Blockchain development company nChain has today announced technical support for Bitcoin Unlimited’s client software, in a significant boost for the BU model ahead of the August 1 deadline.

The firm, regarded as a pioneer in blockchain research and development, supports the aims of Bitcoin Unlimited in tackling the network’s scaling issues, which are set to come to a head in just a couple of weeks’ time.

Their support for Bitcoin Unlimited’s solution will be welcomed by advocates of their approach, which is favoured by many analysts over the competing visions for the future of the blockchain.

The bitcoin blockchain is heading rapidly towards a significant turning point in its future, as the community attempts to reach consensus on the best next steps for resolving existing scaling issues.

As it stands, the bitcoin blockchain has an artificial block size limit of 1MB, initially designed to restrict the flow of malicious microtransactions which had previously plagued the network.

However, as bitcoin has become more popular, transaction costs have increased, alongside delays in execution time, as a direct consequence of this artificially low block size limit.

Bitcoin Unlimited favours proposals that would simply remove the artificial limit altogether, allowing the bitcoin blockchain to immediately resolve its scaling problems.

This is at odds with other elements in the blockchain community, who still insist on including some form of block size limit after the August watershed.

SegWit2x has emerged as the primary alternative to Bitcoin Unlimited’s vision, which would place a 2MB size limit on the blocks, as well as moving some transactional data off the blockchain.

However, proponents of the Bitcoin Unlimited model argue this only defers the scaling problem, rather than solving it, and nChain’s decision to back the Bitcoin Unlimited model will be seen as a significant step in achieving this reality.

nChain’s decision to announce technical support for the Bitcoin Unlimited protocol has been welcomed by Andrew Stone, lead developer of Bitcoin Unlimited.

“I am excited to work with the nChain team to make Bitcoin Unlimited a stronger, more useful client. Bitcoin Unlimited already has significant support as an alternative to Bitcoin Core, but better software will only enhance its role as the foundation to a faster, more powerful network — the network that the bitcoin community has always envisioned.”

nChain’s Steffan Mathews appealed for common sense to prevail, recognising the polarisation in the community ahead of the August scaling deadline.

“Bitcoin has reached a critical juncture, and its community has become highly polarized. It’s time to remember we’re all on this bitcoin journey together, and there is more than enough opportunity for everyone to succeed. While reasonable minds may disagree on how network growth should occur, let’s not artificially divide the community. Instead, let’s find more ways to collaborate and foster ‘coopetition’ to achieve a rewarding bitcoin future for all.”