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Bitcoin Core & Miners Agree on Scaling Roadmap: Hard Fork Code Comes July 2016, Activation in 2017

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:46 PM

In an announcement today, the largest bitcoin mining pools and that represent over 70% of the cryptocurrency network’s hashing rate have, in a common consensus with major bitcoin exchanges and service providers, agreed with 90 percent of the Bitcoin Core contributors over the proposed roadmap for scaling bitcoin.

In an announcement today, members of the Bitcoin Core team and representatives of the cryptocurrency’s mining pools in China have reached an agreement on the roadmap to scaling Bitcoin with a Bitcoin Core approved hard fork. The consensus was achieved at the Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong conference.

Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong
Consensus reached.

The common consensus will see the proposed timeline have five Bitcoin Core contributors in Cory Fields, Johnson Lau, Luke Dashjr, Matt Corallo and Peter Todd develop the implementation of the hard-fork that will be available as a recommendation to the bitcoin core network.

This hard-fork will include the feature of a block size increase to around 2 MB and the code is expected to be available in July 2016, within three months of the release of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) soft work.

The statement read:

This hard-fork is expected to include features which are currently being discussed within technical communities, including an increase in the non-witness data to be around 2 MB, with the total size more than 4 MB, and will only be adopted with broad support across the entire Bitcoin community.

SegWit is currently in active development will be released over the next two months as a solution to have more space for transactional data by removing signatures from a transaction, leading to compressed transactions within blocks. The five largest mining pools (Antpool, F2Pool, BTCC Pool, BW.com and Bitfury) were represented at the meeting and have collectively agreed to support SegWit when it is released in April, as per the schedule.

“We will run a SegWit release in production by the time such a hard-fork is released in a version of Bitcoin Core,” the statement added.

Bitcoin Core Support

In a further nod toward sticking with Bitcoin Core, the mining pools, exchanges and service providers make it clear that they will “only run” consensus systems that are compatible with Bitcoin Core which will eventually contain both SegWit and the proposed hard-fork.

Less than two weeks ago, the same mining pools announced that they would not be supporting Bitcoin Classic or any other “contentious hard-fork” that isn’t compatible with Bitcoin Core. The statement came soon after, Bitcoin Classic, an alternative hard fork released code that is looking to raise the maximum block size from 1 MB to 2 MB.

The Bitcoin Roundtable, a collective of the biggest mining pools, exchanges and service providers also revealed that they are open to technologies that scale and make use of block space more efficiently, pointing to Schnorr multisig as an example.

The code developed by the volunteering Core team for the hard-fork will be available by July 2016, following SegWit’s expected release in April 2016. The group also backed the implementation of the hard-fork “if there is strong community support” with the activation “likely to happen around July 2017.”

The complete list of signatories backing the roadmap and the announcement itself can be found here.

Image from  Twitter/cnLedger .