The next two months are going to be crucial for the future of the Bitcoin project.
Decisions are about to be made that will shape not just the next few months, but the ultimate direction of Bitcoin as a whole.
And passions are high among various interested parties.
Below I’ll show you the crucial dates you need to look out for. Each date will provide a clue on what the eventual outcome will be.
But first, let me explain what the big deal is…
You might have heard us talking about the Segregated Witness (SegWit) proposal over the past few months.
It’s simply one method that is being considered as a way of scaling the Bitcoin network — making it capable of dealing with more transactions per second.
To recap, SegWit is an upgrade to Bitcoin’s code proposed by a group of developers referred to as ‘Bitcoin Core’.
It was originally called BIP141, but this did not look like winning enough support among Bitcoin miners. So a second upgrade referred to as BIP148 is ready to go, and this involves actual users (nodes) voting.
They ‘vote’ simply by accepting or rejecting certain transactions depending on whether they are compatible with the upgraded code or not.
At the same time, there is a competing upgrade proposal known as SegWit2X, or BIP91. This upgrade also seeks to improve the code, including implementing SegWit, but in a slightly different way.
Their threshold again involves getting a large majority of miners to back it.
Without getting into the nitty-gritty, the two proposals, although similar, have big disparities.
In effect, who should control the direction of Bitcoin?
Nodes? Miners? Developers? Holders?
Technically, these points of contention could actually lead to a split of Bitcoin into two different blockchains.
A ‘hard fork’, as it is known, is seen as a negative, but there is a precedent for it.
When Ethereum had an internal community disagreement regarding an action to take, a hard fork occurred.
Today we have two chains: Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
And what happened to the Ethereum value after this?
Well, the price initially declined sharply when the split occurred, but has since risen over 3,000%.
So clearly the valuation was not impacted long-term despite the short-term volatility.
And, crucially, any bitcoin holders will have the choice of what chain they ultimately use, usually holding this right for as long as they want.
So there is no rush for holders to do anything except sit back and watch.
Dates to watch
Source: Bitcoin Magazine
Bitcoin Magazine has provided the following chart with the key dates to watch out for. At each date, one or both of the proposals could gain or lose crucial transactions.
It will be fascinating to see how it all plays out.
And we will be sure to let you know what it all means for you over the next few months.
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