Block 494,784: Segwit2x Developers Set Date for Bitcoin Hard Fork

The developers behind Segwit2x, a controversial plan to increase the transaction capacity of the bitcoin blockchain, plan to announce a firm date for a hard fork today.

A copy of a forthcoming blog post obtained by CoinDesk indicates that the Segwit2x team plans to enable bitcoin’s miners to elect to run new software at block 494,784 on the blockchain, a block they expect will occur sometime in November of this year.

The announcement, while not yet public, is expected to be released formally later today. Entitled, “Bitcoin Upgrade at Block 494,784,” the draft post is currently live on a website related to the project.

The post reads:

“During the month of November 2017, approximately 90 days after the activation of Segregated Witnesses in the Bitcoin blockchain, a block between 1MB and 2MB in size will be generated by bitcoin miners in a move to increase network capacity. At this point it is expected that more than 90% of the computational capacity that secures the bitcoin network will carry on mining on top of this large block.”

If enacted, Segwit2x could enable a second hard fork of the bitcoin network in 2017, one that could also result in the creation of yet another version of the bitcoin blockchain with its own unique cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Cash, created through a hard fork on August 1, is currently trading at just over $300.

Announced in May, Segwit2x is an agreement supported by more than 50 industry startups, miners and technologists and organized by industry investor Digital Currency Group. To date, its developer team has drawn support mainly from industry startups.

Still with a portion of bitcoin’s mining network backing the new bitcoin cash blockchain, it remains to be seen just how many miners on either chain would dedicate computing power to yet another blockchain.

For one, there is already a live version of the blockchain that supports larger blocks. Secondly, with the adoption of SegWit on the bitcoin blockchain, its proponents argue block size is no longer an effective metric for capacity.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which helped organized the Segwit2x agreement.

Bitcoin fork image via Shutterstock

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