Bitcoin users can help lower transaction fees and contribute to bitcoin by switching to SegWit addresses and encourage wallets/exchanges to do the same.
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.
- BitInfoCharts.com – Average Transaction Fees – $ 30USD per Tx (down from $ 40)
- Blockchain.info – Unconfirmed Transactions – 152K Unconfirmed Tx's (down from 177K)
- SegWit Charts – 10% SegWit Tx's
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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|
- 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
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|
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.
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?
Draw your own conclusions based on their own words:
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.
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
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
- HowToToken.com – How To Send Bitcoin Faster And Cheaper Over SegWit Transactions
- BTCManager.com – Electrum 3.0 is first Wallet to enable Bech32 SegWit Addresses
PREVIOUS DAY'S THREADS
There's lots of excellent info in the comments of the previous threads:
- Day 1: If every Bitcoin tx was a SegWit tx today, we'd have 8,000 tx blocks & the tx backlog would disappear. Tx fees would be almost non-existent once again. THE NEXT BITCOIN TX YOU MAKE, MAKE IT A SegWit TX. DOWNLOAD A SegWit COMPATIBLE WALLET AND OPEN A SegWit COMPATIBLE EXCHANGE ACCOUNT RIGHT NOW
- Day 2: I will repost this guide daily until available solutions like Segwit & order batching are adopted, the mempool is empty once again, and transaction fees are low. You can help. Take action today
- Day 3: ARE YOU PART OF THE SOLUTION? News: Unconfirmed TX's @ 274K, more exchanges adding SegWit, Core prioritizes SegWit GUI
- Day 4: Unconfirmed TX's @ 174K
- Day 5: I will post this guide regularly until available solutions like SegWit & order batching are mass adopted, the mempool is empty once again, and transaction fees are low. User demand from this community can help lead to some big changes. Have you joined the /r/Bitcoin SegWit effort?