Now that Segregated Witness has been deployed on the Bitcoin network, the scaling debate has officially been solved. That would be the case, assuming there were at least some SegWit transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain. So far, it seems that has not been the case. Over the past few days, we have seen around 1% of network transactions showing SegWit activity. This is a disappointing number, although things are improving slowly.
SegWit Bitcoin Transaction Numbers Are Disappointing
The Bitcoin community had looked forward to seeing Segregated Witness activate on the network for quite some time, as this scaling debate had been going on for the better part of a full year. After many months of opposing SegWit as a scaling solution, the major mining pools finally agreed to have it activate on the network around a week ago. Some pools still want to fork to SegWit2x in the future, but for now, that is not a big concern.
The bigger question is how soon we will see a significant number of SegWit transactions on the Bitcoin network. The past few network blocks contain around 1% SegWit transactions. This means there is still a lot of work to be done, although that is much easier said than done.
It is not all that easy to send a SegWit transaction on the Bitcoin network right now. Very few wallet solutions support this new type of transaction by default, which is a situation that needs to change soon. With so many different Bitcoin wallets out there openly supporting SegWit, one would have expected them to facilitate these types of transactions by now. That is not the case, although we can only hope things will pick up in the coming weeks and months.
Furthermore, it appears a lot of Bitcoin users have no idea how to use SegWit. Once again, this is not a surprise by any means, considering there is no intuitive way to do so. The TREZOR hardware wallet uses SegWit addresses by default right now, but most people still have money in so-called legacy addresses. Other hardware and software wallets have a lot of work to do in this regard as well. Until most services integrate SegWit by default, we will not see a major uptick in the number of transactions utilizing the new standard.
According to the most recent statistics, the number of SegWit transactions is increasing pretty quickly. The past 144 blocks indicate significant growth in this regard, although the transaction count still remains incredibly low for the time being. The scaling solution so many people have been waiting for is not as commonly used as it could or should be by now. Service providers have had plenty of time to prepare for this solution, yet it seems most of them have not put in the required effort to date.
It is not entirely shocking to see things develop in this way for Bitcoin, though. The Litecoin network experienced a similar issue at first, as its Core client did not initially support SegWit transactions by default. Activating a scaling solution on the network and effectively using it are two very different things. We can only hope to see more SegWit transactions on the Bitcoin network moving forward.