The Bitcoin Roundtable Proposes Hard-Fork Timeline

News and Analysis

Following an 18 hour-long meeting in Hong Kong, a group of miners representing nearly 80% of the network’s hash power, alongside with representatives of several prominent exchanges, issued a timeline for introducing a hard-fork solution.

This is the second roundtable this month. The previous one resulted in a statement that the participators would not support any “contentious hard-fork”.

According to the summarizing statement available on, the group intends to use both soft-fork solution SegWit, expected to be released this April, and a hard-fork solution yet to be developed. Meanwhile, the group intends to collaborate with the developers in order to propose “a safe hard-fork” based on Segregated Witness improvements. Total size of resulting blocks is expected to be in excess of 4 MB, inclusive of nearly 2 MB of non-SegWit data added. However, this, according to the release, is applicable only in case there is “broad support across the entire Bitcoin community”.

In addition, the roundtable participants intend to run exclusively Core-compatible systems for consensus, which makes both SegWit and the hard-fork applicable. The group said they prefer scaling solutions using block space “more efficiently”, as exemplified by Schnorr multisig.

The proposed timeline suggests SegWit to have its primary release in April 2016; the hard-fork code to be written and become available as early as July 2016; and activation of the hard-fork solution to be scheduled around July 2017, provided “there is strong community support”.

The signees to the statement include, among others, top representatives for AntPool, Bitcoin Core, Bitfinex, BitFury, Bitmain, BIT-X, BTCC, F2Pool, Genesis Mining, HaoBTC, Huobi, and OK Coin.

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