miners would not approve of the upgrade unless a block size increase was included.
Getting Things Done
After more than a year and a half of arguing and failed roundtable proposals, another meeting called the New York Agreement (NYA) took place this year and pushed things further. The ‘agreement’ said Segwit would be activated by the mining majority and followed by a 2MB hard fork. This brought about the birth of the Segwit2x working group led by early bitcoin adopter and developer Jeff Garzik. The Segwit2x development team and the majority of miners had managed to lock-in Segwit on August 8 on block 479707. Following this, on August 23 the mining pool BTC.com processed block 481822 and Segregated Witness was officially activated on the network. Two days ago Segwit2x developer Jeff Garzik was thrilled about Segwit activating on the network, stating;
Would not have happened without Segwit2x moving past the gridlock — Getting Things Done.
Moving on to Part Two of the Compromise and Spreading the Word About Segwit2x
Now that Segwit has activated users will be waiting to see if the protocol actually produces what developers claimed it did on bitcoin testnets. People will be waiting to see if it increases transaction throughput and makes fees cheaper over the course of the next few weeks. Today as Segwit activated Jeff Garzik has updated the ‘community’ about the next steps to follow which includes the 2MB hard fork.
“As of this writing, we continue to have over 90% agreement from miners to move forward with Segwit2x. Segwit2x is officially locked in, and the plan is working,” explains Garzik. “During this quiet period, it will be easy to forget about Segwit2x as not much is expected to happen.”
But we need everyone to keep spreading the word of what we’re doing and why it matters: we’re upgrading Bitcoin using Bitcoin’s long established upgrade mechanism, increasing Bitcoin’s scalability, and taking the unity path to keep the Bitcoin network united without a chain split. Please continue to tell the world how important Segwit2x is for Bitcoin, and help rollout more Segwit2x nodes.
Replay Protection, Uncertainty, and Celebration
In addition to this announcement, the Segwit2x working group has decided to use Gavin Andresen’s opt-in replay protection to the code base. Many bitcoiners were wondering how this would be handled, and now there will be a form of replay protection implemented. Segregated Witness is now live, and many people are excited, but the future is still uncertain for the next half of the Segwit2x plan. Until then some bitcoiners will be celebrating today’s milestone as it took a very long time to activate the Segwit protocol.
What do you think about the Segwit protocol activating on the Bitcoin network today? Let us know in the comments below.