Whether or not the New York Agreement is still a viable Bitcoin scaling solution remains a topic of substantial debate. With a few mining pools reneging on their initial support already, things are not looking good. Chinese mining pools still see it as a viable solution to combine Segregated Witness with a 2MB block size. However, the number of BTC1 nodes – which signal NYA support – has not increased all that much over the past two months.
SegWit2x Node Numbers Are not Going up
Although the number of network nodes does not necessarily signal the strength or weakness of a cryptocurrency network, it is a significant indicator regardless. Whenever the number of network nodes remains flat or goes down, it is often an indication of dwindling support, if for unknown reasons. In the case of SegWit2x – or the New York Agreement in general – the number of BTC1 nodes indicating support has not gone up significantly over the past two months.
In fact, there are 178 BTC1 nodes as of right now. Considering the total number of Bitcoin network nodes across all iterations is 9,077, this number is pretty small in comparison. There has not been any major node increase since early July, as there are not too many community members who support the NYA enough to spin up their own nodes. That could prove to be pretty problematic for this scaling solution moving forward, especially when considering how this fork is scheduled to take place in November of this year.
As is to be expected, the Bitcoin community is openly debating what this means for the chances of success for SegWit2x. This scaling solution has lost a lot of traction ever since some of the bigger mining pools withdrew their support. In nearly all cases, these pools only went ahead with SegWit2x to ensure that Segregated Witness would activate on the Bitcoin mainnet sooner rather than later. After over a year of opposing that solution, you sometimes had to choose the lesser of two evils to get the job done.
Some people are wondering why the SegWit2x team is not spinning up nodes through Amazon AWS. In the case of Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic, most of those nodes were hosted on AWS. This seemingly confirms that public support for the New York Agreement is incredibly small. That is not a big surprise, as the solution never had any economic support either. All of this hints that SegWit2x may be dead in the water before it even becomes a factor.
Virtually no Bitcoin community members run any nodes, so node count statistics never tell the full story. That being said, SegWit2x has clearly not had any major success in convincing community members to pledge support in this manner. The bigger question is whether or not businesses and other service providers will provide support for the New York Agreement when the time comes. Right now, that appears to be highly unlikely at best.
The SegWit2x proposal has a lot of hurdles to overcome if it wants to succeed in the long run. That is much easier said than done. If there is little to no community and economic support, this solution will not go anywhere anytime soon. Even though 94% of Bitcoin mining pools continue to signal intent for SegWt2x, this number does not mean all that much either. Intent to signal and support for this somewhat controversial solution are not the same thing.