The controversial SegWit2x Bitcoin (BTC) hard fork will go ahead on Dec. 28, according to the project’s official website.
The SegWit2x project, which caused months of debate and infighting among the Bitcoin community prior to its last-minute cancellation in November, now says it will fork off at block 501451, due in around two days’ time.
The project’s Founder and Lead Developer, Jaap Terlouw, stated on their site that the fork aims to address issues of “commission and transaction speed within the Bitcoin network,” adding that currently, Bitcoin is “almost impossible to use as a means of payment.”
Confirmation that the hard fork will, in fact, take place is indicated both in the roadmap on the project’s site, as well as in a direct quote from Terlouw:
“Our team will carry out the Bitcoin hard fork, which was planned for mid-November.”
The founder also promised that in addition to the common practice of crediting BTC holders with equivalent balances of the new coin (B2X), they would also receive “a proportional number of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoins as a reward for their commitment to progress.”
In total, eight exchanges are listed as official supporters of the fork. The project’s roadmap includes features such as Lightning Network support, smart contracts and, ultimately, anonymous transactions.
In the past six weeks, Bitcoin Cash, another Bitcoin hard fork formed in August, has become the central talking point of the industry, as it sees remarkable growth and sparks shifts in mining and investment behavior, affecting Bitcoin’s price.
The latest incarnation of SegWit2x has so far received comparatively little publicity. However, the website copy conspicuously name-dropped one particular exchange, HitBTC. Speaking about existing SegWit2x futures, Terlouw is quoted on the site as saying:
“At the same time, trading of its [SegWit2x] futures has been carried out on some exchanges for a long time. HitBTC is among them.”
When the project first saw hints of a comeback on Dec. 19, futures prices of B2X coins saw an uptick from under $200 to almost $600, a trend which has remained steady prior to the launch.
Meanwhile, on Christmas Day, a Blockchain Angel Investor debuted his own ‘version’ of Bitcoin, Bitcoin God (GOD), while several other forks are due to join the ecosystem in the coming weeks.
For BTC investors, a key appeal of new Bitcoin ‘versions’ or hard forks is the duplication of their BTC holdings in the new coin at the time of each snapshot, which essentially provides them with a supply of “free money.”