Mining pools that represent at least 70% of the total hashing power of the bitcoin network have announced that they would not be supporting Bitcoin Classic or, for that matter – any “contentious hard-fork.” The mining pools are joined by some of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges in revealing the decision.
In a letter via a Medium post, The Bitcoin Roundtable – a community of the cryptocurrency’s miners, exchanges, wallets and businesses have today announced that they would not be supporting Bitcoin Classic, describing it as a “contentious hard-fork.”
The mining pools making up for the majority of the hashing power of the Bitcoin network – BTCC, BitFury, F2Pool and BW.com contend that that a hard-fork contains risks that, if improperly implemented, could result in two incompatible blockchain versions.
They are joined by Genesis Mining, Bitfinex, BitmainWarranty, BIT-X Exchange, Spondoolies-Tech, Smartwallet, LightningASIC & Genesis Mining in seeking a more modest block size increase with minimal risk as the way to move the Bitcoin project forward.
An interim solution suggested by the pools and exchanges is SegWit, or Segregated Witness. The mechanism fundamentally removes signatures from transaction, thereby compressing transactions within blocks to leave more space for transactional data. Notably, this would serve as a less drastic soft fork.
The ongoing debate over the block size, or the amount of transactions that can be handled in a single block of data has led to fractions within the Bitcoin community. The current size of a block stands at 1MB and Bitcoin Classic’s recent publishing of an update to its code that could double the size of each block to 2MB does not have support from the mining pools.
One of the key points addressed by the mining pools reads:
We think any contentious hard-fork contains additional risks and may potentially result in two incompatible blockchain versions, if improperly implemented.
To avoid potential losses for all bitcoin users, we need to minimize the risks. It is our firm belief that a contentious hard-fork right now would be extremely detrimental to the bitcoin ecosystem.
The letter also highlights a concentrated effort among the relevant mining pools, exchanges and wallets to come together with Core developers over the next three weeks with discussions already in place. The letter notes a common principled notion among the Bitcoin Roundtable to fundamentally oppose “unduly rushed or controversial hard-forks,’ regardless of the backers behind it.
We will not run such code on production systems nor mine any block from that hard-fork. We urge everyone to act rationally and hold off on making any decision to run a contentious hard-fork (Classic/XT or any other).
The eventual hard fork is an inevitability and so-called soft forks only serve as temporary respites. At some point the future changes to code, the letter adds, leading to a hard-fork should be done in a “safe and balanced way.”
We also believe that hard-forks should only be activated if they have widespread consensus and long enough deployment timelines.
The deployment of hard-forks without widespread consensus is dangerous and has the potential to cause trust and monetary losses.
The letter, co-signed by some of the biggest executives of companies in the Bitcoin industry finally calls for togetherness among bitcoin contributors to collaborate and cooperate with each other.
Featured image from Shutterstock.