November 08, 2017
By Aaron van Wirdum, Staff Writer - November 08, 2017 (bitcoinmagazine.com)
There will almost certainly be no Bitcoin hard fork next week: the main organizers behind the SegWit2x project have “suspended” their efforts.
In an email to the SegWit2x mailing list, one of the main organizers behind the project, BitGo CEO Mike Belshe, explained that the proposed hard fork has not been able to gain sufficient consensus to proceed:
“Although we strongly believe in the need for a larger blocksize, there is something we believe is even more important: keeping the community together. Unfortunately, it is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time.”
The New York Agreement was originally forged between a group of Bitcoin companies in May of this year. An initiative by Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert, the project — later dubbed “SegWit2x” — was to combine activation of the Segregated Witness soft fork with a hard fork to double Bitcoin’s block weight limit. With Segregated Witness activated on the Bitcoin network this past summer, arguably helped by the SegWit2x project, the hard fork was scheduled to take place next week.
However, the hard fork part of the New York Agreement was always controversial for a number of reasons. As a result, a growing number of signatories dropped out of the agreement over the past weeks and months, while developers, user communities, public polls, future markets and more all indicated limited support for the effort. And as the hard fork date drew closer, it become increasingly clear that SegWit2x would in fact spawn a new currency rather than constitute an upgrade of the Bitcoin protocol.
And this was never the plan, Belshe wrote:
“Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin’s growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x.”
Belshe’s email was also signed on behalf of Xapo CEO Wences Casares, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu, Bloq CEO Jeff Garzik, Blockchain CEO Peter Smith and ShapeShift CEO Erik Voorhees. In a separate blog post published just before Belshe’s email, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair also called for cancelation of the hard fork.
While the New York Agreement was signed by even more companies (and some individuals), and anyone can still deploy the hard fork, it is unlikely that anyone will proceed with the hard fork in any meaningful way.
Belshe does, however, note that a hard fork to increase Bitcoin’s block weight limit might be needed in the future, writing:
“As fees rise on the blockchain, we believe it will eventually become obvious that on-chain capacity increases are necessary. When that happens, we hope the community will come together and find a solution, possibly with a blocksize increase.”
November 04, 2017
By Josiah Wilmoth - November 04, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)
Daniel Vogel, co-founder and president of Mexican bitcoin exchange Bitso, sent an email to the SegWit2x mailing list on Thursday expressing hesitancy about the upcoming hard fork that is scheduled to activate in approximately two weeks. Vogel’s chief concern is that although the SegWit2x codebase is written as an upgrade, the hard fork is effectively a blockchain split.
“I would urge everyone to rethink the S2X code from a technical perspective. The code base was written as an upgrade to Bitcoin. I believe there is enough hard data out there to make it clear that S2X is no longer an upgrade.”
He noted that although the majority of the hashrate continues to signal for the hard fork, several pools have either withdrawn support or declined to support it in the first place and others have wavered in their commitment to mine the SegWit2x blockchain.“When do we stop and rethink?,” he asked. “When we get to less than 50% hashing power?”
He also pointed to the fact that no bitcoin liquidity providers — bitcoin exchanges, for instance — have stated they will abandon the incumbent blockchain, which is what happens when a hard fork is truly a blockchain upgrade.
"I ultimately think this is about users. We had ZERO users asking us to keep support for the now dead pre-Byzantium [ethereum] chain,” a hard fork that took place last month. “We have tons of users asking us to keep support for their ‘core’ BTC.”
Vogel said that Bitso signed the NYA to help activate SegWit but that the agreement has failed in its attempt to build consensus around SegWit2x.
“What’s relevant is that NYA has failed to bring the community together and provide a safe mechanism to upgrade Bitcoin as it had intended to do,” he continued, adding that “when asked about signing the NYA I definitely didn’t agree to it in order to further divide and cause mayhem, which is what NYA has achieved.”
Bitso is not the first NYA signatory to revoke its support for the agreement. Although SegWit2x project lead Mike Belshe has said “Things are looking good” ahead of the hard fork’s scheduled activation date, a growing list of businesses — as well as mining pool F2Pool — have reversed their support for the contentious hard fork for various reasons, ranging from a lack of replay protection to a dearth of support from their customers and the most active bitcoin developers.
“This is not a blockchain upgrade,” Vogel concluded at the end of his email. “This is a chain split and we are failing to address legitimate safety concerns for the users of this network.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.
Posted by Josiah Wilmoth
Josiah is a former ancient and medieval literature teacher. He has been writing about cryptocurrency since 2014, and his work has been cited in Business Insider, NPR, and Yahoo! Finance. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and son. Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.