What a turn of events. Just when everyone thought segwit was a done deal, it seems big blockers have decided to go their own way and fork through BitcoinABC. The new client has rejected segwit. Instead, it follows the Bitcoin Unlimited approach of increasing the blocksize through user set parameters.
They are to chain-split on August 1st through a User Activated Hard-Fork (UAHF) by adjusting the mining difficulty, allowing the chain to survive even with little hashrate.
Some big miners will seemingly support them. We asked Haipo Yang, founder and CEO of ViaBTC, one of bitcoin’s biggest pools, what their plans are regarding BitcoinABC.
His answer was short: “We will support it,” he said. We asked for more details. Specifically, whether they will be mining BitcoinABC, but he said they are to publish the details soon, so we’ll have to wait.
On the other hand, Jihan Wu, who operates the biggest bitcoin pool, and Jiang Zhuoer, BTC.TOP’s founder, said they will stick to the New York Agreement, otherwise known as segwit2x.
Segwit2x has apparently been slightly delayed, but it is expected to activate segwit before or around August 1st. Thereafter, segwit2x is meant to hardfork around September, but its code has not been merged in Bitcoin Core.
As such, big blockers think last year will repeat itself whereby almost all miners and many developers representative of Bitcoin Core reached the Hong Kong agreement, which is largely similar to the New York Agreement.
But then some miners, currently standing at nearly 50%, allegedly renegaded on the agreement and started supporting segwit only, without the maxblocksize increase.
Many big blockers suspect they will do the same. After segwit is activated, miners will be free to switch to Bitcoin Core and ignore the hardfork part because their agreement is not in any way binding.
As such, big blockers would be left with no choice but to follow the Bitcoin Core roadmap or move to ethereum which aims to scale on-chain.
Which is why they have seemingly decided to chain-split on August 1st and follow their own roadmap which aims to scale on-chain with segwit, without the 75% discount, potentially added later as a hardfork to allow for optional second layer protocols like the Lightning Network.
It seems they will be backed by some big mining pools too as the discourse now apparently changes from a “compromise” which gives big blockers only a non-enforcable promise, while instantly giving small blockers their segwit with the 75% discount, to plans for a chain-split that allows the two very different visions and already divided communities to focus on their own project and roadmap.