Wang Chun, F2Pool’s co-founder, told CCN that he is planning to upgrade his Litecoin pool to segregated witnesses (segwit), but “it won’t happen in the next couple of weeks.” He further told CCN that his bitcoin pool, which currently controls around 14% of the network’s hashrate, won’t upgrade to segwit “anytime soon.”
We’ll do it on Litecoin first and then make an evaluation if it is feasible on bitcoin.
Litecoin’s F2Pool currently controls around 43% of the network’s hashrate. Batpool and Litecoinpool.org are both already signaling for segwit. Combined, around 60% of the current network’s hashrate share will likely upgrade.
Jiang Zhuoer, founder of LTC1BTC, a Litecoin pool that currently controls around 12% of the network, told CCN in an interview that his pool won’t upgrade to softfork segwit, while BW, which currently has around 10%, has apparently not yet made a decision.
Litecoin requires 75% of the network’s hashrate to upgrade for segwit to be activated. Currently, it is not clear whether it will be able to reach that threshold as some miners appear against it, but it is not yet known whether that is more than 25%.
Although some Litecoin pools run their own miners or are private pools, F2Pool is known to run no hardware of its own, solely providing the service of an open pool. As such, its miners can choose to either support the decision or move to another pool in line with their own views.
Except for the 75% threshold rather than 95%, litecoin’s segwit appears to be identical to bitcoin’s segwit, which has currently stalled. It includes a solution to transaction malleability in most cases and, among other features, a 1:4 ratio, which some have suggested gives signature heavy transactions a 75% discount, but allows for an increase in transaction capacity of 70% “if all wallets switch to using segwit,” according to the segwit client release statement.
Segwit’s main purpose appears to be the implementation of the Lightning Network, a new design on top of bitcoin or Litecoin that allows for thousands of transactions, but under a different trust model to on-chain transactions. Both have been heavily debated in bitcoin with some in favor of segwit while others would prefer it as a hardfork to remove the discount ratio which, some say, makes future on-chain scalability more difficult.
In Litecoin, segwit, while apparently controversial a few months ago, now seems to be largely popular with some suggesting it would give Litecoin an edge, but the currency is barely used, with blocks usually less than 10KB.
It appears work on Litecoin’s segwit began around summer 2016 according to a roadmap by the Litecoin Association. It was activated on testnet just 19 days ago, and begins the main-net activation process tomorrow.
It is strongly supported by Charlie Lee, Litecoin’s founder, Warren Togami, a Litecoin developer and Technical Project Manager at Blockstream as well as seemingly most Litecoin developers, but whether it will find the support of 75% of the mining network remains to be seen.
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