Schism Inevitable? Biggest Mining Pool Switches to Bitcoin Unlimited
Antpool is officially switching to Bitcoin Unlimited as mainstream media lead warnings of a potential Bitcoin hard fork.
Antpool’s Wu Jihan: ‘We Will Switch 100% to Bitcoin Unlimited’
The block size solution, now slightly ahead of SegWit in terms of mining pool support, has gained the backing of 15% of miners and the largest single mining entity following Antpool’s decision.
“We will switch our entire pool to Bitcoin Unlimited,” Bloomberg quotes founder Wu Jihan. “We can’t tell how the hard fork will play out. We will only know by the time we get there.”
The move is a boon for BU and lead proponent Roger Ver, who has campaigned intensely for the solution to achieve majority support.
“We need to get to 60 or 70 percent of miners on board to activate Bitcoin Unlimited,” he commented Thursday. “Combined with others, I’d say we’re already close to halfway to our goal at this point.”
Ver, Media Capitalize On Uncertainty
While Bloomberg paints an alarming picture of the consequences of both consensus emerging and a continuation of the status quo, the size of Bitcoin’s mempool as of Monday is equally a cause for concern.
Despite shaking off a negative ETF decision by the US Securities and Exchanges commission Friday, and even since reversing the modest drop in value, Bitcoin is becoming inefficient and expensive, especially for microtransactions.
Payment gateway Bitpay announced last week it was drastically raising its minimum invoice amount for 4 cents to $1 – a rise of 2400% – expressly due to the increase in transaction fees.
Ver meanwhile remains convinced that larger blocks will solve the problem without leaving Bitcoin open to monopolizing from larger mining conglomerates.
“Say you haven’t had any water to drink for a day and a half, and you also need a haircut,” he continued. “Do you drink some water or go to the barber shop? SegWit is like going to the barber shop.”
‘Core Camp’ Lacking Consensus
Core developer Peter Todd meanwhile described BU as “irredeemably broken,” adding that,
Large miners have every reason to vote the size up to push their competition out of business.
But despite being referred to as a ‘Todd’s camp’ by Bloomberg, Core in fact represents over 95% of all Bitcoin development to date.
Reacting to the piece, Core Developer Luke Jr. called the worries about a Blockchain backlog a “pack of lies” while refuting the article’s “strange” focus on miners like AntPool, “which neither are involved in hardforks, nor well-informed on them,” he commented via Twitter.
Luke Jr. concluded by reiterating the cornerstones of Bitcoin, tweeting:
— Luke Dashjr (@LukeDashjr) March 13, 2017
As the SegWit community currently mulls the concept of a so-called user activated soft fork (UASF) as a way of subtly introducing their solution, Todd nonetheless issued a proviso that this option was not a one-size-fits-all method of dealing with the problem at hand.
On Twitter, he wrote that it “is not known how safe” a UASF would be, or how one should “best deploy” them.
— Peter Todd (@petertoddbtc) March 7, 2017
The comments were in response to an offer from former BTCC COO Samson Mow, who last week invited anyone capable of creating “code for a safe UASF” to come forward in return for a bounty of 1 BTC.
[Note: This article was updated to include the reactions from Core Developer Luke Jr. to the herein cited article from Bloomberg.]
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