Should a certain controversial alternative to the mainstream implementation of bitcoin’s code have gained traction, today might have marked a significant date in the bitcoin calendar. However, that was not to be.
As many industry observers know, the open-source bitcoin community remains engaged in a months-long struggle to determine how best to increase the capacity of the transaction network, and as of 11th January, that discussion is still ongoing.
Initially the date set by project developers Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, 11th January was to be the earliest possible time that Bitcoin XT would have begun introducing larger 8MB blocks to bitcoin users running the XT software. Others running Bitcoin Core would still process 1MB blocks, a development observers argued amounted to a split of the network.
Regardless of the proposals, there is consensus in the bitcoin community that a change is necessary because of the perceived risks to bitcoin as a payment system should daily transactions increase towards the network’s 1MB limit. At this point, users would be forced to more actively choose the fee they would pay to process the transaction on the blockchain, essentially making more prominent the postage stamp charge that comes with every