A totally unexpected announcement has taken everyone in the cryptocurrency world by a surprise! The bitcoin SegWit2x hard fork that was considered dead has been revived and according to reports it will activate on Dec. 28.
If the hard fork was implemented earlier, SegWit2x would have raised the bitcoin blocksize to 2MB that would have helped deal with the massive network congestion and helping the network scale. However, despite backing from industry heavyweights including the Digital Currency Group, Coinbase, ShapeShift, and Xapo, the proposal failed to gain consensus, and its leading advocates called off the contentious hard fork in early November to avoid plunging Bitcoin into a civil war.
A group of developers have now announced they are “reviving” SegWit2x and one of the reasons is the increasing transaction costs have made bitcoin “almost impossible to use…as a means of payment.”
If we look at the SegWit2x (B2X) project we quickly realize that bitcoin protocol isn’t going to get updated, but the hard fork intends to create yet another altcoin that trades on the bitcoin brand. The developers are implementing replay protection and a unique address structure, which are both tacit admissions that B2X is not Bitcoin — a significant diversion from the posture expressed by advocates for the original SegWit2x proposal.
The project also indicates that the B2X network will feature a premine. While details are sparse, developers have said they will seize the airdropped funds belonging to wallets created by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and then distribute them to those who support the network.
Finally, the SegWit2x protocol will have entirely different specifications from Bitcoin. The network will be secured using X11 encryption rather than SHA-256, and it will have 2.5-minute blocktimes rather than 10-minute blocktimes like the original network. Difficulty will be recalculated after each block, and the website advertises that zkSNARK technology will be implemented to allow users to make anonymous transactions. Perhaps the most ironic diversion is that, in contrast to the 2MB upgrade advertised by its proposal name, B2X will actually increase the blocksize to 4MB.