The code for a long-in-development bitcoin scaling solution could be ready for activation as soon as 15th November.
The new software – version 0.13.1 – will include more code for Segregated Witness (SegWit), enabling users (and, perhaps most notably, miners) to begin the upgrade process. The launch will kick off a process by which the extended stakeholders in the distributed network will be asked to signal whether they support SegWit.
The news comes from an update on a mailing list for developers working on bitcoin’s primary software, Bitcoin Core. There, developer Pieter Wuille posted new details this weekend about the planned rollout of SegWit. A release candidate for 0.13.1 has since been published.
The pending launch follows months of testing by developers. SegWit’s code, for example, was first released for testing over the summer, but the new version would bring that code into production.
The November release date doesn’t mean bitcoin’s capacity issues will be instantly resolved, however.
For example, SegWit won’t become the law of the land, so to speak, until 95% of the world’s bitcoin miners signal their support by running the upgraded version. Furthermore, 2,016 transaction blocks need to pass after that threshold is reached before the network begins enforcing the change.
While promising, the release could spark further debate within the bitcoin community about the ways in which the bitcoin network can be scaled to support more usage given that tensions have recently been heightened over a perceived lack of progress on the issue.
Other software implementations, including Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Classic, have been put forward as alternatives to the Core approach, advocating for on-chain scaling that would expand the size of transaction blocks on the bitcoin network.
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