Disclosure: Barry Silbert’s DCG owns a minority stake of Bitwala.
We have received an increasing number of inquiries regarding Bitwala’s support of the New York Agreement (short “NYA”). To reiterate, the NYA was based on the Hong Kong Agreement of 2016 (short “HKA”) in which miners and developers originally had agreed (or seemed to have agreed) to activate Segregated Witness and increase the bitcoin block size from 1MB to 2MB.
After this agreement fell apart (there is much discussion as to why it did and who is to blame, but we will not delve into that here and now), efforts to activate Segregated Witness were stifled by miners who chose not to signal for the necessary changes to be made to the bitcoin protocol.
Even “grass roots” efforts like BIP148 with its approach of a User Activated Soft Fork (Short “UASF”) threatened to fall short of the required number of participants.
At Consensus 2017, a number of industry and mining leaders congregated in New York, where after the initiative of Barry Silbert a compromise was forged and published, namely said “New York Agreement”.
The agreement helped surpass Segregated Witness activation thresholds prematurely so that the necessary soft fork went over without so much as a hitch. At much the same time, a number of miners decided to create a bitcoin fork on the basis of the same genesis block as bitcoin, naming this coin “Bitcoin Cash” (“BCH”) – removing Segregated Witness from that chain and implementing changes which included (among others) support for blocks of up to 8MB.
Now, many users and many parties of the NYA ask when the promised hard fork to 2MB block size will happen. Sadly, while the NYA included many industry leaders and miners, none of the bitcoin core developers subscribed to it (which makes the NYA distinctly different from the HKA). Instead, you could argue that most bitcoin core developers are actively opposed to larger blocks of any size.
Bitwala doesn’t employ or sponsor bitcoin developers, so we have little influence over what the Core development team does. We would like to honor the agreement that we subscribed to (as one of the first movers, unbeknownst to the fact that most developers would not enter the agreement). We also, however, are a service company that has and will always follow what our customers use and want to use. We partially rely on third-party payment processors and exchanges to convert our cryptocurrencies and must build our products on what they support.
We will not actively fork away from what we view as “bitcoin”, which is the chain that is supported by the current Core dev team. We urge all developers to take into account the demands of users and all parties of the NYA and address them adequately, if not implement them. We will (and are constantly doing so) review which coins to natively support, so if you want to make your voice heard, we encourage you to politely and constructively approach those who can make the changes you desire or feel you are owed. Should the Bitcoin developers come to the conclusion to follow the SegWit2X agreement, that chain will be considered the de-facto Bitcoin by Bitwala. Everything else is up to the market, which we will continue to serve as quickly and efficiently as we can.