The Segwit2X (Segregated Witness) November 16th Hard Hork
The Segwit2X (Segregated Witness) hard fork planned for November 16th has been canceled. If this hard fork would have happened this would create two Bitcoin Blockchain networks. Previously Bitcoin experienced two hard forks which resulted in the creation of new cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold. This time the supporters of Segwit2X hard fork planned to increase the block size to 2Mb. From a technical point of view, this move was a good intention because as more and more transactions are performed on the network the transaction speed had to suffer. Increasing the block size to 2Mb would mean faster transactions. But unlike the previous Bitcoin hard forks this time it wasn’t clear who will keep the name Bitcoin. The community was split into two groups: one for keeping the old block size and another for increasing the block size. Both groups wanted to keep the Bitcoin brand name. The developers of both protocols had to convince miners to support their software updates. Another potential problem was the wallet providers who had to make the decision which group to support. It looked like the majority of the miners would support the group with the larger block size, but it was risky to assume that after the hard fork all the miners will keep their word.
Before November 8th, 2017 it was a lot of uncertainty related to this hard fork. Nobody could tell for sure what will happen after this. Investors were worried about their investments and in this case, they should make the decision which network to choose, what will be the name of their new coin? It’s a complex process for inexperienced people. Even the core developers didn’t know what will follow after this fork because this time it was different from previous in a sense that it wasn’t clear which group should keep the brand Bitcoin which at the moment of this writing is the most powerful and valuable cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $120 billion. It was a lot of playing back and forth between the supporters of both groups and everybody was expecting the next move from the opposite side.
On November 8 the Segwit2X hard fork has been canceled. The supporters of the Segwit2X hard fork gave up. The developers found the consensus and the Bitcoin community will stay united as one. This is a good sign for the cryptocurrency space even though it created a lot of mess in the Bitcoin community. The engineering work that was done for preparing this hard fork is estimated at millions of dollars. This event will strengthen the Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency because it shows the power of decentralization where nobody can decide any changes without finding consensus. Some miners (around 30%) announced that they will still support the new protocols but this information is not confirmed yet. It can be that Bitcoin Cash can gain some popularity after this because it has an increased block size already.
At the end of the day cancellation of this messy hard fork is a big win for the Bitcoin community. Now we have to think about the scalability of the network and reducing the transaction fees.