Scaling in 2017: Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong Lends Support to SegWit
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is the latest cryptocurrency industry figure to lend support to Segregated Witness, also known as SegWit, technology as Bitcoin’s future.
In a tweet Thursday, Armstrong stated he thought the technology, which has traditionally struggled to find wider community support, can “help the industry move forward.”
From learning more about SegWit I think we should activate it. It's prob the best path forward for bitcoin at this point. https://t.co/oNLSYcf3vn— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) January 6, 2017
Litecoin on board
The comments were made in response to a similar call from Litecoin creator Charlie Lee. Lee described SegWit as “maybe not the full scaling solution you want” but nonetheless doing “a ton of cool stuff.”
Let's activate SegWit! Maybe not the full scaling solution you want, but it does a ton of good stuff today and enables lightning networks.— Charlie Lee (@SatoshiLite) January 6, 2017
The scaling debate in Bitcoin circles has taken something of a backseat in the second half of 2016, having previously been the focal point of discussion among users and developers alike. As of now, however, no overall consensus has been reached about how to enable more transactions on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
Teechan’s magic elixir?
Most recently, developers of a rival solution called Teechan have suggested it could even solve the problem more successfully than SegWit.
In December, they stated that Teechan could save space while providing added security for transactions.
“Teechan does not require any changes to the existing Bitcoin network; it is secure even in the presence of transaction malleability,” they wrote in a blog post.
“...The first feature alone is worth its weight in Bitcoin, as this means that all the touted benefits of payment channels can be had on top of the regular, unmodified Bitcoin protocol right now, avoiding the thorny discussion around SegWit and its deployment.”
They noted that while SegWit technology would allow for Lightning Transactions to be implemented into Bitcoin, however, these themselves could only be activated with substantial changes to the protocol.
Familiar schisms remain
Nonetheless, Armstrong’s support for the technology was well received. Wayne Vaughan, CEO of Tierion replied that for those building solutions on Bitcoin, SegWit “solves problems.”
@brian_armstrong Amen. Segwit solves problems for those of us building layer2 tech on Bitcoin.— Wayne Vaughan (@WayneVaughan) January 6, 2017
Contrast this optimism with the viewpoint of others, for example ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Roger Ver, and the complexity of reaching a consensus in the future become obvious.
In a conference speech in November, Ver referred to SegWit as a “bait and switch” for those who had been involved with Bitcoin since its early days, and that he was suspicious of “the morals of the people who have come up with it.”