SegWit might be one of the burning issues concerning Bitcoin’s scaling up, however, it has gone beyond the first cryptocurrency.
Litecoin is also approaching SegWit application, yet the ‘digital silver’ isn’t the only altcoin that might embrace the solution.
Litecoin release featuring SegWit code came out this January.
“So you may wonder why I’m pushing for SegWit. Litecoin does not have a block size problem. That’s right, and SegWit is not just a block scaling solution. I would even say block scaling is just a side benefit of SegWit. The main fix is transaction malleability, which would allow Lightning Networks (LN) to be built on top of Litecoin. And there are a bunch more nice features of SegWit,” Charlie Lee, the cryptocurrency creator, said back then.
However, the code will activate once 75% of miners declare their support. It will also take that the support level maintains for the next 8,064 blocks. The required level of support was reached by April 12th, and went as high as 80 per cent. However, there still are some concerns regarding whether the coin keeps it on for the entire period of time remaining until the activation. Antpool opposes the activation (which it also does in Bitcoin as well).
By Monday, April 17th, one could witness a quite peculiar development of affairs: Reddit users noticed that Antpool suddenly mined a few blocks supporting SegWit and then went back back to its original state. Moreover, the pool’s Litecoin hash rate suddenly skyrocketed and reached 20 per cent. Depending on what happens next, and considering capabilities of some other operators like LTC1BTC, this could be enough to block other miners’ efforts.
Launched in 2014, Groestlcoin is hardly known to the wide audience (128th place in the overall Coinmarketcap cryptocurrency rank with market cap close $1.7m), however, it is actually the very first altcoin to have successfully activated SegWit. The required support level of 95% was reached this January, and after a short while the activation followed as well. However, the project isn’t that big, so it never faced scalability issues comparable to those of Bitcoin.
Jackie, the project’s leader who prefers to remain anonymous, says that SegWit is the solution mostly addressing transaction malleability issues but it also enables other innovations like Lightning Network, TumbleBit and Mimblewimble.
With that being said, SegWit is not used very actively in the Groestlcoin network as of yet. The cryptocurrency lacks wallets supporting the solution,so apart from some specially crafted transactions to test that the new feature worked, most Groestlcoin transactions still use the old, pre-SegWit format. It is expected that the situation will change by the end of the year. After the release of an updated Electrum version of the Groestlcoin wallet, SegWit transactions are expected to be become fully available.
Anyway, the coin skyrocketed after the pre-SegWit activation, and this was a great reward for both developers and investors.
On March 31st, decentralized marketplace Syscoin has announced the release of Syscoin Core 2.1.3 with SegWit fully activated.
— Syscoin (@syscoin) April 4, 2017
It took the network nearly two months to finalize the process: the previous version of Syscoin Core featured SegWit and Lightning Network. Back then, the team noted that the coin’s biggest mining pool was F2Pool. This means that once the pool starts mining SegWit blocks, the Syscoin network will be ready to receive them. The team also announced it was negotiating merged Bitcoin mining with BTCC.
SegWit activation also had a positive effect on the coin’s price. Currently, it’s the 42nd cryptocurrency with market cap of around $16m. Moreover, as some analysts suggest, Syscoin might be one of the year’s best investments.
Another inconspicuous PoW altcoin, DigiByte, is hoping to join Groestlcoin and Syscoin in a short while. Last weekend, it has got the required 70% support level required for SegWit activation. According to the developers, the solution may be activated any day now.
DigiByte was launched in 2014. It positions itself as a professional and transparent decentralized cryptocurrency developed to tackle some drawbacks of Bitcoin and Litecoin. Now, thanks to the SegWit activation, DigiByte’s price has grown by 50% over a few days. With market cap over $9m, the coin sits in the 58th place.
Most crypto enthusiasts aren’t likely to embrace something named MonaCoin. Still, the coin is rather popular, especially in Japan, while the developers do their best to improve the code.
MonaCoin could be considered a Litecoin clone. That’s where SegWit code was copied from, after all. A softfork required to signal the support took place on March 8th, and the required level of 75% was reached a week later. Even Samson Mow, who recently joined Blockstream, couldn’t help but to comment on the event:
— Samson Mow (@Excellion) April 16, 2017
Vertcoin is another currency that could activate SegWit. Notably, the first attempt to integrate the solution back in February wasn’t too successful: the blockchain split into two because of a bug. Vertcoin developer known as etang600, however, stressed that the problem was caused by poor implementation and had nothing to do with SegWit itself.
In a short while, the problem was solved. However, there are just over 40 per cent of miners supporting the activation, with the threshold set at 75 per cent. As etang600 acknowledges, some ‘mysterious’ miner controls over 30 per cent of the entire hash rate. It is quite likely that it is he or she that hinders the activation.
Notably, there’s no serious need for Vertcoin to implement SegWit in the first place. The solution, however, might help it tackle malleability issues that affect any other cryptocurrency in some way. Still, it might be a very interesting experiment, just like the fact that SegWit is not just about Bitcoin anymore.
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