The upcoming Bitcoin Core client update will introduce some interesting changes. Now that SegWit activation has been locked in and BIP148 is in effect, the new client will disconnect nodes supporting the SegWit2x fork. This decision will not go over well with a lot of SegWit2x supporters, as they will see this as an unwarranted attack on the project.
Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 Disconnects SegWit2x Clients
Any radical change made to the Bitcoin Core client is always greeted with a heavy dose of skepticism. This new change introduced in Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 will not be any different, as it seems to embody a rather radical decision. Automatically disconnecting any network node which runs the SegWit2x fork seems rather unusual. However, such a decision was to be expected sooner or later, as Bitcoin Core supporters have no intention to support a solution introducing 2MB blocks anytime soon.
The community seems to be divided on the matter for the time being. Some people feel the decision makes perfect sense, as nodes running on different forks will not be of any use to one another. The SegWit2x client is more than capable of dealing with the changes recently introduced to the Bitcoin blockchain, such as rejecting non-SegWit blocks. It seems as if the Bitcoin Core developers want to prevent the November hard fork from introducing any major disruption to the average Bitcoin user, which can be justified.
This updated client will be released well ahead of the November fork. Disconnecting SegWit2x nodes from the network altogether will create a rather interesting scenario. Not everyone will agree with this radical decision at the time being, even though it seems the Core developers have good reason to make the change. Reddit user Nullc pointed out that not all SegWit2x nodes are 100% compatible with the current network conditions either. That statement makes a lot of sense, although not everyone seems to be on the same page regarding this topic.
For their part, the vast majority of Bitcoin Core supporters feel that this is the best decision the developers have made in quite some time. Heralded as “excellent news,” it demonstrates that the Core community wants nothing to do with SegWit2x. This will certainly have some repercussions in the long run, though the real impact has yet to be determined. SegWit2x would be a hard fork anyway, and removing the nodes from the network now could turn out to be the smart thing to do after all.
Even though the majority of Bitcoin users have come together to lock in SegWit activation, there are still a lot of different opinions regarding the future of the upgrade. Core developers consider SegWit alone to be more than sufficient to make Bitcoin scale and pave the way for the Lightning Network. SegWit2x die-hards want that 2MB block increase in November, alongside the activation of Segregated Witness. These discussions have been ongoing for quite some time now, and it seems there will not be unity among Bitcoin supporters anytime soon.
For the time being, it is unclear when we can expect the Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 client. It still must go through several release candidates before anyone can even consider downloading it. Considering it does not introduce any forks — neither soft nor hard — the testing and review period for this new client should not last all that long. It is good to see some changes being introduced without discussion of forking Bitcoin and potential chain splits. Many people feel SegWit2x is not the way to go, but only time will tell.