Monday, November 6, 2017

Bitcoin. Bitcoin cash. Bitcoin gold. Confused? Don't be. Next will be Segwit2X (B2X) on November

Bitcoin. Bitcoin cash. Bitcoin gold. Confused? Don't be.

Bitcoin's Coming Split on November : Segwit2X (B2X) , What You Need to Know

Bitcoin has faced turmoil in the past but nothing like this. In two weeks, a massive fight taking place among bitcoin insiders could produce a ruinous schism—undermining the integrity of digital currency and threatening its sky-high value.
The fight is over a so-called fork in bitcoin’s software, known as SegWit2x, that will create two competing versions of the currency and lead to disagreement over the “real” bitcoin. There’s even a battle over who gets to use the popular BTC ticker symbol.

The fork will also mean a payout to existing bitcoin holders, though any windfall could be overshadowed by larger turmoil. To understand what’s at stake, here’s a plain English Q&A to explain the controversy.
Why is bitcoin going to split?
There is a disagreement between key stakeholders over how to update the core software that runs bitcoin. You can learn more about the technical details below, but the crux of the fight is over whether to double the size of bitcoin blocks.
The blocks, which are added every 10 minutes, serve as a record of all bitcoin transactions to create a permanent blockchain ledger. The current controversy means there is likely to be two bitcoin blockchains—one that uses smaller 1MB blocks and one that uses bigger 2MB blocks—and temporary uncertainty over which is the “real” bitcoin.

While bitcoin has experienced these sort of forks in the past (most notably with the creation this summer of rival currency “Bitcoin Cash,”) the market has never regarded such splits as a replacement for the original bitcoin. This time could be different.
When will the fork happen?
It is supposed to take place soon. This website offers a more precise moment —specifically Nov. 16 at 5:42 am—based on the number of blocks being added to the bitcoin blockchain. The fork is supposed to go into effect for block number 494784. (Once again, technical details on blocks and forks are further below).

So what are the technical details behind the B2X update?
Before explaining B2X, it’s helpful to realize bitcoin works a bit like the operating systems in your iPhone or Android phone: Every so often the developers push a code update containing features or security updates for everyone to install.

Typically, bitcoin miners and others install the updates without fanfare and carry on. If they don’t, it’s not a big deal since the updates are backward compatible—meaning new and old versions of bitcoin software can recognize each other, including the all-important blockchain transactions.
The B2X update, which aims to increase the size of a bitcoin block from one megabyte to two, is different. It involves a “hard fork” that will create incompatible versions of the existing blockchain. To use the phone analogy again, imagine an iOS update that resulted in an iPhone user only being able to message other iPhones that had also added the update.

Finally, note that the technical measure itself—doubling the block size—is rejected by core bitcoin developers as necessary to accommodate the transaction growth on the network. These developers point out a recent technical solution (known as “SegWit”) that fits more transactions on a block is already in place, and that other easy-to-implement congestion solutions will arrive soon.
Where can I learn more about the B2X fork?
This Q&A is only a high-level overview of the coming split. If you want more, Bitcoin Magazine is an authoritative source and has a helpful guide to B2X and other forks. Meanwhile, a recent Forbes feature by bitcoin maven Laura Shin offers a detailed look at the people and factions driving the current crisis. If you’re curious about how exactly forks work (including soft versus hard forks), this is a useful piece.
Video Source : CNBC

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Item Reviewed: Bitcoin. Bitcoin cash. Bitcoin gold. Confused? Don't be. Next will be Segwit2X (B2X) on November Rating: 5 Reviewed By: BUXONE