Coinbase, the largest Bitcoin exchange for US customers, has made public its position on the upcoming Bitcoin Hard-Fork. The San Francisco based exchange has let down B2X proponents and announced that it would continue referring to the current BTC, and not the upcoming SegWit2x BT2 chain, as the real Bitcoin.
The “SegWit2x’’ hard fork, expected to take place on Nov 16th, has been a dividing issue among crypto-enthusiasts, and Coinbase’s decision today came as a shock to everyone. The NO2xer, who oppose the fork, welcomed the company’s announcement, while B2X supporters were outraged.
Understanding Bitcoin SegWit2x.
In order to improve the speed and maintain the speed of Bitcoin transactions, the Bitcoin Core Developers have proposed Bitcoin SegWit2x as a solution. While very contentious, this solution can create a better environment for Bitcoin Transactions. However, if it isn’t universally accepted, there could be two different chains of Bitcoin via a fork of the Bitcoin Network. The hard-fork for Segwit2x is expected to take place on 16th of November, 2017.
The company made a statement on their website with the Coinbase support team saying:
“Following the fork, we will continue referring to the current bitcoin blockchain as Bitcoin with the symbol ‘BTC.' We will refer to the new blockchain resulting from the fork as Bitcoin2x with the symbol ‘B2X.'”
Some crypto-enthusiasts had speculated that Coinbase would side with B2X, but today’s decision has permanently put that rumor to rest. Owing to Coinbase’s massive share in the US crypto-currency market, this decision is likely to help keep incumbent BTC chain as the dominant one.
Coinbase has pledged to credit every BTC holder on the exchange the appropriate amount of B2X after Bitcoin forks at block #494,784. More importantly, the company has stated that they are open to reversing this decision in future if B2X ends up becoming more popular.
“If the Segwit2x change is accepted by most users, we may choose to rename these blockchains at a later date.”
Coinbase Swayed by Charlie Lee’s Advice Against B2X From October
The decision, apparently, was made following the advice from Charlie Lee, former Coinbase executive and Litecoin creator. Lee disclosed, in this Oct 3 article, that he had officially advised his former colleagues at Coinbase to stick with BTC over B2X if the SegWit2x hard-fork happened as planned. His advice was well received by the company since he used to be the director of engineering at Coinbase. He gave the following reasoning to back his advice to the Coinbase team to support the Bitcoin Core developers:
“It’s the people who use the coin that gives it value, and miners will mine the coin that makes them the most money,” Lee said.
“Right now, pretty much all the Bitcoin Core developers and a large part of the community including a lot of prominent figures in this space have come out against this hard-fork.”