Things just keep getting more interesting in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. The Parity Bitcoin client, which has been around since April of this year, recently received a major upgrade. It is now compatible with not just SegWit, but also Bitcoin Cash and even SegWit2x (assuming that will still be a thing come November). This is a major development for people relying on this full-node implementation of the Bitcoin protocol.
Supporting Forks Through Bitcoin Full-node Implementations
Very few developers ever assumed we would see two competing Bitcoin blockchains. That is the situation we are in right now, even though Bitcoin Cash is merely an altcoin. However, the concept is gaining some traction as more service providers express an interest in openly supporting this scaling solution moving forward. This also means the full-node implementations used by service providers will need to undergo some big updates, since they are not natively compatible with other blockchains.
This is why the Parity Bitcoin developers have made some significant revisions to their full-node implementation. Although it was working just fine beforehand, it has now received an update to also support alternative versions of Bitcoin. Parity Bitcoin now also supports Bitcoin Cash, which is a positive sign for supporters of that particular implementation. The client also includes SegWit2x support, which will certainly shake things up quite a bit moving forward.
There are a lot of conflicting opinions regarding SegWit2x and its chances of surviving. With SegWit’s activation on the main Bitcoin blockchain and Bitcoin Cash’s larger blocks, it does not appear there is a direct need for a solution looking to combine the best of both worlds. Then again, if there is enough support from the community and a handful of miners, there is no reason to think SegWit2x could not survive in the long run. Whether or not it will be successful is a whole different topic of debate.
Parity Bitcoin has no bias toward any of these three scaling solutions. The team just wants to provide compatibility for the different iterations of Bitcoin currently in existence, as well as those to be created in the future, if any. It is a smart approach to ensure there are no compatibility issues later on, although a lot can change for SegWit2x between now and November. Anyone who uses this particular full-node implementation can decide which version of Bitcoin they want to support, regardless of whether that is 1, 2, or 3 different implementations.
The bigger question is how many service providers will embrace this new version. After all, not every exchange or wallet service provider will look to support anything but the main SegWit-enabled version of Bitcoin. Then again, we have seen multiple services integrate BCH functionality in recent weeks and it seems this is only the beginning. Whether or not we will see the same with SegWit2x remains anybody’s guess at this point in time.
It is good to see the Parity Bitcoin developers acknowledge there is more than one version of Bitcoin and some people may actually want to support those others in the future. Having more options is never a bad thing, even though they may not necessarily appeal to everyone right away. There is no need for any bias toward any of the scaling solutions, as Bitcoin is about the community more than anything else.