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3 Bitcoin Factions? A Brief Primer On the Bitcoin Scaling Debate Ahead of the Potential November Hard-Fork

The scaling debate is raging on in the Bitcoin community, with three factions having materialized before the contentious and seemingly likely SegWit2x hard-fork this November.

Who’s Who:

BTC – The incumbent Bitcoin chain faction, whose coin is currently priced around $4343 at the writing of this post. Those in the BTC faction are opposed to scaling with SegWit2x. Prominent members include Blockstream,  BitcoinTalk, Bitcoin.org, and Charlie Lee.

BT2 – Faction of the as yet un-materialized coin that would result from a November hard-fork of BTC. Bitfinex just opened futures trading on BT2, and each is currently trading around $1099 on the site. This faction is in favor of scaling with SegWit2x. Members include Bitcoin.com, Erik Voorhees, and Barry Silbert.

BCH- Then there’s the Bitcoin Cash faction, whose coin is approximately $356 at the time of this post. This faction was opposed to the 1st rendition of SegWit and forked off back on August 1st. Increased blockchain blocks from 1MB to 8MB for scaling instead. They are onlookers this November but are generally favorable to BT2.

Why

The BTC faction wants to move toward Lightning networks on the inaugural SegWit for scaling. They currently have BTC at a 2MB block limit and believe SegWit2x is invalid for not going through the BIP approval process.

The BT2 faction wants to transition to SegWit2x, considering it an ideal compromise for the ongoing scaling debate.

The BCH faction believes raising the blockchain size is in line with Satoshi’s original vision. Conversely, they wanted to preserve the genesis block of Bitcoin.

When:

A BT2 hard-fork would occur in early November 2017.

Does SegWit2x Have Considerable Support?

Yes. Major signatories comprising over 90% of Bitcoin’s hash power have indicated their support for SegWit2x.

Why It Matters:

Virtually all cryptocurrencies – like Ether, notably – are strongly correlated with the price of BTC. The entire crypto market could sag down in the short-term as November approaches.

TLDR: Three factions have arisen in the Bitcoin community ahead of the potential November hard-fork, and things are getting contentious accordingly. 

William M. Peaster is a cryptocurrency journalist and copy-editor based out of El Paso, Texas. He's an avid fan of Ethereum, ERC-20 tokens, and smart contracts in general.

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