Position on scaling proposals

Statement and position regarding User Activated Soft Fork / BIP148 and Segwit2x hardfork

First of all, we believe in the decentralized structure of Bitcoin. We hate to see Bitcoin being hijacked by a single party or group that can abuse its power or apply censorship.

Yesterday we already published our positions at https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Segwit_support.
With this statement we will clarify our position on the recent scaling solutions being proposed.

BIP141/BIP148/BIP149 (Segregated Witness)

At this moment in time there is only one scaling proposal that has been tested extensively. Which is BIP141, SegWit activation by signaling using BIP9 activation mechanism. The likelyhood of activation for BIP141 is very small, because it requires 95% of the mining hashrate to be on board.

The User Activated Soft Fork (BIP148) enforces the activation of SegWit by orphaning non-segwit blocks at the 1st of August.

BIP149 is a similar proposal, but will only activate 11 months later.

Because of the nature of these BIPs (a softfork), users are not required to update.

SegWit2x

Segwit2x is a hardfork proposal made at Consensus NY conference by several companies. This proposal combines the activation of SegWit with a 2MB hard fork within 6 months. We consider this time-frame to be completely unrealistic, especially considering the time planned for testing (2 weeks), and lack of code review. Also users are given a very short time to upgrade their software.

UAHF

UAHF (Bitmain Activated Hard Fork) is a contingency plan Bitmain proposes in order to block activation of SegWit using BIP148, and forcing a blocksize increase without an upper limit. Bitmain will be privately mining on this chain in the first days, disallowing other miners.

This is reason for us to speak up. Bitcoin’s value comes from its resistance against change. As soon as one company with a position of power within the Bitcoin mining industry gains the ability to change the protocol in such a centralized manner, then a decentralized Bitcoin will be a thing of the past.

This gives us a choice of the following proposals:

  • Regular activation of a tested scaling solution by miners (BIP141)
  • The forced activation of SegWit by users (148/149)
  • A hardfork that has not been tested extensively, and forces all users to update in an unrealistic timeframe (Segwit2x)
  • A hardfork that will initially be privately mined and enforced by one company, preventing participation of other miners (UAHF)
  • Do nothing (Legacy BTC)

Because of the need for a scaling solution, doing nothing isn’t an option for us. We have serious doubts about any rushed and untested (contentious) hardfork, and we will not support it. A centralized hardfork goes against our core values as a true Bitcoin company, which clearly we will not support.

In a perfect world we would like to see BIP141 implemented by itself, but because of a lack of miner support, we have decided to voice our support of BIP148 / UASF.

Also see our statement regarding Bitcoin Unlimited about our point of view on contentious hardforks: Statement possible split in Bitcoin.