Bitcoin’s first day of independence was scheduled for August 1, 2017, when Bitcoin users planned to implement a software update via a user-activated soft fork (UASF) via BIP148, which they hoped would score a victory based on the community over the years Blocksize War by activating SegWit. This was a change to the Bitcoin transaction format that was supported by the Bitcoin community in general, but countered by some large mining entities and other ecosystem startups who have instead tried to impose a hard fork on the protocol to increase the limit. block size.The idea of celebrating the BIP148 flag day of August 1st as a holiday was more or less meme’d in existence by Jan3 CEO Samson Mow, who was an outspoken supporter of the UASF. The Bitcoin mining community capitulated in the days leading up to the expected inaugural Bitcoin Independence Day, signaling their support for BIP91 after the UASF BIP148 applying SegWit was already implemented and inevitable. SegWit was activated on the Bitcoin network on August 24, 2017.
The spirit of this original UASF rally makes the idea of Bitcoin Independence Day worth remembering, even five years later. Meanwhile, questions about how changes to the Bitcoin protocol should occur and the role of Bitcoin’s top individuals in influencing its future still remain unresolved.
Looking back at SegWit with Luke Dashjr
To reflect on these questions as part of this year’s Bitcoin Independence Day, it may be helpful to go back to the beginning with someone who was there. Famous Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr was one of the first to suggest the option of implementing SegWit as a soft fork.
Dashjr maintains the spirit that was on display so important during the Blocksize War. More recently, this has meant denouncing the rapid test path for activating Taproot despite its general acceptance by much of the Bitcoin technical community, noting that the Speedy Trial activation method ignored consensus developed around the BIP8 method for activating soft forks.
“We learned some important lessons by activating SegWit,” Dashjr recalled as he reflected on the process in an interview for this year’s Bitcoin Independence Day. “Unfortunately, some developers seem to have done so Not he learned these lessons and tried to repeat the same mistakes with Taproot, even going so far as to refuse the consent of the community around BIP8 “.
Taproot may be seen as Bitcoin’s most significant protocol upgrade since SegWit, but its activation hasn’t tested the Bitcoin community’s resolve so fiercely. Most Bitcoin hash rate contributors immediately reported their support for the popular update.
There has never been a standoff between “business entity and user” around the activation of Taproot and the truly existential questions on how to obtain consent for changes to Bitcoin have not really been resolved. Indeed, Dashjr pointed out that, if anything, Bitcoin may now be in a worse position to resist the influence of centralized entities, such as those that supported SegWit2x.
“Since 2017, expectations for Bitcoin have grown, but unfortunately Bitcoin itself and its network have shrunk, making it much less secure and centralized at the edge,” he said, pointing to data showing that the number of Bitcoin nodes has dropped since. 200,000 in 2018 to less than 50,000 today. “But at the same time, the need even for Bitcoin it has grown considerably – I like to say “too important to allow it to fail” – and I think that ensuring its success despite these difficulties is fundamental for the future of humanity “.
Run your knot
As the price of bitcoin has grown from around $ 4,400 in August 2017 to over $ 20,000 today, it’s clear that the original Bitcoin Independence Day protected the protocol’s path to mass adoption. But the recent failure of centralized custody providers like Celsius shows that true independence from Bitcoin is not growing hand in hand with the adoption of this asset.
“It’s not enough to get people to buy bitcoin, or to drive the price up,” as Dashjr said. “All the benefits of Bitcoin, including its security against total theft and the limit of 21 million BTC, come from the assumption that most of the economy is using their full nodes to verify payments in their favor. Centralized verification and custodial / third-party wallets are a greater threat to Bitcoin than anything else. ”
Perhaps the greatest legacy of SegWit and the Blocksize War may be in remembering that for Bitcoin to truly deliver on its promise, its users must remain as fiercely independent as they proved to be in 2017.
“It was an important test in Bitcoin’s history, for the community to overcome what amounted to a hostile takeover attempt by some powerful elite,” Dashjr recalled. “If the UASF failed, it would likely have meant the death of Bitcoin and the concept of decentralized currency as a whole. So an annual celebration like Bitcoin Independence Day seems very suitable and worth attending. “