Starting August 1, Bitcoin may split into two or more versions.

The transaction confirmation time in the Bitcoin network is gradually increasing. Experts believe that the whole thing is in the influx of participants - the system is simply not designed for the number of users that now works in it. All this can lead to sad consequences. For example, bitcoins obtained after network disruption may disappear from the wallet or become another type of cryptocurrency, a fork (of course, not independently), which sellers and various services will not accept.

But as soon as the situation can be resolved properly, everything will fall into place . Transaction confirmation time will be the same. Here are just some solutions to the problem. Now the community of miners and users of cryptocurrency is discussing the possibility of activating a new protocol for the entire network. The solution should be until August 1 of this year. The date August 1 is a critical one; the future of Bitcoin will depend on what happens on that day.

Generally speaking, there are two most popular solutions to the problem, which are discussed. The first is offered by the supporters of the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) camp, the second by the Segregated Witness ( SegWit ). On July 21, a new SegWit2x protocol will be presented, to which most of the miners will be asked to switch. If by the end of the month, by August 1, the vast majority of market participants, namely about 80%, will go to it, then everything is fine. If it is less, then there may well be a situation when two varieties of bitcoin cryptocurrency arise - one based on the SegWit2x protocol, and the second remains on the old protocol.

So far, most market participants agree that
Segregated Witness (Segwit2x) - a decent way out of this situation. This solution was proposed by the Bitcoin Core development team, supported by the largest mining pools from China. In particular, switching to Segwit2x is considered necessary by OKCoin, Huobi, BTCCPool, Bitmain, F2Pool, BTC.Top, ViaBTC, BiXin, BW, 1Hash, Canoe, BATPool, Bitkan and others.

SegWit allows you to optimize the block size, which in the future will allow you to solve problems with the scalability of the Bitcoin network, which is now overflowing with transaction blocks. In particular, the transaction confirmation time will decrease, and the commissions will decrease accordingly. SegWit is a protocol that allows you to increase the efficiency of the blockchain without increasing the block size.

Currently, the block size is 1 megabyte, the transaction processing speed is 7 units per second. For comparison, the Visa system processes thousands of transactions per second. If the block size decreases, this will increase the cost of blockchain transactions, which may scare ordinary users of the system.

Segregated Witness allows you to retrieve a transaction signature by placing it in an autonomous data structure. If the signature is removed from the transaction, the transaction size is reduced. Thus, the confirmation time can be reduced by 47%. Accordingly, the system will process twice as many transactions per unit of time as before the transition to the new protocol.

SegWit will increase the reliability of system protection. With the introduction of the new protocol, participants will be secured using the fraud proof method, which is particularly relevant to the so-called “light wallets”.

Another solution is UASF, which also launches Segregated Witness, but its support will be provided by node holders, not miners.

In general, if a consensus can be found, no split will occur, and the system will work as usual. If Bitcoin is divided into two parts, then there will be various difficulties, including the possible refusal to accept one type of Bitcoin by supporters of the other. The course will be very volatile, especially if there are not two, but four varieties of this cryptocurrency. This is about
Bitcoin 148, NewPoW Bitcoin, Bitcoin ABC and Legacy Bitcoin. If this happens, then the exchange may suspend all types of transactions indefinitely.

What to do?

It is recommended to perform the following steps:

1. Stop accepting payments in Bitcoins 12 hours before August 1, 2017 02:00:00 GMT + 0200 . After a couple of days, you can try to start the payment acceptance process again;
2. If you are going to send a payment approximately at this time, it is worth remembering that the exchanges and processing services may stop working;
3. You should not keep your bitcoins on the exchange, which does not allow you to create local copies of private keys;
4. Do not buy bitcoins shortly before August 1. Volatility can be very high.
5. Payments that go to your wallet on August 1 may simply disappear, so you should not conduct operations at this time;
6. It is also not recommended to pay anyone for anything on 1 August.


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