Segwit2x and Upcoming Bitcoin Hard Fork in November 2017

What is Segwit2x?

Segwit2x is a new protocol for creating blocks for the Bitcoin blockchain.

Segwit2x allows doubling the size of the individual blocks, in order to include more transactions in every block. It is the evolution of SegWit, released in August. It allowed the inclusion inside blocks only of the basic transactions information, leaving outside all other details.

SegWit and SegWit2x try to increase the number of transactions that Bitcoin network can handle. In fact, the performaces are actually far below the ones of other payment networks (i.e. Visa). This because of technical limitations due to block size. Even SegWit2x won't be the ultimate solution to the problem. It is a "workaround" that can solve the problem in short-term. So, it will give developers a little more time to find a proper solution. For example, it could lead to Lightning Network adoption.

When will Segwit2x be released and what could be the consequences?

SegWit2x will probably occur around November 16, 2017. As a result of the hardfork there will be two chains, one will be Bitcoin Core and the other will be the SegWit2x version of Bitcoin (Bitcoin2x). If the fork will continue to receive miner's support for a long time, there could be a serious confusion about which is the "real" Bitcoin.

Hard fork

Although people in the crypto community are freaking out, there is probably no reason to be worried about this upcoming fork. However, for safety reasons, it is always best to hold your own private key. This safety precaution should be heeded particularly during a hard fork. If you hold your funds on a wallet hosted online, such as an exchange like Coinbase, it is never certain what will happen with your funds if things go wrong on their servers.

Replay protection

One of the main concern about Segwit2x is that it doesn't assure replay protection. Even if, lately Jeff Garzik, the overseer of development for SegWit2x, introduced an opt-in replay protection scheme.

A replay attack works as follows. After a fork, if Bob sends Alice 10 Bitcoins on the forked chain, an attacker can copy that transaction into the legacy chain. This would make Bob to send 10 Bitcoins on that chain as well.

Because SegWit2x does not include replay protection, unless one decides to opt in, the fork leaves users susceptible to a replay attack.

 

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