As you may know, Bitcoin Core is undergoing some important scaling improvements. Here is some historical background on what is happening now.
Segregated witness or SegWit is the backward compatible protocol upgrade that was originally proposed by Bitcoin Core development team as a part of scaling strategy. SegWit could have been initially activated through BIP141 if 95% of hash power had signaled readiness to upgrade within single difficulty period before November 15th, 2017. Shortly afterwards users decided to stimulate miners’ decision making to upgrade and announced BIP148 as known as UASF (user activated soft fork), scheduled on August 1st. From this date their nodes would have rejected all blocks that are not signaling readiness for BIP141.
Meanwhile in May 2017 the critical mass of Bitcoin ecosystem, i.e. users, miners, companies, developers etc., agreed on SegWit activation through BIP91. Consequently only 80% of hash power, signaling for readiness, is needed to activate BIP91 and proceed with SegWit adoption. That is what has happened on July 23d. Since then miners have to orphan every block that is not signaling readiness to SegWit. But they might not do this and proceed mining blocks on non-SegWit chain. As a result there is a potential threat of Bitcoin’s hard fork.
At the same time as BIP91 was activated, the launch date of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was scheduled on August 1st, 2017, 12:20pm UTC. Bitcoin Cash is a hard fork of Bitcoin’s chain and initially was developed to prevent the UASF via BIP148. It doesn’t support SegWit and has three main features: the block size of 8 MB, integrated replay and wipeout protection and new way of signing transactions. So the likelihood of potential split has enhanced.
Here is HitBTC’s official statement on this issue:
- HitBTC stands for SegWit activation. We believe that planned changes and improvements will receive strong community support and result in the technology efficiency and prosperity. We hope that all the negative scenarios, political issues and malicious acts will stay on the sidelines and Bitcoin community will make a weighted and appropriate decision.
- Customers’ funds security is our highest priority. We will suspend Bitcoin and its tokens USDT, MAID and AMP deposits and withdrawals from July 31st till August 2nd to protect users from replay attacks and network instability. The timing may vary, we will keep you informed about any updates.
- If there is no chain split and the Bitcoin blockchain functions properly, we will resume deposits and withdrawals.
- Even if the UAHF happens, we will take all the necessary technical steps to support the new blockchain. We will fund every Bitcoin holder with the newly born asset.
- For the sake of your assets security we advise you to limit the number of Bitcoin transfers and keep your funds in one place. HitBTC assures its users that all Bitcoin funds, holding on exchange, will be safe during the uncertainty of potential chain fork.
We are monitoring the updates on SegWit adoption and will keep you informed about further mitigations. Stay tuned.