On Saturday, F2Pool mined Segregated Witness (SegWit) blocks for both Bitcoin and Litecoin. Almost immediately after the pool’s signaling of SegWit, major Chinese mining pools were hacked and their hash power was allocated to F2Pool, making F2Pool the single largest mining pool in the world for a brief moment.
A day after, F2Pool stopped signaling for SegWit on Bitcoin but continued its support for SegWit on Litecoin. This ambiguous approach to scaling confused the vast majority of the community in regard to the position of F2Pool on Bitcoin Core’s SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited.
F2Pool seems to be taking a cautious approach toward signaling SegWit. Based on the pool’s current behavior, it seems as if F2Pool wants to push SegWit activation on Litecoin first, evaluate and analyze its impact on the altcoin and then push for SegWit activation on Bitcoin network.
Litecoin is the closest altcoin to Bitcoin, in terms of structure, philosophy and monetary policy. Therefore, as a replica of Bitcoin, various solutions such as SegWit can be tested on Litecoin before being moved to Bitcoin.
In-depth testing of Bitcoin solutions on altcoins such as Litecoin will allow developers, businesses and miners to obtain a better understanding of the potential, limits and advantages of SegWit before activating it on Bitcoin.
The community is confused about the stance of F2Pool on SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited because of F2Pool owner Wang Chun’s statements revealed last week. On March 29, Cointelegraph reported Chun’s strong opposition to Bitcoin’s fork. He wrote: “Bitcoin can’t fork and won’t fork.”
The majority of the community understood Chun’s statement as his rejection of Bitcoin Unlimited as a contentious hard fork. However, since SegWit is also a fork, the community began to question Chun’s intent behind his statement.
As of now, it is quite evident that F2Pool will not support or signal SegWit before seeing the scaling solution activated and running on Litecoin.
If SegWit successfully scales the Litecoin network by increasing its block size by around 2x, eliminates transaction malleability and opens the door for two-layer solutions like Lightning, F2Pool will likely signal SegWit for Bitcoin and push SegWit activation for Bitcoin scaling.
According to Bitcoin Core developer Luke Jr., the Lightning network, an off-chain two-layer solution which can be introduced to both the Litecoin and Bitcoin networks as a result of SegWit activation, can reduce block size by up to 90 percent. Therefore, if Lightning is introduced and SegWit’s 2x capacity is implemented, users can expect an exponential increase in block size capacity upon the activation of SegWit.
“Before we reach the point that 1MB is insufficient, we are likely to have the Lightning protocol working in production. This improves the efficiency of Blockchain usage by magnitudes, possibly reducing 1 MB block usage to ~10k,” said Luke Jr.