Editorial 23 July 2018Erik Gibbs
SegWit one year later: Where is it now?
When Bitcoin Core (BTC) introduced its SegWit (Segregated Witness) soft fork, it was supposed to be a revolutionary change for the blockchain. While it may have looked to be a reasonable solution at the time, a year following SegWit’s introduction, things aren’t moving quite as successfully as many may have anticipated.
According to Investopedia, “SegWit is the process by which the block size limit on a blockchain is increased by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain.”
There are a couple of issues that have been raised through the SegWit implementation. The first reveals that the eliminated data – specifically, signature data—could lead to a security problem since not all of the transactional data is being maintained on the blockchain. The second issue regards the size. Increasing the block size is a simpler method of allowing more data to be transacted and, even in the words of the SegWit developers, is much less confusing.
Noted cryptocurrency expert and analyst Rick Falkvinge has published his latest informative crypto blog on YouTube, discussing where the cryptocurrency space stands today, a year after the SegWit implementation. While the soft fork, at first glance, may appear to have been successful, once the data is viewed more in depth, the exact opposite is true.
There has been an adoption of SegWit, from August until now, of around 40%. However, the overall number of daily BTC transactions has actually dropped—almost precisely at the same time the soft fork was introduced. Falkvinge attributes this to SegWit’s “dis-adoption” on the part of cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Over the past year, the number of SegWit transactions has remained virtually flat and the soft fork has had no visible increase in improving the network’s performance.
He also pointed out that BTC wasn’t being utilized as the original developers had intended—as a currency. These developers had been supplanted by other developers who have now gone on to force the evolution of BTC into a cryptocurrency that they want to see and design advances to fit their scheme while ignoring cryptocurrency’s true purpose.
Falkvinge is the founder of Sweden’s political party, the Pirate Party. He began exploring cryptocurrency, and particularly BTC, in 2011, but shifted to Bitcoin Cash (BCH) last year, seeing the cryptocurrency as the only one designed to function the way digital currency had originally been described.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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