Currently, everyone’s been focused on the price of bitcoin and turbulent global markets. However, in the bitcoin mining and development space, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes.
Also read: Meet Bitcoin Unlimited Developer Andrew Stone
Smaller Mining Pools and Bitcoin Unlimited
As Bitcoin.com previously reported the bitcoin network’s hashrate distribution among mining pools has been changing. Lately, there have been numerous smaller factions of mining pools taking a percentage of the hashrate. These smaller entities of miners are organizations such as Bitcoin India, 1Hash, GBMiners, and many more. Moreover, mining pools have been making changes such as signaling for Segregated Witness (SegWit) implementation and some miners are mining blocks utilizing Bitcoin Unlimited.
More recently a few instances of smaller mining pools have initiated mining Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) blocks. Our own mining pool (Bitcoin.com’s pool [Editor’s Note]) has been mining BU blocks as well as has ViaBTC, and the Indian mining pool GBMiners. Now another pool called BTC.TOP has started to support the BU client. At press time BTC.TOP commands 1.2 percent of bitcoin’s global network hashrate. Furthermore, some miners within SlushPool’s mining group are also supporting BU’s blocks. According to Coin Dance total mining pool support for BU in the last 1000 blocks is now roughly 12.4 percent.
Another small new pool (1% of the total hashrate) switched to @BitcoinUnlimite. Does anyone notice a tendency here? https://t.co/QlHuHbiy83 https://t.co/rW9Q4l2MG2
— Nikita Zhavoronkov (@nikzh) December 26, 2016
Segregated Witness Signals
Another crossroad miners are facing is the implementation of the soft fork SegWit. The SegWit concept introduced in 2015 by developer Pieter Wuille has been mulled over for quite some time. Currently, SegWit is implemented in the latest version of the bitcoin core client 0.13.1. At the moment miners can vote for SegWit by signaling support for the soft fork. There needs to be a threshold of 95 percent of hashrate support for SegWit to fully activate. Currently, 25.6 percent of voters are supporting SegWit, which aims to eliminate malleability and increase network capacity .
However, there are community members who don’t believe SegWit is the best solution to the capacity issue. In a recent Medium post, one community member writes that SegWit is “radical” and “irresponsible.” Other bitcoin proponents are pushing for a fast adoption of SegWit and believe it is a solution that will benefit the bitcoin network. Many larger pools such as Bitmain’s Antpool have yet to disclose whether they will support any of these changes or proposals.
Scalability Overshadowed by the Market Rise
It’s difficult to know what will take place regarding bitcoin’s scalability, as BTC value continues to grow. Since the price has risen exponentially at certain times, there has also been network congestion with slow transaction throughput. With the price hype overshadowing technical changes it can be difficult to follow what’s going on behind the scenes.
At the moment it’s hard to tell what will happen with BU and Segwit support. However, both ideas are slowly gathering supporters who believe in the underlying solutions. It is interesting that smaller mining pool factions are joining in on mining BU blocks, but the question is will this trend continue? Furthermore, Segwit has only just recently crossed the 20 percentile threshold and many wonder if it will ever gain full support. Bitcoin.com will keep our readers updated on these events happening behind the scenes within the bitcoin environment.
What do you think about smaller pools like BTC.TOP and others supporting BU blocks? How do you feel about current Segwit support at the moment? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Coin Dance, and Bitcoin.com
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