As Block Size Debate Flares, Bitcoin Scaling Solution Enters Next Phase

As attacks against the group intensify, the volunteer community that develops the code for bitcoin’s open-source software has entered a new phase of testing for Segregated Witness, its proposed scaling solution.
The merge, which took place last weekend, comes nearly seven months after the proposal was by Pieter Wuille, co-founder of bitcoin startup Blockstream and a major contributor to the Bitcoin Core open-source development community, during the Scaling Bitcoin conference in Hong Kong.
Since then, the upgrade, commonly known as SegWit, has seen broad testing by both the Core community as well as various companies operating in the bitcoin space. More recently, Core contributors met for a face-to-face meeting in Zrich for a hands-on review of the code.
To recap, SegWit has been proposed as a means of effectively increasing the capacity of bitcoin transaction blocks by changing how the space within them is used, rather than outright increasing the size of the data blocks on the blockchain. Further, the upgrade addresses issues like transaction malleability, or the ability for transaction IDs to be changed before they become confirmed by the network.
With the merging of the initial code for SegWit into the master branch of the bitcoin codebase, a new phase of testing can begin that developers say will provide more opportunities for stress-testing the upgrade and identifying any lingering bugs. Developers say it enables SegWit testing in conjunction with other features in bitcoin’s code.

This post was published at Coin Desk on June 30, 2016.

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