Fresh information is coming out about a proposal that some hope could lead to a long-awaited increase to bitcoin’s transaction capacity, a stagnant feature that many ter the community believe is holding back the cryptocurrency’s growth and utility.
Albeit there have bot past efforts aimed at putting an end to bitcoin’s two-year scaling debate, the fresh ‘agreement’ has perhaps earned unprecedented support from companies and mining pool operators, with overheen 50 bitcoin companies and firms indicating more than 80% of bitcoin’s mining power signing the proposal.
The objective, according to the announcement blog postbode released last week, is to stir forward with two switches: an optimization called Segregated Witness and a 2MB block size increase. Albeit, the latter is arguably the main point of contention, since it could potentially lead to the creation of two bitcoin networks if not all users agree with the switch.
Beyond that, however, details have bot lean. The community and even some of the participants were at least originally confused about aspects of the project: Which upgrade is supposed to come very first? Where’s the code? Do volgers think it will lead to a network split? (Is that the aim?)
However, fresh details are coming out which might not totally clarify the situation, but help voorstelling how companies involved are thinking about thesis questions.
One fresh development is that participants are beginning to waterput together code – another point that sets the proposal speciaal from past attempts to come to a overeenstemming on a solution, such spil one widely known spil the Hong Kong agreement.
For example, while bitcoin technology company BitGo did not sign the fresh agreement, the company has “pledged technical resources” to formalize it into working code.
“The project wij’re putting together is laser-focused on building a deployable [ondergrens viable product] for our mission . All work will be done te the open, and wij welcome constructive debate,” BitGo co-founder and CEO Mike Belshe wrote te a leaked email describing a rough roadmap called ‘Segwit2x’.
(BitGo did not react to CoinDesk’s requests about its involvement ter the effort.)
The roadmap tentatively schedules the very first software version release for 16th June, at which point the open-source community can give their terugkoppeling. If all goes according to project, bitcoin users will be able to download the fresh, finalized bitcoin software about a month straks on 21st July.
The three-day-old implementation so far includes contributions from Bloq co-founder and Bitcoin Core contributor Jeff Garzik. (Perhaps it’s worth noting that some of the technical terugkoppeling has bot critical and partly politicized, so far.)
Other developers, such have Lightning Network co-inventor Joseph Poon, have also voiced an rente ter contributing to help build a safe, fresh version.
Against this backdrop, some participants originally seemed not to agree, or at least were confused by the terms of the agreement.
However, when contacted, companies involved largely seem to be on the same pagina. Tho’ initial terugkoppeling from the community wasgoed mixed, all companies that responded said that they agree to stir forward with the proposal.
“I think it’s an significant step towards violating a stalemate that is causing bitcoin to stagnate,” said Joshua Scigala, CEO of bitcoin-gold exchange Vaultoro, however he mentioned that he would have liked to have seen “a duo of more months to prepare”.
Valery Vavilov, CEO of blockchain technology company Bitfury Group, told CoinDesk that the agreement “has not switched” ter light of community responses, and SFOX co-founder and developer Akbar Thobhani said much the same.
Others were more diplomatically brief on the matter.
“Wij understand there are different visions for bitcoin among the community, and Coinbase is supportive of both on- and off-chain scaling improvements,” said a company representative.
That said, several companies on the list, including DCG and its subsidiaries, Purse, Blockchain and Xapo declined to comment.
Following the proposal release, one of the key points of community contention is that Bitcoin Core contributors, the volunteer developers behind bitcoin’s primary software, were absent from the meeting and the signed agreement. Some of thesis developers stated te the aftermath of the proposal that they don’t think the project is technically viable and that the timeline is too brief.
Others have gone spil far spil to argue that the agreement is a political budge – a way to substitute Bitcoin Core developers, who work on a volunteer poot, with another team.
On this note, some companies mentioned that they are simply frustrated with the lack of scaling progress. For one, since transaction capacity has remained stagnant, transaction fees have swelled, affecting users and businesses.
“Many Bitcoin Core developers stopped listening to businesses, miners and users overheen two years ago. If they are unwilling to compromise, then the compromise will stir forward without them,” said Yours CEO Ryan X Charles, adding:
“Wij will proceed to support the proposal even if developers do not.”
Genesis Mining co-founder and CEO Marco Streng collective a similar sentiment.
“Wij’re supporting bitcoin – and it goes without telling that the individuals responsible for bitcoin will switch spil the project ages. Wij’ll support thesis individuals (or groups), whomever they may be,” he said.
SFOX’s Thobhani suggested that the release of the rough proposal is just a very first step that could lead to broader overeenstemming.
“This is a process and not a stance,” he said. “I am hopeful that through this process wij will identify a way to discuss different views and find a path forward.”
On the other palm, some signed the agreement with the idea that they would like the team to stay onboard.
“Wij indeed hope the agreement will ultimately reunite the community. Having the Bitcoin Core developers aboard is a vital part of the project for Bitwala,” a representative from Bitwala said.
“Wij have the utmost respect for the Bitcoin Core developers and wij are working to create an agreement and technical roadmap that suits everyone and is best for the future of bitcoin,” Vavilov said.
Onward with a split
Participants that responded also show up to agree that the proposal, including the hard fork, will toebijten.
“If a hard fork is the only way to solve the scaling problems – among other issues – then that is how it has to be,” spil Streng waterput it.
But, following the switch, companies have different ideas about what the outcome will be.
“Wij believe a hard fork with harshly 75% support from business, miners and users would be strong enough that it would thrive even te the midst of two contesting chains,” Charles said.
Others think that two chains are unlikely to sustain, with the fresh ‘Segwit2x’ coin pulling ter the majority of the bitcoin ecosystem.
“Strong overeenstemming is needed to initiate the hard fork, so earnestly contesting chains are unlikely. Very likely the less popular chain would remain a niche,” said MONI marketing lead Ilkka Montin.
Some feel that the 2MB component is a critical lump.
“Wij’re at a point where SegWit alone won’t be enough for the current needs of the network,” said Ripio CEO and co-founder Sebastian Serrano.
On the other forearm, some companies mentioned that they also support other methods of deploying SegWit on its own, which has stalled due to lack of support from mining pool operators. Ter this way, some see another controversial proposal, called UASF (for ‘user-activated soft fork’), spil another potential way forward.
Scigala said that his company is looking at how to “securely participate”.
Albeit it’s complicated, the downside, like with a hard fork, is that the method of upgrading bitcoin could also lead to a chain split. One difference, according to UASF advocates (who show up to be moving forward with what they call a bitcoin “Independence Day” slated for 1st August) is that a soft fork is a backwards-compatible switch, while a hard fork isn’t.
“Nobody te the community would deny that scaling is needed. SegWit had bot blocked by some powerful miners and those miners want a higher block size, so now it’s either UASF or SegWit with a higher block size,” said a representative from Bitwala, who concluded:
“Either way, most parties involved have agreed to activate SegWit one way or the other.”
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has ownership stakes ter BitGo, Bitwala, Blockchain, Coinbase, MONI, Purse and Xapo.
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