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The Biggest Mining Pool is Now Signaling to Keep Bitcoin Whole

· July 17, 2017 · 11:00 am

BIP91 blocks have been successfully mined by BiXin and Antpool helping to allay fears that Bitcoin could split in the face of incompatibility between rival Segwit2x and BIP148 implementations.


BIP91 (or Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91) is the work of software engineer James Hilliard, it addresses incompatibilities between the competing SegWit2x and BIP148 protocols. Both bring SegWit to Bitcoin, except that SegWit2x refuses communication with BIP148, which would effectively cause Bitcoin to split in two.

What’s BIP91?

BIP91 seeks to address this problem by enabling SegWit2x and BIP148 to communicate. However, in order for BIP91 to be successful it must also be adopted by a significant number of mining pools in order to successfully activate. Activation of any of these SegWit improvements to Bitcoin need to gain a significant proportion of the Bitcoin network hashpower (80%) to be generated by miners and mining pools.

Rival Improvements

SegWit2x was agreed by Bitcoin companies and large miners, whereas BIP148 came from an independent groundswell of Bitcoin users and developers. The two rival protocols looked set on forking Bitcoin until BIP91 joined the fray.

SegWit2x has been identified by Luke-Jr, amongst others, as essentially a power grab by large Bitcoin mining operations, primarily Bitmain, allowing them potential control of the whole Bitcoin network.

“By promoting BIP91 and Segwit2x as an alternative to BIP148, what miners are really doing is another power grab to try to take back their veto, which has no purpose other than to be used by Bitmain to block the whole thing at the last minute…,” warns Luke-Jr.

If too little of the economy has upgraded to BIP148 in time for August, it gives Bitmain the opportunity to perform a chain split attack, and fool outdated nodes into following their invalid chain, possibly becoming financially dependent on it before realizing the attack has occurred.

Mining Pools Rally to the Cause

With more pools now coming forward and signaling BIP91 it seems that the community and mining pools are realizing that action is needed to prevent any potentially catastrophic Bitcoin splits and forcing users to take matters into their own hands.

A coordinated effort like this is a rare thing to see, especially considering there is no central figure to oversee such efforts and negotiate with mining pools for adoption. With time also of the essence pools are being mobilized and standing up to the potential vested interests of SegWit2x.

BIP91 should reduce the possibility of a Bitcoin split, which most rational Bitcoin users, miners and operators will agree is a good thing.

Will this BIP91 announcement reassure Bitcoin Investors and users ahead of the August 1st segwit activation date? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter, xbt.eu

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Úno 01

Antpool Announces Bitcoin Classic Beta Testing

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Beta Testing Bitcoin Classic

The ongoing Bitcoin block size debate has been a source for a fair bit of controversy and discussion in recent months, but it finally looks like a decision is just around the corner. With Bitcoin Core having to address some security concerns regarding segwit, and Bitcoin Classic going into beta testing today, developers are off to the races to compile a properly secured block size solution. Antpool is upping the game by announcing beta testing of Bitcoin Classic.

Also read: Gamerholic, the Next ‘Billion Dollar Gaming Company’? A Q&A With Anari Sengbe

Antpool Starts Bitcoin Classic Beta Trial

It was only a matter of time until the Bitcoin Classic proposal started showing what it is all about, and a beta version of the client has been released. The main goal of this proposal is to increase the Bitcoin block size to 2MB, but use a hard fork to do so. Various community members are worried this is too risky of a solution, as there are some downsides to hard forking Bitcoin.

At the same time, security questions have arose regarding the Bitcoin Core solution and its Segregated Witness implementation. While this soft fork approach is far less risky for the network than implementing a hard fork, the current version of segwit is far from optimal. Especially the Chinese mining pools are questioning this proposal, and seem to be more in favor of Bitcoin Classic right now.

So much even that Antminer CEO Wu Jihan reported how Antpool will be implementing the Bitcoin Classic beta client very soon. Performing a real life stress test of this proposal will tell whether or not this is a viable idea to solve the Bitcoin block size debate once and for all. Keeping in mind how Antpool is one of the largest Bitcoin mining pools in the world, a successful test may result in other pools adopting Bitcoin Classic in its beta form as well.

Other major mining pools pledging support for Bitcoin Classic in the past include BW and BitFury. Furthermore, mining hardware manufacturers KnCMiner and Avalon have also expressed their preference for this solution, as has cloud mining provider Genesis Mining. Plus, with so many major companies in the Bitcoin world supporting Bitcoin Classic as well, it seems as if this solution will be the one to keep an eye on. However, it is still too early to tell, as a lot will hinge on the results of the beta testing.

Addressing Segwit Security Worries

There are a few different concerns regarding the effectiveness of Segregated Witness if it were to be implemented in Bitcoin at all. Even though this proposal is aimed at creating 2 MB blocks, the effective size would be somewhere between 1.3 MB and 1.6 MB. Needless to say, this is not a perfect solution, although it would allow for slightly more transactions per block.

Additionally, segwit would require developers to make major changes to the source code of Bitcoin Core. Making these changes could lead into a whole slew of different problems down the road, which should be avoided at all costs. Especially when keeping in mind how Bitcoin Core developers are working through a backlog already before even thinking about implementing these new features.

What are your thoughts on Antpool starting the Bitcoin Classic beta testing soon? Will other pools or service providers follow their example? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Weibo

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Antpool

The post Antpool Announces Bitcoin Classic Beta Testing appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Antpool Announces Bitcoin Classic Beta Testing

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