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BTC · 4w

Is this real life? BitPay adds SegWit support!

Crypto payments processor BitPay now supports segregated witness (SegWit), according to a company blog post shared in advance with CoinDesk.

“Support for SegWit is currently an optional feature for Bitcoin wallets in the BitPay App. Later this year, as part of a phased rollout plan, support for SegWit will be a default for all Bitcoin wallets. In addition later this year, SegWit will be implemented for invoice payments,” the blog states.

The move comes three years after the firm opposed the update in favor of an alternate solution, SegWit2x. The fight over SegWit vs. SegWit2x fractured the Bitcoin community. The dispute spilled over into a civil war of sorts between Bitcoin proponents that saw closed-door industry agreements, the launch of rival project Bitcoin Cash and the swatting of Bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp. 

BitPay regularly processes some $1 billion in yearly payments. The firm processed 100,718 payments in April 2020, with 91.93% being bitcoin (BTC) transactions, according to self-reported figures.

SegWit was first proposed in 2015 by Bitcoin Core contributor Pieter Wuille and quickly became a flashpoint for the developer community. In essence, SegWit freed up block space without increasing the block size in order to keep the Bitcoin blockchain small. 

It also took out a vulnerability called “transaction malleability” that allowed for transaction signatures to be manipulated. Removing this vulnerability was a necessary condition to develop an experimental payment platform on top of Bitcoin, the Lightning Network.

At the time, BitPay was joined by the majority of bitcoin firms and mining pools such as Bitmain, Digital Currency Group (DCG) and Coinbase in supporting the rival SegWit2x update. SegWit2x would have implemented SegWit while also doubling the bitcoin block size from 1 mb to 2 mb. (Note: DCG is the parent company of CoinDesk.)

Competing visions over the Bitcoin block size led to the creation of...

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