Softfork SeqWit took place in the network Bitcoin in August last year and, unlike hardfork, did not mean the mandatory use by all participants. Despite the advantages of SegWit in terms of scalability, and as a consequence – the reduction of the commission, mass adoption did not happen, and today SegWit-transactions on Bitcoin’s blockchain make up just over 13%.
The main problem is the complexity of creating SegWit addresses for the “uninitiated”, whereas this is the main condition for implementing the technology: SegWit-transactions can be performed only if the sender and the recipient have SegWit-addresses.
Published by Bitcoin Core developers release of 0.16.0 code makes it easy to create SegWit-addresses in the main client, Bitcoin Core. For this, SegWit was added to the command line and to the wallet interface. Engineer Chaincode Lab and member of the Bitcoin Core team Marco Falke noted that the creation of SegWit-addresses was possible in previous versions of the wallet, but this process was “rather awkward” and “mostly hidden.” Now the SegWit addresses will be set by default.
In addition, this is the first version that supports “native SegWit-addresses” – bech32 – introduced by the developers Peter Vuille and Gregory Maxwell. In comparison with traditional bitcoins, bech32 is more “user-friendly” and also automatically supports SegWit. According to Marco Falke, this is “the most exciting part of the release.”
Chau notes that the bech32 format provides lower fees, but most wallets do not yet support it. Developers expect that the automatic creation of SegWit addresses will help reduce commissions. Other innovations are also aimed at increasing the flexibility of the wallet.
At the moment SegWit supports a relatively small number of market participants, but their number is noticeably increasing. Today, among them are the wallets BitGo, Trezor, Ledger, Electrum, Samourai Wallet, GreenAddress, OpenBazaar, mSigna, Edge, Keepke, HitBTC, BTC.com, Kraken, ShapeShift, Bitstamp and Bitso, as well as Bitrefill and CoinGate payment services. The intention to add SegWit addresses in the first quarter of 2018 has already been reported by one of the largest purses Blockchain.info, and in early February, the Coinbase exchange announced that it is at the last stage of testing the technology, and it will soon be available to users.
Although the previous release 0.15.1 was also aimed at expanding SegWit support in purses, the developers claim that the launch of the alternative SegWit2x software temporarily shifted the focus of their activities. One of the reasons that the launch of full support for SegWit addresses was postponed, according to Chau, is that the team wanted to see how SegWit works on the network, and make sure there are no vulnerabilities.
Write: Richard Abermann