Segregated Witness: A Solution to Bitcoin’s Block Size Debate?
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HolyTransaction, a multicoin wallet services, have been producing regular infographics for a while now. The one you will find below, that I created this post to share, is my favourite one so far.
It introduces the concept of something called ‘segregated witness’ in a way that even non-technical people should easily be able to grasp and understand. In short, segregated witness may be able to provide a technical solution to the debate over whether or not Bitcoin should increase its block size limit, creating a ‘win-win’ scenario.
A very brief rehash of the ‘block size debate’
The number of transactions being conducted over the Bitcoin network has been consistently growing for some time, and is not all that far from hitting the hard-coded ceiling imposed by the block-size limit. Many people, myself included, believe that it is vital to take some action to fix this situation if bitcoin use is to continue to grow. If nothing is done, then transaction fees may start shooting up, transactions with lower fees may start taking a very long time to confirm, and ultimately the use of bitcoin will not be able to spread and grow.
But increasing the block size may have unintended consequences, placing extra burdens on miners and damaging the decentralization of the network – which is crucial to maintaining security and protecting the advantages that cryptocurrency can offer. There are also multiple competing solutions to what should replace the current block size limit, which was put in place to combat spam – no limit? A higher limit (and if so how high)? A flexible limit? All of this ha,s understandably, made reaching a consensus on this much needed change practically impossible.
A technical solution to the bock size debate, segregated witness may have the potential to increase the number of transactions the network can process without increasing the block size limit. Could this give both sides of the debate exactly what they want, creating a win-win solution? I’ll let you decide, but if you do have an opinion or any facts relating to this solution that you would like to share then please do leave a comment, it will be greatly appreciated.