The cryptocurrency space has become very interesting, with what was once a debate now more of a deliberation as big blockers wonder whether they actually want bitcoin proper to have big blocks anymore or not.
“We have not received user request to run 2x. If 2x survives and the users request it, we will support both. Let the users have a choice,” Haipo Yang, CEO of ViaBTC, told Coindesk.
Jiang Zhuoer, from BTC.TOP, likely the mystery miner who kept bitcoin cash running in its first week at an estimated loss at the time of some $2 million or more, stated:
“To be honest, I do not care about bitcoin now, bitcoin cash is bitcoin. I earn by mining bitcoin, [selling it] and buying bitcoin cash. We mine for the most profit and buy bitcoin cash.”
The currency has spiked in the past week, up from around $300 to a recent high of $570, in other words nearly doubling in just a few days.
While its trading volumes have risen to $1.5 billion, up from around $100 million just days ago when it was sidewaying at around $300.
Interestingly, those that matter from the small blockers side actually support Bitcoin Cash, in a way. Likely primarily because they probably have some.
Anyone who had bitcoin before August the 1st 2017, received an equal amount of Bitcoin Cash. The currency, therefore, was not attacked. Its chain-split went smoothly, and so far, minus the yoyoing difficulty adjustment which is soon to be fixed, it has been running fine.
But another reason why they might support it may be intellectual. The blocksize debate has lasted for so long and has been ferocious in many ways because both sides do have some very good points to make.
Yet, it became clear earlier this year that both sides can’t co-exist in the same chain. Blocks are either full or not. On-chain fees are either at $100 or at sub-pennies.
Considering the fundamental disagreement, a chain-split was inevitable. And if there is to be one, some big blockers reasoned it should have exactly what they want, rather than hampered by what they see as an attempt in segwit to keep blocks artificially small through the 1:4 ratio which creates an attack vector of 4MB while providing, as we now see very much eventually, only around 2MB of space.
They, therefore, forked before segwit was activated. But businesses primarily deal in BTC. Thus they want an immediate increase of capacity on that chain according to their statements that they are to follow the longest chain.
According to miner signalling, which shows some 93% support for segwit2x, the 2MB chain is likely to be the longest chain. However, the statements of the two biggest bitcoin pools, ViaBTC and BTC.TOP, appears to suggest the matter will be far from clear cut once it goes down to the wire.
If segwit2x doesn’t gain the name bitcoin, then as a chain-split coin it might have little support beyond the initial trading frenzy. That’s because it doesn’t really satisfy neither big blockers nor small blockers.
The latter want high fees and a congested network to create a settlement system so as to keep resource requirements for running a node as low as possible.
While big blockers would rather pay $200 for a node, which can handle millions of transactions, than $200 for just one transaction. So they really do not want full blocks, within reason.
Segwit2x tries to keep on-chain scaling limited through the ratio attack vector, while also doubling it instantly. Their roadmap afterwards is not clear, with the extra capacity probably fillable in weeks or a few months at this stage.
If it does go through, then BCH would probably have a lower value proposition for a time, with Bitcoin Gold, if it is supported by the vocal small blocking devs, taking more of the attention, until the 2MB limit is reached again.
What would happen once the 2MB limit is reached is very unclear. Small blockers suspect it would just be increased again. But that would probably not be without some more “debate.”
If 2x doesn’t go through, then the vocal small blocker developers will finally have to deliver. There would no longer be any excuse at that point. They would have to bring out Lightning and whatever else, with all of it at the mercy of the market’s judgment.
So in many ways, unless you have a vested conflicting interest of some kind, whether it does or does not go through doesn’t really matter very much. The market has been given, or will be given, all the options and the market can so freely decide.
Which means it is probably the case that most do not care at all, except for Blockstream, the businesses, and the miners. The latter have great sway, but this space has now become so complex, with so many conflicting interests, to the point that a united front of miners might be very difficult.
Which is why bitcoin relies on 51%, rather than unanimous consensus, but that ship may have sailed in this instance. What may have been left now is just free market competition.
That includes bitcoin service providers and their judgment of the competitive landscape in its current state and with a change or no change.