An important voice in the Cryptocurrecy community has now come out against the SegWit2x proposal for Bitcoin scaling. Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and a former executive at Coinbase formally came out to express his opposition to it. He made the announcement in the tweet below
Miners and business cannot change Bitcoin without user consensus. So today, to show my disapproval, I'm adding [NO2X] to my name. Join me!
— Charlie Lee [NO2X] (@SatoshiLite) September 27, 2017
A Background to SegWit2X
SegWit2X was a proposal by Barry Silbert from the Digital currency group. The idea behind the proposal was to increase the blocksize limit to 2mb as well as Bitcoin Core’s scaling solution of Segregated Witness.
However, the majority of the users on the Bitcoin network opposed the activation of SegWit2X because they discovered that the proposal would not have the support of the core developers. When they saw that the chances of the activation going through, they decided that they should “hard-fork” or split the network in November. This would result in another version of Bitcoin being created.
One of the main points of contention to the activation is the fact that SegWit has already started to have an impact on the network. Although it is quite a small impact currently, it has already decreased the average block size from about 1MB to around 0.86. Similarly, the size of the Bitcoin Memepool has also decreased from about 150m to 10m bytes.
The memepool is the total size of all the Bitcoin transactions that are waiting to be processed. These are termed the “unconfirmed transactions”. This means that the implementation of SegWit has decreased the total size of these unconfirmed transactions to less than 10% of where it was before the implementation.
Many more in the Bitcoin community are highly sceptical of the SegWitX2 proposal. They find it rather strange that a large group of powerful businesses are trying to change the Bitcoin protocol further without any support from the developers. This takes them back to the notion of centralization which Bitcoin was meant to defeat.
Leave it to the Community
Many people are of the view that this should be left to the community to hash out (no pun intended). Indeed, not all of the core developers are opposed to the idea of increasing the blocksize limit. For example, Mr Adam Back gave his support to the proposal in 2015.
Yet, there is no need at this moment to increase the blocksize limit just for the sake of it. There are still a number of wallet and exchanges which have not implemented SegWit. They should be given the time to make the necessary changes so that the solution can fully play out. As more and more transactions are processed with Segregated Witness so too will the capacity constraints lessen.
More Bitcoin companies should therefore adopt the current SegWit solution and see how the network responds. Monitor the memepool and track the adoption. If it becomes clear that the blocksize limit is still a major hindrance to the scalability of Bitcoin, then the increase can be approached again.
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