Bitcoin’s price is on the rise again as the commanding lead by the Segwit2x compromise scaling solution grows.
Over the weekend, Bitcoin’s price crashed to about $1,800 per coin, bringing the market cap down from roughly $40 billion later that week to a recent low of $30 billion. Now, the price has recovered close to $2,400, bringing the market cap back up to $38 billion. This has brought the rest of the market up from a weekend low of $60 billion to around $85 billion at present. Among other factors, this recovery could possibly coincide with the increasing solidity of signalling in support of the Segwit2x (or BIP91) scaling agreement, which could quiet down the Bitcoin community’s internal discord.
One of best things about SegWit2x: lets all sides claim victory in the Bitcoin scaling debate. And if BTC moves forward, all are victorious
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) July 17, 2017
At present, about 80% of blocks mined signal support for BIP91, indicating a good chance that the compromise will go through. Previously, nearly 90% of the network hashpower signaled support for the intention of the scaling agreement, but doubts remained as to whether or not they would support the code itself once released. Now, many of those doubts have subsided.
— Bobby Lee (@bobbyclee) July 19, 2017
Elements of both major camps remain unsatisfied
While miner consensus for Segwit2x has solidified to the point of near-inevitability, not all parties remain content with the outcome. Committed fans of the previous Bitcoin Core team see this as a takeover, an attempt to oust Core in order to seize control of Bitcoin’s development.
— Tone Vays [UASF-148] (@ToneVays) July 9, 2017
Meanwhile, the more dedicated supporters of scaling Bitcoin on-chain through larger block sizes have not let up with their criticism of Segwit, consensus or otherwise. nChain, headed by Craig Wright, continues to push hard against Segwit implementation.
— nChain (@nChainGlobal) July 18, 2017
Promised during the recent Future of Bitcoin conference was an attempted insurrection to block Segwit implementation. nChain claimed the ability to launch a mining pool with 20% hashpower, and to use this to back a big block implementation hard fork. While Bitcoin.com has begun signalling for Segwit2x, uncertainty remains as to which path will be taken by the mining pool in the end.
Dash will likely remain the only major big block proof-of-work coin
To a certain extent, the possible conclusion of Bitcoin’s scaling drama indicates a path away from a simple big block strategy, which may lead some fans of this approach looking elsewhere in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. In his keynote speech during the Scaling of Bitcoin conference, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu mentioned Dash’s long-term scaling plans including 400mb blocks. While Ethereum plans to move to a proof-of-stake system in the future, and Litecoin has already implemented Segwit and is moving forward with off-chain lighting networks, Dash remains focused on scaling on-chain through progressively increasing the block size over time, incentivizing nodes to keep up with the load, and developing specialized hardware to ensure the network scales smoothly to millions of users and 4,000+ transactions per second. Time will tell whether or not this “old school Bitcoin” approach will attract big block proponents to Dash.