Counting Days Before the New Hard Fork. Everything you need to know about SegWit2x
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Oct. 16, 2017

SegWit2x Countdown









Bitcoin is forking on Sunday, November 18, 2017
July 14
BTC1 Deployment

According to the SegWit2x roadmap, July 14th is the day that signatories to the New York Agreement should actually install the BTC1 beta software and test it for themselves.

July 17th update: Deployment of BTC1 is delayed by a couple of days, but not in such a way as to distort the remainder of the timeline.

July 21
BIP91 Signaling to Start

The SegWit2x development team aims for July 21st to be the day that BTC1 nodes are actually up and running, and, importantly, the day that miner signaling should commence.

July 17th update: Several mining pools have already started signaling support for BIP91, even before the announced signaling date. At the time of publication of this update, the hash power threshold has not yet been met, however.

July 21st update: BIP91 is now locked in.

July 23
BIP91 Lock In

The precise threshold for BIP91 activation requires that within a pre-defined series of 336 blocks, 269 blocks must signal readiness. That’s some 80 percent of hash power, over about 2 1/3 days. So assuming the SegWit2x roadmap is followed, BIP91 could, at the very soonest, lock in on July 23rd.

July 17th update: Since a number of mining pools have started to signal support for BIP91 early, the earliest BIP91 lock-in date has moved forward, too.

July 21st update: BIP91 is now locked in.

July 25
BIP91 Activation

On July 25th, another 336 blocks after BIP91 “lock in”, BIP91 could actually go into effect, at the soonest. Any blocks that do not signal readiness for Segregated Witness (per BIP141) should now be rejected by a majority of miners (by hash power).

July 17th update: Since several mining pools have started to signal support for BIP91 early, the earliest BIP91 activation date has moved forward too.

July 21st update: The 80 percent hash power lock-in threshold for BIP91 was reached today (UTC). This means that BIP91 should activate on July 23rd. If at least a majority of miners (by hash power) actually does enforce BIP91 for the next couple of weeks, this should make BIP148 obsolete.

August 8th update: BIP91 and/or BIP148 have done its job: Segregated Witness (BIP141) is no past the point of return for lock-in.

August 1
BIP148 Activation

This is the day BIP148 activates, which makes it the third and final deadline day for miners to avoid a split.

July 21st update: The 80 percent hash power activation threshold for BIP91 was reached today (UTC). This should make BIP148 obsolete. However, if a majority of hash power does not actually enforce BIP91 by August 1st, the scenario described here does still hold up.

August 2nd update: BIP148 has now activated, and so far all is going well. Miners are mining SegWit-signaling blocks-only, which is compatible with both BIP91 and BIP148, which means that all Bitcoin nodes are united on one chain. Segregated Witness (BIP141) is currently scheduled to lock-in on August 8th.

August 8th update: Segregated Witness (BIP141) is now past the point of no return for lock-in. All Bitcoin nodes are still united on one chain.

August 4
Bitcoin ABC Launch

Although the exact date is not set in stone, August 4th may see the introduction of a new type of “Bitcoin”: Bitcoin ABC. If you owned bitcoin at the time of split — August 1st, 00:00 UTC — you should automatically own “Bitcoin ABC” as well.

July 17th update: It now seems a bit more likely that Bitcoin ABC will launch, regardless of BIP148. This launch is scheduled for August 1st, 12:20 (PM).

July 21st update: Contraryto earlier reports, it appears that Bitcoin ABC will not include two-way replay protection. If you want to make sure you don't lose access to your Bitcoin ABC coins, you should not send any bitcoins (whether 148BTC or LegacyBTC) until you have "separated" your Bitcoin ABC coins.

August 2nd update: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), as the new cryptocurrency is now called, launched yesterday. While the project is off to a slow start when it comes to hash power and blocks, trading has opened, and it seems as if the coin could make it.

August 8th update: Bitcoin Cash (Bcash; BCH) is alive and well as an alternative cryptocurrency.

August 15
BIP 148 Proof of Work Change

While this date is not set in stone either, August 15th could see the introduction of yet another type of “Bitcoin,” which we’ll refer to as “NewPoW Bitcoin” or “NewPoWBTC.”

If miner support on 148 Bitcoin remains low, (some of) its users may opt to implement a hard fork to change the proof-of-work algorithm. This would “fire” the existing group of miners by making their specialized ASIC mining hardware obsolete on the BIP148 chain, and could open the door for new miners — possibly re-decentralising the mining ecosystem back to home users with CPUs or GPUs. (At least temporarily.)

August 2nd update: As BIP148 has locked in and Segregated Witness seems increasingly likely to activate smoothly, there will almost certainly not be any proof-of-work change any time soon.

August 8th update: Segregated Witness (BIP141) is now past the point of return. BIP148 is virtually made obsolete, and a proof-of-work change will (almost certainly) not be needed.

Mid- to late- August
SegWit Lock In

If miners avoided a chain-split through BIP141, BIP91 or BIP148, Segregated Witness should at the latest lock in between mid-August or late August. This should be a bit a non-event if it happens through BIP91 or BIP148, as it would at this point be expected, and wouldn’t change much for anyone.

But what the lock-in means is that all SegWit-ready clients will start enforcing the new rules in the next difficulty period: after another two weeks. So if you are a regular user and would like to use the new features or want to maintain top-notch security, you now have two weeks to upgrade to software that enforces SegWit.

If a chain-split is not avoided, the situation could become far more complex. By mid-August, there could potentially be one, two, three or maybe even four “Bitcoins”: “148 Bitcoin”, “NewPoW Bitcoin”, “Bitcoin ABC,” as well as “Legacy Bitcoin”.

August 2nd update: Segregated Witness lock-in is currently scheduled for August 8th.

August 8th update: Segregated Witness (BIP148) is now past the point of no return for lock-in.

Late August to Mid-September
SegWit Activation

If a chain-split is avoided by miners, SegWit should activate around this time. If you’re running a compatible client by now, you can begin to enjoy the new features while maintaining top-notch security.

If a chain-split is not avoided, the situation is (still) too complex to predict.

August 2nd update: Segregated Witness activation is currently scheduled for around August 23th.

August 8th update: Segregated Witness activation is still scheduled for around August 23th.

November 18
SegWit2x Hard Fork

This activation means that a “base block” bigger than 1 megabyte should be mined, which makes BTC1 clients incompatible with all Bitcoin clients that do not have the hard fork code implemented.

July 17th update: As per the implementation of BTC1, this "2x hard fork" should actually activate three months after SegWit activation — not three months after (BIP91) lock in. This moves the hard fork date back by about a month, closer to late November or mid-December.

August 2nd update: With Segregated Witness activation currently scheduled around August 23th, the "2x hard fork" should happen around November 23th.

August 8th update: With Segregated Witness past the point of no return for lock-in, the "2x hard fork" should happen around November 18th.

Who is against the activation of SegWit2x, is Bitcoin Gold associated with it and how should those who have bitcoins prepare? We tell you everything.

A few months ago, following some extensive debates, SegWit, an updated bitcoin protocol (Bitcoin) was initiated. As a result of these debates, an alternative Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency (Bitcoin.Cash) was created as an opposition to SegWit. We are now on the threshold of another split and that is SegWit2x.

The SegWit protocol was made under one condition: an increase in the block size within three months, meaning the hard fork. The miners, who did not support SegWit in the beginning, activated it under the New York Agreement (NYA) terms.

This agreement is also identified as the Silbert Agreement or the DCG Agreement called after its initiator, Barry Silbert, the founder of Digital Currency Group. Many prominent players in the cryptocurrency market, including the Bitmain Mining Company, the Coinbase exchange, and the BitPay payment system were attracted by Silbert.

The use of SegWit soft work is gradually growing, and this is in favor of the network (for example, reduced fees). Further improvements have been virtually approved, the most important of which is the development of the Lightning Network system. Now everyone is worried about the second part of the New York Agreement, which implies an increase in the size of the block and hard fork next month.

The hard fork is designated as SegWit2x or S2X. The btc1 protocol for the activation of S2X was created by the former Core developer and the head of Bloq Jeff Garzik. Its activation will occur at the block 494 784. The time remaining before the activation of the protocol is shown on the 2xCountdown website.

6 objections to the New York Agreement

Considering the comments in various social networks, members of the bitcoin community are extremely unhappy with the New York Agreement. Many Twitter users express their disagreement with the #NO2X hashtag. If you need a more weighty evidence, look at the share of nodes (currently 97.7%) that have not switched to the btc1 protocol:

These are the main objections to the New York Agreement:

  1. The main objection is of a political nature and even though the meeting in New York was called a "consensus", only a small part of the top managers took part in it. The event was concluded without the partaking of developers, most companies and millions of clients.
  2. Since SegWit and its associated enhancements have already increased the network bandwidth, there is no immediate need to further increase the block size. The possibilities of the current blocs are far from exhausted.
  3. Hard fork is by definition a risky and dangerous measure, which should be avoided without extreme necessity. The only exception is the long-planned hard fork, which received a unanimous support from users. The pushing of the non-tangible benefits of hard fork (refer to point 2), for which a minority of users are speaking, will most likely lead to chaos and the emergence of an alternative S2X cryptocurrency.
  4. Some Bitcoin Core developers have announced that they will quit the project if S2X becomes the main blockchain. Frankly, all the developers who publicly announced their position on this issue opposed the S2X. Without these experienced and competent people, the future of bitcoin looks extremely unreliable.
  5. Replay protection is not provided by S2X, meaning that after the fork a transaction on one chain can be replayed on the second. Users who are not familiar with this problem, when making a transaction in one of the cryptocurrency, will simultaneously send the same number of units in S2X and bitcoins.
  6. S2X intentionally resisted attempts by Core developers to prevent a chaotic network split that they made in Bitcoin Core 0.15 and subsequent releases.

The New York Agreement: Less than the total of its parts

By studying the list of companies registered in the New York Agreement, you can find several interesting facts. To begin with, let’s recount the signatories.

The total number of companies that signed the New York Agreement is 56

At first sight, this is a very impressive number, but it does not stand up to a thorough verification. Moreover, the number of companies that have withdrawn their signature or who have never signed this agreement is much higher.

However, it cannot be said that we know the full list of opponents of the New York Agreement, since many companies have not indicated their position at all. Also it is not known how many miners will leave the pools, which will not perform operations in the chosen blockchain.

The total number of signatories minus individuals is 54

Of the total number of signatories, you can safely subtract two people: a former Core developer Gavin Andresen, and the former president of the bankrupt manufacturer of ASIC-miners Spondoolies, Guy Corame. Since none of them is an active developer or a CEO, their participation in SegWit2x does not go beyond a PR support or a possession of the node. This makes them regular bitcoin users like millions of others.

The total number of signatories, excluding individuals and “Yours” is 53

The startup of Ryan Charles “Yours” has signed the New York Agreement, but a week before that Charles announced that he switched from bitcoin to litecoin (LTC/USD). That is, “Yours” does not really participate in the future of bitcoin, and his signature may be annulated.

The total number of signatories, excluding the foregoing and subsidiaries is 46

Of the total number of companies that have signed the New York Agreement, you can also deduct subsidiaries:

  1. Bitmain manages the 1Hash, and mining pools. The contact details of all these pools lead directly to Bitmain. ViaBTC has already violated the terms of the New York Agreement, engaged in Bcash mining, and received an investment of approximately 20 million yen from Bitmain and private investors.
  2. The agreement was signed by two subsidiaries of DCG: Grayscale Investments and Genesis Global Trading.
  3. The Canadian "innovation hub" Decentral is dedicated to developing the Jaxx wallet. Therefore, it makes no sense to separate Decentral and Jaxx.

The total number of signatories, excluding the above listed companies and firms that have withdrawn their signatures is 41

SegWit.Party shows revised statistics related to S2X support, including all the links, if the position of a particular company has changed. According to them, 7 participants of the New York Agreement publicly withdrew their signatures.

The total number of signatories, excluding the above listed companies and companies financed by DCG is16

If you deduct the companies that got funding from the Digital Currency Group from the total number of signatories (see the Portfolio page on the DCG website), then there are only 16 companies left. Considering that in many cases DCG is the majority investor of these companies, they can, in fact, be equated with the subsidiaries.

The last figure is the most controversial, since in many cases we do not know the amount of investments received from DCG and, accordingly, the degree of influence of DCG on these companies. It is possible that some of them can make decisions completely independently of DCG.

Counting Days Before the New Hard Fork. Everything you need to know about SegWit2x
99 Bitcoins

How to prepare for the split

Those users who have survived the Bitcoin Cash hard fork should know what to anticipate.

The number one step is to transfer all the coins to a wallet, which is completely under your control. In other words you need to withdraw all your cryptofunds from exchanges and other web wallets. Double check that you have access to your private keys.

With the approach of the hard fork, exchanges will publish statements on how they will cope with the situation (see, for example, the statements of Coinbase and Bitfinex).

However, this time there will be one chief difference compared to the previous hard fork, due to the fact that there is a lack of replay protection, it will be unsafe to spend your coins. We highly recommend all bitcoin users not to fuss and wait for concrete instructions. Perhaps, users and companies will have to manually separate their coins, even though it is not clear how this will work. We also recommend to refrain from making transactions shortly before and after the split and wait for a signal that everything has returned to normal.

Changes to the hash rate and block formation time

According to some leaked unconfirmed reports, some large miners are going to completely redirect the hash rates to S2X and possibly attack other blockchain.

Although a strong fall of the hash power may lead to a delay in transactions and the growth of the commission, the market will come to balance over time.

Bitcoin Gold has nothing to do with SegWit2X

Bitcoin Gold is another hard fork planned for October 25th, read about more about it in our future articles.

Keep calm and have your private keys with you

The upcoming November hard fork is, in fact, the same old story. Remember to keep your private keys close at hand and abstain from conducting transactions until everything comes back to normal.

The main question everybody asks is what will happen to the Bitcoin? No one knows for sure. This is another episode from the life of the "free market", which we all have to experience ourselves.

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