SegWit2MB vs BIP148

If there is one thing the bitcoin industry has no shortage of, it has to be the different scaling solutions. While most people focus on Bitcoin Unlimited and Segregated Witness, it is important to note other solutions are available as well. SegWit2MB, for example, is quite an intriguing concept. Additionally, there is the BIP148 solution, which is well worth considering.

2. BIP148

Most bitcoin enthusiasts have heard of the BIP148 solution before, albeit they will often refer to it as the user-activated soft fork. This particular solution puts the power of activating Segregated Witness into the hands of all bitcoin community members, rather than just the miners.  Considering how the large Chinese mining pools actively block SegWit, a different path of activation may be needed in the end.

The BIP148 implementation is mainly designed for community members to support Segregated Witness if they feel it is the best way to go. Anyone in the world can create a full bitcoin node and signal for BIP148. As more nodes support this solution, the chances of increasing the user-activated soft fork gradually increases. It remains to be seen if BIP148 will ever activate, though.

It is important to note the BIP148 proposal is not something planned by the Bitcoin Core developers. Moreover, this proposal is not designed to split the network into, unlike Bitcoin Unlimited. Consensus changes in the bitcoin world are often frowned upon, albeit it appears support for BIP148 is growing. So far, no binaries for bitcoin nodes have been released, though.

1. SegWit2MB

It is evident the majority of bitcoin scaling solutions revolve around activating Segregated Witness. That is not surprising, as SegWit will pave the way for the Lightning Network in the future. SegWit2MB is a hybrid alternative solution that aims to compromise between SegWit and an immediate block size increase.  To some people, this solution sounds pretty strange, as SegWit will effectively bring a block size increase to the network as well.

To be more specific, SegWit2MB will increase the bitcoin block size to two megabytes only if SegWit activates on the network. However, the block size increase will be enforced as a hard fork. It did not take long for people to voice their concerns about this proposal, as SegWit2MB would require at least six months of code reviewing.

On the other hand, there are others who support the proposal. Erik Voorhees seems to lean towards SegWit2MB, a suit would get SegWit activated faster. Moreover, it would increase a short-term block size increase, effectively nullifying any issues created by Bitcoin Unlimited. It would be a good solution to end the political debate surrounding bitcoin scaling, in Voorhees’ opinion. Then again, a hard fork is always cause for concern, even when it gets SegWit activated faster.

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