Scaling Bitcoin Hong Kong returned for day two today, with presentations showcasing the breadth of ideas for how bitcoin’s transaction processing capacity can be improved and the speed at which some have consolidated into plans of action.
Audience enthusiasm was more pronounced early in the day as proposals for longstanding ideas such as payment channels via the Lightning Network were demonstrated with renewed clarity, while developer Pieter Wuille wowed with segregated witness – a proposal for scaling the bitcoin blockchain without requiring a hard fork.
A change to the bitcoin protocol that is not backwards compatible, the hard fork has emerged as a contentious issue given what some in the community view as its potential risks. Effectively, a hard fork would require all members of bitcoin’s disparate ecosystem to upgrade their software in near unison, with the implied risk that any divisions could create two versions of the bitcoin blockchain.
Still, excitement for Wuille’s proposal to avoid a hard fork was balanced by an equally embraced appeal by Bloq founder and core developer Jeff Garzik for the bitcoin community to pursue a solution that requires a hard fork, in