Bitcoin’s SegWit2x war is over!
The raging war within the Bitcoin community has finally been solved. The cause of the dispute was the upcoming hard-fork that looked to increase the current 1MB block size to 2MB and it was supposed to happen on 16th of November – but this hard-fork was cancelled due to insufficient support by the community.
The SegWit2x, also known as the New York Agreement, was meant to be a compromise between the people who wanted to increase the block size and the people who wanted to incorporate the Segregated Witness protocol. This update was meant to happen in two parts. First the SegWit part would be incorporated, and then there would be the increase in block size about 90 days later.
The SegWit optimization has already been incorporated to the Bitcoin as of August 2017, but the hard-fork that caused the community to split in two didn’t build sufficient consensus. The hard-fork would have created two separate branches of Bitcoin and the community would have been split forever. Although the developers of SegWit2x know that 1MB block size is not enough, but they understand that keeping the community together is even more important. Because of this, the hard-fork was cancelled on 8th of November.
Although the hard-fork was cancelled, the SegWit protocol is here to stay, making way to incorporate side chain solutions like Lightning Network to Bitcoin. Lightning Network works by moving some transactions off the main blockchain to side chains. This solution allows to create a payment channel off the blockchain between two people. This makes transactions faster and cheaper as they won’t exhaust the main blockchain. This also makes it much more scalable and more versatile, by making micropayments feasible. When there happens to be a dispute the transactions can be moved back to the main blockchain and settled there by the verifying network.
In conclusion, the long lasting conflict has finally been settled. The 2x block size won’t happen for the time being, but the SegWit update has given Bitcoin the necessary tools to scale and improve the whole protocol. Whether we will see an increase in the block size in the future is unknown, but as of now, it is put on hold – until further notice.