New SegWit milestone revives ancient Bitcoin drama

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Sep 17, 2019

According to several reports, the number of Bitcoin transactions that utilize SegWit (Segregated Witness) has recently crossed 50% for the first or second time (depending who you ask), and is currently accounting for an ATH 50.7% of all BTC transactions.

Introduced to the Bitcoin network in 2017 via a soft-fork update, Segwit is an opt-in update to the Bitcoin protocol responsible for a variety of network tweaks. It’s most memorable additions, however, are a hotfix to the infamous ‘transaction malleability’ bug as well as an increase in Bitcoin’s block sizes above 1mb.

The contentious block size increase is still a source of much community debate, often loud and seldom PG, as again proven by the reaction to this latest report.

Some in the cryptoverse - especially over at r/bitcoin - welcomed the news as much overdue:

...all the while roasting the assumed culprits for slow SegWit adoption:

...and advocating for broader wallet and exchange-based support for the newer transaction type:

That said, not everyone saw the news equally positive. Over on r/cryptocurrency in particular, the crowd still seems to lean considerably anti-SegWit, as several members reacted by echoing the ‘forced update’ sentiment, which dates all the way back to the time of the fork:

Others have also pointed out that, despite community hopes, SegWit has not yet succeeded in increasing Bitcoin’s effective TPS:

...nor has it lowered BTC’s transaction fees to an ‘acceptable’ level for some:

Strictly hypothetically, if everyone was to switch over to the ‘optimized’ SegWith trx type, some estimate the network could support 4x its current TPS rate (from 4 top 16 trx per second).

For now, however, concerns about Bitcoin’s scalability continue to loom large, and with the recent report that Ethereum’s network is close to full (thanks, Tether!), it seems we’re back to full-time scalability debates surrounding both of the biggest blockchains. Just in time for Devcon!

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Sep 17, 2019

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