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F2Pool Deals Possible Death Blow to SegWit2x Fork, Withdraws Support

BitGo engineer Jameson Lopp jubilantly posted to Twitter this morning that Bitcoin mining pool F2Pool has stopped signalling for SegWit2x.

F2Pool stops signaling SegWit2X support. 15% down, 85% to go... — Jameson Lopp (@lopp) October 12, 2017 Why does it matter?

According to CoinDance, F2Pool currently mines 10% of the blocks on the Bitcoin network. As of yesterday, 95% of Bitcoin miners were signalling their support of the controversial fork, so with the loss of F2Pool’s 10%, Lopp’s numbers add up.

SegWit2x was (or is) going to be a contentious hard fork, supported by near-unanimously by miners but opposed vehemently by Bitcoin’s Core development team and a number of users, exchanges, and businesses. With the loss of F2Pool, 85% of miners are still signalling their support to SegWit2x, but F2Pool’s defection triples the hash power of the “NO2X” miners.

While it was likely that with 95% mining consensus the hard fork would have been successful, it would have caused enormous confusion in the community over which Bitcoin was the real Bitcoin. The loss of F2Pool’s support makes the SegWit2x hard fork much less likely to occur.

What is SegWit2x?

SegWit2x is a compromise to end the scalability crisis, and was agreed upon at the Consensus conference in New York back in May. Spearheaded by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group, the attendees signed the “New York Agreement” which paved the way for the August activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit) and a follow-on November hard fork to double the block size.

Bitcoin’s Core development team came out strongly against the “2x” part of the plan, and at a recent Bitcoin conference, many attendees wore “NO2X” buttons. A hard fork to double the block size would be of minimal value in terms of scaling, and the risk of a chain split is unacceptably high when trying to upgrade such a massive network as Bitcoin’s. Core and many ...

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