SegWit2x: Bitcoin’s latest upgrade

Bitcoin may have been “stagnant” for a while, according to Rob Viglione, co founder of ZenCash, but on Friday it welcomed its latest software upgrade to support its rapidly increasing number of transactions, leading the cryptocurrency into a boom.

The interest and demand for Bitcoin has grown year on year since its introduction in 2009, and this upgrade is the beginning of a much larger effort to improve Bitcoin’s capacity and efficiency through a software called SegWit2x.

The community reached a near 100% approval rating for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 91 before it was announced officially yesterday.

The software’s main focus is to improve Bitcoin’s ability to handle its growing community, its growing number of transactions and avoids a split into two currencies. Currently, the system is struggling to cope with constant expansion and miners and core developers have been butting heads over how to upgrade.

Some wanted to split the cryptocurrency into two blockchains, but other investors feared this change and warned against it. If miners, who employ a great number of computers to support the Bitcoin network in exchange for Bitcoin currency, adopt an upgrade not wanted by a majority of users, they risk their income and being unable to sell.

With Bitcoin value fluctuating between highs of $3,000 and lows under $2,000 in recent weeks, a compromise and solution was reached with SegWit2x.

BIP 91 will see a cleaner and smoother Bitcoin, an innovation allowing faster transactions for smaller costs. The upgrade will lift some limitations on transaction capacities, a bone of contention within the Bitcoin community, and the start of its use yesterday brought Bitcoin back to a trading value of $2,647.

However, Bitcoin is not above water just yet. The next two to three will days will truly determine the cryptocurrency’s next steps. If the majority of miners continue to run the new software, holding the processing power, BIP 91 will activate.

If this destabilises, the network could fall back to square one and the narrowly avoided split may come into play, offering an uncertain future.