The Bitcoin SegWit2X hardfork is now dead. While many breathed a sigh of relief that the contentious hardfork was taken off the cards, the community needs to address the underlying issue – transaction fees.
Although many wanted to take the drastic step of hardforking Bitcoin, there may be a much simpler solution that can have an impact. This just requires a concerted effort of Bitcoin companies to work together on sustainable solutions.
One of the low hanging fruits seems to be support for Segregated Witness transactions. If these Bitcoin companies made all of their transactions SegWit transactions, they could drive down their costs considerably.
SegWit enabled transactions have been around for over 2 months yet many of these companies have not enabled these transactions. There were many in the community who took issue with their stance on SegWit2X while still not implementing the legitimate scaling solution of SegWit.
Despite how vehemently some of these companies supported 2X, those efforts were merely a waste of time and money. The situation of expensive transaction fees still stands and they need to address it. If these companies had merely made their transaction mandatory with SegWit in September then the ecosystem may have been in a better place now.
Apart from implementing the solution, due to lack of mass adoption it is hard to analyse the results. There is a lack of data that many of the developers would be using for monitoring purposes. In a blunt and honest statement, a Bitcoin Core developer and Engineer at Bitgo, Jameson Lopp, made his feelings known on Twitter
The rise in transaction fees shall continue until SegWit adoption improves.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) November 9, 2017
He went on to say that the rate of current adoption is insufficient. In order for the benefits of SegWit to appropriately accrue the rate of adoption should outpace the increased demand for block size.
Currently, the % of transactions that are SegWit transactions is only about 10%. Although this has increased quite a bit recently, it is still very low. Moreover, it appears as if there are not a great deal of companies who are clamouring to work on the implementation.
We are unlikely to see any sort of concern about the current situation from the miners. This is because they are quite content with the status quo. Increased transaction fees mean more money for them. Add to that the fact that the price of Bitcoin is now over $7,000 they have even more reason to not take actions.
Hence, it is incumbent on the main Exchanges as well as wallet providers to work on their solutions. Now that they do not have to worry about the implications of a Bitcoin hardfork, they can devote that time and money to SegWit transactions. It is indeed in their interest as well to make sure that we all have a healthy Bitcoin ecosystem with reasonable transaction fees.
Bitcoin was designed around the notion of economic incentives for all of those involved. Hence, as high transaction fees could damage business for these companies one can only hope that they will act with rational self-interest.
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