July 21, 2017

BIP 91 has officially locked in

Miners agreed to cement the first part of a larger Bitcoin enhancement project called Segwit2x

BIP 91 has officially locked in.

Bitcoin Miners, the network of computer operators that protects the Bitcoin blockchain, has now informed that it will update the code for 269 blocks during the same reporting period, a measure that brings the software closer to changing its structure to allow more transactions.

Looking back, the miners agreed to cement the first part of a larger Bitcoin enhancement project called Segwit2x.

The controversial proposal aims to change the structure of network transactions through Segregated Witness and increase the maximum amount of data that can be stored in transaction blocks, which should happen later this autumn.

With the signage, the mining pools almost unanimously supported the proposal, and BIP 91, which in part aimed to avoid a possible split of Bitcoin on the network, proved to be the first important step in following the roadmap.

In response, Bitcoin experienced a sharp increase in prices on Thursday due to perceived progress, with some calling the BIP 91 block a victory, marking a "new morning" for Bitcoin.

But lock-in is just the first step in activating SegWit on the network, and the other steps are more complex.

More specifically, the following things need to happen before they can be activated:

- There will be a "grace period" of 336 blocks, lasting about two and a half days, during which the miners will have time to prepare for activation.
- BIP 91 is activated in block 477'120. In theory, mining pools will begin to reject blocks that do not report support for SegWit (BIP 141). Thus, BIP 91 is a "coordination mechanism" that allows other mine deposits to follow suit or lose in terms of mine rewards.
- SegWit could stop during the next difficulty adjustment period of the 2016 blocks, which lasts about two weeks.

At this last moment, SegWit activation is "quite normal," as BIP 91 inventor James Hilliard said.

At this point, Bitcoin's SegWit upgrade will be official and a next proposal for a user-enabled soft fork (UASF), BIP 148, will be replaced.

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