A group of contributors to the open-source Bitcoin Core development project met late last month in Switzerland for a sit-down review of the code for Segregated Witness, a proposal aimed at scaling the bitcoin network.
The gathering in Zürich drew about 20 Core developers, and comes at a time when there remains deep divisions in the community over the actions of the group, as well as its approach to scaling the bitcoin network.
In this light, the meeting in Zürich had a certain gravity, given that the work being performed will have major implications for the bitcoin network’s trajectory in the months and years ahead. The Segregated Witness proposal follows discussion going back to mid-2015, though the broader question of scaling the bitcoin network has long been debated by developers.
It’s a process that isn’t without risk. The contributors to Bitcoin Core are perhaps best viewed as the guardians of as much as $9bn in value denominated in bitcoin. As the network is run on the code published by Bitcoin Core, a foul-up could expose users and their money to security risks.
This is not to say that the issues aren’t borne in mind