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What are we going to discuss? : What is “fork”? There is a lot of argument and commotion on this, topic between bitcoin and segwit. Yet they didn’t draw any conclusion. This creates a lot of confusion in people’s mind, for who are non-technical and here we are to know more, and in a better way about this topic, by the bottom of the article we will have a better idea on this topic. So, please do have a look at it.
About fork: In software engineering, the technical word fork means a copy of source code that you start a program most of the time you start independently, creating a distinct piece of code.
Bitcoin has two new concepts:
Hard fork: It is important to update the software to make it run efficiently or the users may misuse it. As if the bugs are unsolved then it will be a serious issue to the users as it can be hacked by the people, as it doesn’t get enough updates and if we don’t update the program we can’t run it efficiently. That may lead us to more troubles and uncertain issues which can be hectic later. For this purpose, we need to update the program regularly as it itself fixes the bugs which can be hazardous to us in long run. To avoid any of these issues this is preferable in the market presently so preferably better to use it.
Soft fork: It is also updated software but it doesn’t compete with the software, it is not essential and enables network to improve new features that are implemented. While a soft fork is used, even computers which run on the olden program still use the program.
After some time while almost all the systems are running the new program which we have manually upgraded to latest updated software, a hard fork is introduced. If the soft fork won’t work out, and has some bugs or people can’t adopt it – it can always be reverted back completely and you can return to the previous version.
Soft forks are a temporary divergence in the block chain: Soft fork is a backward compatible method of upgrading the cold wallet software and defined as a temporary split in the block chain that occurs when these new rules are implemented. The original chain contains blocks from non-upgraded nodes; however, it will also accept blocks generated by the upgraded nodes. Meanwhile, the forked chain contains blocks only from upgraded nodes which have chosen to actively support the new rules and the soft fork. Maximum programs people use are managed by a single entity. So when a company wants to “fork” from their old program they introduce a new update in the model of the soft fork. For example, when Apple release an update to iTunes – you probably it doesn’t need an update, but it’s recommended that you do. Over a span of time, you won’t be able to use iTunes if you haven’t updated. Bitcoin is decentralized and has no central authority it is peer-to- peer system and transaction take place between users without any mediate. That is the reason you have few risks and a reason that requires an update. People always argue on how the update should be done. This continues till the Bitcoin users don’t reach a wide consensus over which is the appropriate way to go, where no update (or fork) will arise.
Block size and blockchain: Blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have executed. It is growing as ‘completed’ blocks are added to it with a set of recordings. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a chronological, linear order. Transactions in Bitcoin network added to Blockchain by blocks. Block has few fixed transactions numbers. Each block can have only 2mb (2,000,000 bytes) in size; the transaction average is 500 bytes, then each block average able to hold ~4000 transactions. Bitcoin create a blocking issue since these blocks created for six-time an hour average. That means in an hour we’ll have a minimum of 12,000 block transactions. If you compare with this to credit card companies like visa, the master card that confirms 2,000 every second that is the reason the Bitcoin network is said to be considered to be very slow on confirmations. When we use a visas or master credit card we can revert the payment by 6 months of time period, but when it comes to bitcoin the time limit is just 1 hour if we exceed it then we can’t revert. We have to lose the amount and the time invested in it also. Bitcoin vs Segwit.
Camp A (aka Bitcoin Core): The software was published by Satoshi Nakamoto under the name Bitcoin, then Bitcoin-Qt and later renamed to Bitcoin Core. It is also known as the Satoshi client. Presently, Bitcoin Core repositories are maintained by Vladimir J. van der Laan
The main reason to optimize the size of code is to be read as soon as possible by the computer to make any further actions, this should be done as early as possible as transactions are important and are to be done on an emergency basis, it should be quick and effective to be used the preferable size is 1mb.
This solution is proposed by the camp called “Segregated Witness” or Segwit in short. This helps to fix the bugs in the software which is truly very helpful for the up gradation of the software and it uses soft fork process for this as it includes a lot of upgrades that keeps software safe.
Camp B (Bitcoin Unlimited): This means increasing the blocks much and this is hard fork method, in this process, we should ensure that all the accounts are updated regularly. The size of this should be 2mb that may cause the transactions to be slow and can be hard to read by the software, this is not much-preferred thing in the software as it’s just an additional thing, this even is more time Consuming because we will have enormous number of upgrades that should be done on regular basis and that can be a hectic thing for people, as people can’t keep on upgrading the software every now and then as it requires time and other things.
Bitcoin vs Segwit.
Bitcoin vs Segwit. Segwit Merits:
Fixes a common bug issue called Malleability bug in the Bitcoin protocol
Reduces transaction size in a way that equals to having a 2-3mb block size
Extreme safety and productivity gains for the Bitcoin protocol
Works through a soft fork
Makes work easier and quicker as a size of a file is small
Bitcoin vs Segwit. Segwit Demerits:
It is a short term solution (so eventually we will have to need bigger blocks)
Bitcoin vs Segwit. Bitcoin Unlimited Merits:
Increases the strength of Bitcoin transactions
Long term solution – the block size in basically not limited
Bitcoin vs Segwit. Bitcoin Unlimited Demerits:
Requires a hard fork and is irreversible
Gives more control to the of miners (who get the decide on the block size)
A mini development team with the questionable track record
Hasn’t been tested yet till date
Source: even though we try to state few examples it always depends on people on what they want to choose some people may be comfortable with soft fork and others with hard fork that decision is always on to the people who are in this field, each person in the market according to his own interest, so we can just suggest and all but the ultimatum is taken by the person using it and how big chain he wants to use the software or a small chain to be private or he can be public too.
Segwit is represented by the Bitcoin Core team: This team has been doing the updating and maintaining Bitcoins since inception. This team contains 100 contributors and 25 permanent developers. It gets funded from company name as Block stream. The team changed during the course of time and few unsatisfied of the developers have chosen to leave the organization this argument and some difficulties. Few developers have joined and left the company.
Roger Ver. represent Bitcoin Unlimited: Roger is one of Bitcoin investor many invested roughly around three lakhs Bitcoins (it has been never confirmed by anyone). Roger Ver. has invested in some companies like Bit pay, Kraken, Blockchain.info, and etc.
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February 12 2018
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