Momentum for Bitcoin Unlimited continues to increase as a new pool is to enter the network. Chandler Guo, a well-known and liked bitcoiner in China, is to take his current hashrate of around 50P, or 1.5% of the network, out of BW.com and into a new Xpool which will mine with Bitcoin Unlimited.
Guo has further revealed a plan to raise 12 million ETC in an ICO to increase the pool’s hashrate to around 100 to 120 petahash, which would translate to around 3.5-4 percent of the network. In combination, this would send Bitcoin Unlimited to nearly 30%, a significant psychological threshold which may increase even further BU’s momentum.
ETC’s price jumped on the news, reaching new highs it has not seen since it was added to Poloniex during summer 2016. It would be its first ICO with 21 million XBTC tokens to be issued tomorrow. As dividend, some of the pool’s profits will go towards buying back and destroying the tokens, according to a google translation. An English page detailing the plan will soon be released, Guo told CCN.
The Battle of the Hashrates
After a two-years debate on scalability, the decision has now come down to the hashrates with Bitcoin Unlimited apparently the only proposal standing as segwit has fully stalled.
The new grassroots client, created by ordinary bitcoiners for bitcoiners, has attracted a number of developers including Peter Tschipper, Andrea Suisani, Andrew Stone, Tom Harding, Dagur Johannsson, Amaury Sèchet, Tom Zander, Jerry Chan, ftrader as well as many others.
It continues the transaction capacity increase method bitcoin used for much of its existence. Without any centralized direction, miners increased the block limit from 250kb to 500kb in March 2013 to the apparent opposition of Peter Todd and Luke-Jr. That was followed by a smooth increase to 750kb and then finally to 1MB in line with demand. With Bitcoin Unlimited, miners can increase transaction capacity in roughly the same manner to 2MB or 4MB as demand requires as well as technology progresses.
It appeared during summer last year a maxblocksize increase was unlikely as miners were almost checkmated, with just one move to make. That move was made by Jiang Zhuoer, a former employee at China Mobile and founder of a new mining pool – BTC.TOP. Responding to threats of an intentional chain split if maxblocksize is increased, he told CCN three days ago that $100 million has been set aside to ensure there is no chain split after the upgrade of transaction capacity.
That statement was considered a checkmate by some. Price jumped $30, Bitcoin Unlimited surpassed segwit in hashrate share, and now a new pool is to join.
Can It Really Happen?
Some are wondering whether bitcoin can really break free and increase its very limited transaction capacity, ending the backlogs that have led to a huge number of user complaints and increased frustration.
We do not yet know. What we do know is that supporters of bitcoin unlimited appear to be highly passionate about the new client. They believe they are standing by Nakamoto.
They have been censored, banned, DDoS-ed, smeared, doxed. Kicked out of public discussion spaces, mailing lists, IRC - even had commits removed - but as some were silenced or metaphorically exiled, new advocates for Nakamoto’s vision kept rising.
Nakamoto was told that bitcoin cannot scale a number of time and that we need “bitbanks” – now known as a settlement layer. He rejected the proposition each time, insisting it can reach VISA levels.
The repetition of the bitbanks argument by Daniel Larimer shortly before Nakamoto left even led him to lose his cool in a rare instance of public emotional display. “If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.” – Nakamoto finally concluded.
If Bitcoin Unlimited continues to increase in momentum and gains more than 50% of the hashrate, some may see it as conclusive proof that his assumption, which relies on the honesty of 51%, is sound and can indeed protect this $16 billion market without any centralized control.
Whether it can actually do so remains to be seen, but the mood in many corners is slowly shifting from dreading a continuation of censorship and tight control, to that of celebration as it appears the wall that keeps transactions limited may indeed come down.
Image from Shutterstock.