Statement on Segwit2x

The following is an open letter to the signatories of the New York Agreement (aka Segwit2x):

We, the Seoul Bitcoin Meetup, the largest and longest-running bitcoin meetup in South Korea, founded in 2014 with more than 1600 members, would like to voice our staunch opposition to this November’s proposed hardfork.

The stated intention of the New York Agreement was to reach a solution to keep the community together. It has become clear in the past months that this is not possible if Segwit2x continues on its planned course.

We are confident that BTC, the legacy chain, will not only survive this fork, but continue to flourish as the dominant Bitcoin network. The purpose of this letter is simply to minimize the damage that gets done this November.

We urge you, the signatories of the NYA, to reconsider and withdraw your support.

These are some of our biggest concerns:

The manner in which the agreement was made goes against the very ethos of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is intended to be an open, decentralized system. Open means that the decisions and discussions about them must happen in a public manner, where anyone is free to comment and contribute to discussion. Decentralized means that there is no authority — it is not possible for a single group to unilaterally enforce changes upon other participants in the system.

Indeed, Bitcoin’s very value is derived from these attributes. If a select group of CEOs and investors, no matter how benevolent their intentions, can unilaterally make decisions about the consensus rules without public comment and force these changes upon the network regardless of overall consensus, then Bitcoin will have lost the properties that make it valuable in the first place.

Segwit2x incurs a large risk, but wastes most of the opportunities afforded by a properly planned and executed hard fork.

Any hard forks will present a massive risk, but offer a large opportunity for important protocol updates and fixes.

There are a myriad of fixes and improvements that can only be addressed by a hard fork. It would be prudent to include as many of these improvements as can be agreed upon and safely implemented.

Unfortunately, Segwit2x does none of this, focusing instead on a single politicized issue, for which many technical concerns have yet to be addressed.

The developers and supporters of Segwit2x have proceeded in a needlessly careless manner which compounds the risks involved.

Hard forks are inherently risky procedures, and should be approached with due caution, expertise, code review, and a timeline that allows for the ecosystem to prepare.

The Segwit2x team does not meet this standard, and the fact that support from the Core developers is virtually non-existent further exacerbates the problem.

Replay protection is being handled in an unacceptably irresponsible manner.

The current proposal causes a great deal of hassle for any software that uses the Bitcoin protocol.

Initially, the development team behind Segwit2x claimed that they would offer no replay protection whatsoever. Several weeks ago, this position was suddenly withdrawn, and a one-way opt-in method using a blacklisted address was added.

A number of serious issues were quickly identified with this ‘solution’, and just as suddenly, the proposal was scrapped. There is now talk of a different method being implemented.

The fact that such decisions are being made and rescinded without sufficient time for public dialogue, and so close to the deadline will be of grave concern to any business or individual that directly manages their own Bitcoin.

With less than 40 days until the projected fork date, the community is still left wondering what kind of replay protection, if any, will be available.

We will be advising our local community to avoid using the services of companies that support the NYA, and seek out alternatives instead.

We strongly urge all signatories of the NYA to reflect upon their positions and withdraw support for this harmful agreement.

We also urge other Bitcoin communities to voice their opinion as well, or share this letter as a show of support.

We applaud the responsible entities that have already publicly declared their reconsideration:

  • Bitwala
  • F2Pool
  • Vaultoro
  • Wayniloans
  • Cryptofacilities

Remember, there is no shame in readjusting one’s stance in light of new information and conditions.

Do the right thing.

Sincerely,

The Seoul Bitcoin Meetup