In a complete u-turn, F2Pool has now announced they are in favor of segregated witnesses (segwit), a protocol upgrade that gradually increases capacity to around 1.7MB for every 10 minutes, as well as fixes some aspects of transaction malleability, allowing for the Lighning Network and sidechains.
According to a translation by cnLedger, F2Pool publicly stated today on their website:
“Users are complaining about the long waiting times. Although various plans were proposed by devs, the debate has taken way too long time. F2Pool always favors Segwit + Big Blocks. Segwit can solve some technical problems and can bring some benefits. Big blocks are also beneficial to the bitcoin network in the long run. However, the reality is that we have not achieved Segwit + Big blocks up to now. We see the strong demand of scaling, and many foreign users are supporting Segwit. Therefore, it’s time we move on and activate Segwit first. Then we’ll leave the big blocks for future discussions.”
The announcement was made just days after Wang Chun, F2Pool’s co-founder, publicly stated that “segwit will be a disaster. I am not going to support it on BTC because I am a bitcoin HODLER.”
It’s not clear what exactly changed in the last few days to make F2Pool go from stating “segwit will be a disaster” to announcing they will now support segwit. Nor is it clear whether the announcement will make any difference as the two proposals are now close to a tie.
Segwit currently stands at around 32% while Bitcoin Unlimited, a proposal that increases the maxblocksize in a decentralized manner as chosen by miners and nodes, currently stands just under 40%. Numbers which suggest the stalemate will probably continue for the foreseeable future.
There have been many proposals that try to bridge the gap, but none has so far succeeded. Extension blocks is the latest such proposal, but it was seemingly instantly opposed by current or former Blockstream employees.
ViaBTC, BTC.TOP and Antpool are strongly against segwit. Both sides appear fairly matched, so, it’s not very clear how this situation will be resolved, if it is resolved at all anytime soon.
In the meantime, fees continue to increase while many businesses pivot away from bitcoin as they are unable to operate competitively. On the other hand, awareness of bitcoin continues to increase, thus price has remained relatively stable near its all-time high.
Featured image from Shutterstock.