A controversial proposal for upgrading the bitcoin blockchain saw a notable strategy shift this weekend.
Conversation has so far centered on how the need for a supermajority consensus in network decision-making means that any mining pool with enough hashing power holds effective veto power over any proposal, a fact many believe is responsible for delays in SegWit adoption.
The logic of a UASF, by contrast, is to bypass this veto power and put signaling into the hands of the digital currency's user base as a whole.
After the first general proposal for a UASF, Shaolinfry put forward a second proposal, BIP148, focused on putting the onus of supporting SegWit onto the 'economic majority', moving power out of the miners' hands.
Yet, even after it gained momentum, high-profile voices such as Bitcoin Core developer Gregory Maxwell and other bitcoin developers rejected the proposal on the basis it could undermine the stability of the bitcoin ecosystem.
"We should use the least disruptive mechanisms available and the BIP148 proposal does not meet that test," Maxwell wrote.
It's against this backdrop that Shaolinfry has announced work on a redraft of the proposal, which is aimed to address some of the concerns voiced by Maxwell and others in the community.
Shaolinfry conceded at the beginning of an announcement post that the reason for the changes is related to technical criticisms of how the plan would upgrade the network.
The changes also hint at what could happen should bitcoin's scaling debate continue over the course of 2017.
Currently, if the 95% hashrate support for SegWit is not reached by the end of a certain time window (15th November), the proposal is set to be discarded by default.
However, technical changes made in a proposal under the terms of BIP8 would be automatically locked in at the end of the time period, although they could also be adopted sooner.
Shaolinfry's suggestion is that after the 15th November cut off date, a UASF SegWit proposal be made under the terms of BIP8.
This would mean that the community would have a full year from the present date to prepare for upgrading by means of a UASF, removing the possible destabilizing effect of a short-term.
The developer argued in the post:
So far, there has been less of a response from the community on the terms of BIP8, but the idea of an automatic lock-in could be contentious.
However, with the community stalled over SegWit (and litecoin moving forward on its upgrade), the suggestion of an unambiguous adoption procedure will doubtless seem appealing for many observers.
Mask and computer image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.