Ethereum has risen above $30 following the bitcoin ETF rejection in what appears to be a bull run. The currency now has a market cap nearing $3 billion. The highest ever achieved by any digital currency except for bitcoin.
Ethereum has its own unique smart contracts aspect which makes it complementary to bitcoin in many ways, but some suggest part of its gains are due to bitcoin’s on-going problems regarding transaction capacity.
In response, Bitcoin Unlimited, a new grassroots client that increases capacity, continues to gain further momentum as the biggest pool joins the client. It appears the transition is being done in stages but Antpool’s co-founder, Jihan Wu, has stated he will move all of his hashrate to Bitcoin Unlimited.
Once that is done, the grassroots client will have around 40% of the network’s hardware, giving it temporarily near 50% share due to variance. BW.com, a bitcoin pool with around 6-7% of the network’s share, currently signals for 8MB, therefore might join Bitcoin Unlimited, sending it to near 50%.
The decision would then move to F2Pool, which would give the client more than 60% share. At that point, real unguided consensus through Nakamoto’s mechanism would be reached, a very first in blockchain’s eight-year history.
Businesses have been quite this time, probably tired after they engaged in much advocacy for bigger blocks over the past two years. Now, however, miners are acting after seemingly thorough consideration of all arguments. We may, therefore, begin hearing announcements from businesses to perhaps say they are running Bitcoin Unlimited or will support the longest chain.
A generous time estimate for what would be an historical day is probably around summer. By then, the entire ecosystem should have upgraded especially as, once 50% is reached, it becomes clear that Nakamoto’s consensus has been achieved.
According to polls and general indications there is a small minority that objects to a transaction capacity increase through a hardfork. They appear to be spearheaded by Blockstream, a company that employs some 12 or more bitcoin and altcoin developers. They have suggested there will be a chain-split, but miners have called them bluff.
Jiang Zhuoer, BTC.TOP’s founder, told CCN last month in an apparent checkmate move they have set aside $100 million to make inoperational any minority chain. The main reason is probably because Michael Marquadt, r/bitcoin’s top moderator, employs heavy censorship and banning against BU supporters.
He may, therefore, even if the minority chain has 10% or less support as would be judged by the price, nonetheless call it bitcoin and ban/censor discussions of the actual bitcoin with some 80-90% support, the longest chain and the far greater hashrate.
That would be no different than r/ethereum banning any discussion of ETH and only allowing discussion of ETC. A ridiculous proposition, but that an ancap would use censorship and banning appeared ridiculous too prior to its occurrence.
If Michael Marquardt resigns, r/bitcoin becomes an opened, unbiased, space and the chain with less hardware support chooses a different name, then letting the market decide whether they would like quick confirmation times and lower fees or experience delays for hours/days while paying $1 per transaction, would probably be more desirable.
In the circumstances, however, miners are unlikely to allow an operational minority chain, so enforcing Nakamoto’s consensus.
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