By most accounts, the activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit) should be a boon for bitcoin.
The code has been introduced to the network, and at least 20% of bitcoin’s hashing power is now signalling support for the software change. First proposed last December, SegWit is expected to provide the first significant boost in capacity to the bitcoin blockchain in its near-decade-long history.
While the mechanics of its rollout ensure that its implementation is not a forgone conclusion, to the technical community, SegWit is seen as a significant technical milestone. As described by Blockstream’s Greg Sanders, the change (even at proposal) is one of the “largest ever” to the bitcoin code base.
“It touched nearly every part of the codebase – serialization, peer-to-peer, wallet, codebase. That doesn’t happen very often,” he said at the Scaling Bitcoin conference this year.
Yet, despite the promise the technology holds, the bitcoin startup community has so far only tepidly embraced the idea that Segregated Witness will bring benefits. As summed up by Blockchain CEO Peter Smith, the view from consumer-facing firms that have seen usability issues while debate and testing were ongoing is more measured.
Smith told CoinDesk:
“On the whole,