Bitcoin Segwit2x hard fork suspended

Without full community support, the fork will not take place.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on
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The controversial upcoming Segwit2x hard fork has been suspended due to a lack of support by the Bitcoin community.

On Wednesday, Bitgo CEO Mike Belshe published an update on the Segwit2x hard fork, which was scheduled for this month.

The hard fork, proposed by Bitgo back in 2016, was meant to increase the scalability of blockchain and increase block sizes by removing some elements of code.

The first implementation has occurred; however, the alternative software, which would also change Bitcoin rules and boost the size of blocks from 1MB to 2MB, has not been embraced by every trader and enthusiast.

The uncertainty surrounding the hard fork already prompted some payment services to suspend trades around the time of the event, including BitPay, but now it seems the idea has been quashed altogether.

According to Belshe, Bitgo's goal has always been a "smooth upgrade for Bitcoin," but "keeping the community together" is more important than enforcing the block size changes.

"It is clear that we have not built sufficient consensus for a clean blocksize upgrade at this time," the executive says. "Continuing on the current path could divide the community and be a setback to Bitcoin's growth. This was never the goal of Segwit2x."

The proposed 2MB increase has been suspended, but this does not mean Belshe believes it will not occur in the future.

The executive says that as transaction fees are on the rise -- estimated to have increased by 1289 percent since March 2015 -- on-chain capacity increases will eventually become necessary.

"We want to thank everyone that contributed constructively to Segwit2x, whether you were in favor or against," Belshe added. "Your efforts are what makes Bitcoin great. Bitcoin remains the greatest form of money mankind has ever seen, and we remain dedicated to protecting and fostering its growth worldwide."

Following the news, the price of Bitcoin surged to roughly $7700. At the time of writing the cryptocurrency's worth has decreased to $7,458.80.

On Reddit, the news was generally met with celebration. One contributor called the hark fork a "ham-fisted agricultural attempt," while another said, "2x was gone, [but] if we are really going to upgrade it [the blockchain] needs to be at least 10x better than this, transparent, well tested, replay protected, and decentralized."

"If bitcoin had gone through this attack, and miners defected to the legacy chain once they were loosing 100's of millions in mining revenue, it would have shown the B2X movement for the farce that it is," user Cryptolution commented. "B2X was like a magician whose tricks were obvious to the show's participants. Only the really dumb fell for their shoddy tricks."

This battle has been fought by both sides for the past three years and while suspended, the question of how to scale and cope with rising numbers of transactions has still not yet been resolved.

See also: Beating out blockchain and Bitcoin, this skillset tops list of fastest-growing opportunities for independent workers

Last week, the central financial authority of Vietnam decreed that payments made in cryptocurrency are now illegal in the country.

The "illegal means of payment" comes with heavy penalties for any parties involved in paying for products or services through Bitcoin -- following the hard-line taken by China, which considers cryptocurrency Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) a "disruption to financial order."

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