The Bitcoin XT project, championed by Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, has been the talk of the Bitcoin community all summer long. Some love it, some hate it, but the issue will not be resolved quietly, it seems. Those who have chosen to adopt the new software have reported suffering targeted cyber attacks after migrating to XT.
To BIP 101 or not to BIP 101
For those unaware of the scuttlebutt, Bitcoin XT was proposed by the prominent Bitcoin core developers to alleviate future scalability issues Bitcoin is expected to face. Currently, transactions per minute are limited to 7 per second with estimates showing that sometime next year this will start to cause a network backlog as demand and adoption grow.
Many options have been presented, most notably BIP 100 and BIP 101 (Bitcoin XT) to solve the problem with voting by Bitcoin nodes for a 75% “consensus” on which option users most prefer. Most recently, it has come to light that major corporations have aligned with BIP 101, while BIP 100, the brainchild of Jeff Garzik, is the favorite of the mining community.
But now, those who are ready to vote for the Bitcoin XT party line are reportedly getting digitally bullied by unknown Bitcoin XT opponents.
So is this just paranoia and delusions of persecution running wild? Those affected say the attackers aren’t being very subtle about why this has happened. The intent is as clear as day, according to Alena Vranova, director of SatoshiLabs in the Czech Republic. Vranova says the company was warned that the technical warfare would end when they removed the option to adopt BIP 101. It was powerful enough to shut down their online services.
“This is destructive behavior,” says Vranova to Technology Review. “I would admire someone who stands out, explains, and promotes his idea. This is just cowardly.”
L.A.’s ChunkHost, a web hosting company, has also felt the wrath of the cyber attacks, but without warning. The attack wasn’t aimed at ChunkHost but a lone customer who chose to move software for a Bitcoin ATM to the Bitcoin XT protocol as soon as the change was made.
ChunkHost founder, Josh Jones stated:
“It seemed pretty clear. As soon as he switched, he got attacked. Some people seem to be taking matters into their own hands.”
The BIP 101 has not gained much traction amongst the voting portion of the community, with support falling from 8% to 1%. The opposing BIP 100 has had almost 40% approval as of last month, and has improved to almost 60%. It would seem that the Bitcoin community at large has spoken, in more ways than one, about Bitcoin XT and its future as a major Bitcoin application.