Day 6: I will post this guide regularly until available solutions like SegWit & order batching are mass adopted, the mempool is empty once again, and tx fees are low. Refer a friend to SegWit today. There’s no $10 referral offer, but you’ll both get lower fees and help strengthen the BTC protocol

TL/DR

Bitcoin users can help lower transaction fees and contribute to bitcoin by switching to SegWit addresses and encourage wallets/exchanges to do the same.

SUMMARY

Segregated Witness (SegWit) was activated on the Bitcoin network August 24 2017 as a soft fork that is backward compatible with previous bitcoin transactions (Understanding Segregated Witness). Since that time wallets and exchanges have been slow to deploy SegWit, some admitting in December 2017 that they have not even started work on integrating it. Others, such as Zebpay in India have already implemented SegWit and are reaping the benefits of reduced transaction fees. If bitcoin users demand SegWit now it will temporarily relieve the transaction backlog while more even more advanced solutions such as Lightning are developed.

Batching is another great way that exchanges can reduce their fees. See: Saving up to 80% on Bitcoin transaction fees by batching payments. Despite the benefits of batching, some exchanges have been slow to implement it.

There is an opportunity now for all bitcoin users to individually contribute to help strengthen and improve the bitcoin protocol. At this point, the process requires a bit of work/learning on the part of the user, but in doing so you'll actually be advancing bitcoin and leaving what could turn out to be a multi-generational legacy for humanity.


MEMPOOL/SEGWIT STATISTICS


BACKGROUND

On Dec 18 Subhan Nadeem has pointed out that:

If every transaction in the Bitcoin network was a SegWit transaction today, blocks would contain up to 8,000 transactions, and the 138,000 unconfirmed transaction backlog would disappear instantly. Transaction fees would be almost non-existent once again.

A few thousand bitcoin users from /r/Bitcoin switching to making their next transactions SegWit transactions will help take pressure off the network now, and together we can encourage exchanges/wallets to rapidly deploy SegWit for everyone ASAP. Let's make 80%+ SegWit happen fast. You can help by taking one or more of the action steps below.


ACTION STEPS

  1. If your favorite wallet has not yet implemented SegWit, kindly ask them to do so immediately. In the meantime start using a wallet that has already implemented SegWit.
  2. If your favorite exchange has not yet implemented SegWit, try to avoid making any further purchases of bitcoin at that exchange and politely inform them that if they do not enable SegWit within 30-days they will lose your business. Sign-up for an account at a SegWit deployed/ready exchange now and initiate the verification process so you'll be ready to bail
  3. Help educate newcomers to bitcoin about the transaction issue, steer them towards SegWit wallets from day one, and encourage them to avoid ever purchasing bitcoin through non-SegWit ready exchanges that are harming bitcoin.
  4. Spread the word! Conact individuals, websites, etc that use bitcoin, explain the benefits of SegWit to everyone, and request they make the switch

IMPORTANT NOTE: The mempool is currently still quite backlogged. If you are a long-term holder and really have no reason to move your bitcoins at this time, wait until the mempool starts to clear and transaction fees go down before moving your bitcoins to a SegWit address or SegWit friendly exchange.


SELECTED TOP EXCHANGES BY BATCHING & SEGWIT STATUS

Exchange Segwit Status Batching Status
Binance NOT READY Yes
Bitfinex Ready Yes
Bitonic Ready Yes
Bitstamp Deployed Yes
Bittrex ? Yes
Coinbase/GDAX NOT READY No
Gemini Ready No
HitBTC Deployed Yes
Huboi ? ?
Kraken Deployed Yes
LocalBitcoins Ready Yes
OKEx ? ?
Poloniex ? Yes
QuadrigaCX Deployed Yes
Shapeshift Deployed No
  • Note: all exchanges that have deployed SegWit are currently only sending to p2sh SegWit addresses for now. No exchange will send to a bech32 address like the ones that Electrum generates

Source 1: BitcoinCore.org

Source 2: /r/Bitcoin

Official statements from exchanges:


SELECTED WALLETS THAT HAVE SEGWIT ALREADY

Make sure you have a SegWit capable wallet installed and ready to use for your next bitcoin transaction

SegWit Enabled Wallets Wallet Type
Ledger Nano S Hardware
Trezor Hardware
Electrum Desktop
Armory Desktop
Edge iOS
GreenAddress iOS
BitWallet iOS
Samourai Android
GreenBits Android
Electrum Android

FAQs

If I'm a HODLer, will it help to send my BTC to a SegWit address now?

  • No, just get ready now so that your NEXT transaction will be to a SegWit wallet. Avoid burdening the network with any unneccessary transactions for now.

Why is SegWit adoption going so slowly? Is it a time-consuming process, is there risk involved, is it laziness, or something else?

  • SegWit will require some extra work to be done right and securely. Also, most exchanges let the user pay the fee, and up to now users have not been overly concerned about fees so for some exchanges it hasn't been a priority.

Once Segwit is FULLY adopted, what do we see the fees/transaction times going to?

  • Times stay the same – fees will go down. How much and for how long depends on what the demand for transactions will be at that time.

What determines bitcoin transaction fees, to begin with?

  • Fees are charged per byte of data and are bid up by users. Miners will typically include the transaction with the highest fee/byte first.

Can you please tell me how to move my bitcoins to SegWit address in Bitcoin core wallet? Does the sender or receiver matter?

  • The Bitcoin core wallet does not yet have a GUI for its SegWit functionality. Download Electrum v3.0.3 to generate a SegWit address.

    A transaction between two SegWit addresses is a SegWit transaction.

    A transaction sent from a SegWit address to a non-SegWit address is a SegWit transaction.

    A transaction sent from a non-SegWit address to a SegWit address is NOT a SegWit transaction. You can send a SegWit Tx if the sending address is a SegWit address.

    Source: HowToToken

What wallet are you using to "batch your sends"? And how can I do that?

  • Using Electrum, the "Tools" menu option: "Pay to many".

    Just enter your receive addresses and the amounts for each, and you can send multiple transactions for nearly the price of one.

Why doesn't the Core Wallet yet support SegWit?

  • The Core Wallet supports SegWit, but its GUI doesn't. The next update will likely have GUI support built-in

Why isn't a large exchange like Coinbase SegWit ready & deployed when much smaller exchanges already are? Why do they default to high fees? Where is the leadership there?


P2SH/bech32 FAQs

What are the two SegWit address formats and why do they exist?

  • It's been a challenge for wallet developers to implement SegWit in a way that users can easily and without too much disruption migrate from legacy to SegWit addresses. The first wallets to enable SegWit addresses – Ledger, Trezor, Core, GreenAddress – use so-called “nested P2SH addresses.” This means they take the existing Pay 2 Script Hash address – starting with a “3” – and put a SegWit address into it. This enables a high grade of compatibility to existing wallets as every wallet is familiar with these addresses, but it is a workaround which results in SegWit transactions needing around 10 percent more space than they otherwise would.

    Electrum 3.0 was the first wallet to use bech32 addresses instead of nested p2sh addresses.

    Source: BTCManager.com

What is the difference in address format between SegWit address formats P2SH and bech32?

  • P2SH starts with "3…"

    bech32 starts with "bc1…"

Which addresses can I send from/to?

  • P2SH Segwit addresses can be sent to using older Bitcoin software with no Segwit support. This supports backwards compatibility

    bech32 can only be sent to from newer Bitcoin software that support bech32. Ex: Electrum

    Source: BitcoinTalk.org

Why did ThePirateBay put up two Bitcoin donation addresses on their frontpage, one bech32 and one not?

  • The address starting with a "3…" is a P2SH SegWit address that can be sent BTC from any bitcoin address including a legacy address. The address starting with a "bc1…" is a bech32 SegWit address that can only be sent to from newer wallets that support bech32.

SEGWIT BLOG GUIDES


PREVIOUS DAY'S THREADS

There's lots of excellent info in the comments of the previous threads:

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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet

Both Coinbase and BCH just lost all their credibility in the blink of an eye

Very curious to hear an official response to what we just experienced, but it hardly matters anymore. This fuckup opens the door to anyone with half a spine who wants to step up and be the next crypto bank app frontier. See you wherever that is in 2018.

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Bitcoin – The Currency of the Internet

Bitcoin is booming in Nigeria as both business users and speculators rush in

Over the past 18 months, due to reasons ranging from needing to make international payments, like Egedegbe, or simply wanting a slice of the next big thing, bitcoin adoption in Nigeria has spiked. This year, peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in Nigeria has increased by nearly 1,500%—surpassed only by …
Google Alert – bitcoin

Bcash is damaging both itself and bitcoin through violent difficulty and hash rate oscillations

Bitcoin is currently under attack (intentionally or not) from the bcash difficulty algorithm that deviates in a stupid way from Satoshi Nakamoto's original one. This leads to extreme difficulty oscillations on the bcash chain, which affect bitcoin as well.

This is possible because bcash kept the original proof-of-work algorithm, so miners can freely choose whether to mine bitcoin or bcash.

During the phases when the bcash difficulty is very low, lots of miners jump on the bcash chain and mine an insane number of blocks, many times more than the intended 6 per hour. Bitcoin loses that hash power and becomes slow, so the fees rise.

After a few days the bcash difficulty adjusts upward, so miners jump back to bitcoin and begin to reduce the backlog. However, bcash's difficulty algorithm is senselessly asymmetric, so it adjusts down much more rapidly than up. As a consequence, its difficulty falls like a stone after 12 hours, and many miners jump back, deserting bitcoin.

If this continues, bitcoin's average block rate will be reduced until its next difficulty adjustment, causing higher fees.

More thoughts

It seems now that the oscillations that had already been predicted two days ago are getting worse.

A lot depends on whether bcash users realise that bcash, particularly its difficulty adjustment algorithm, is the cause of the oscillations and recognize that bcash was designed without full understanding of the consequences.

Some people said that this is intentional, in which case it would be a malevolent attack on bitcoin, but so far I have no indication that this is the case and don't believe it, particularly because the situation is bad for both coins, which are now limping along on a knife's edge.

So what will happen? The situation is so bad for everybody that it looks as if at least one chain will have to lose market capitalization relatively soon. Nobody will put up with this in the long run.

Interesting questions are how the price of bcash relative to bitcoin influences the outcome, whether rapid SegWit adoption will help bitcoin, and whether bitcoin users will stay the line for long enough.

It would be very sad if a hard fork like bcash severely damaged the entire cryptocoin realm. But the miners have never been quick to recognize when they were working towards their own demise. Moreover, they always suffer from the Tragedy of the Commons, where coordinated action could save us, but each single miner profits more in the short term from accelerating the catastrophe.

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Bitcoin