Jameson Lopp explains why he supports SegWit

Jameson Lopp explains why he supports SegWit


The Bitcoin space has gone through few significant transformations throughout the past. There was a long-dragging debate about scalability in the past two years and it can now come to an end. One of the most prominent figures that actively took part in these debates is Jameson Lopp. He was a BitGo Engineer and provided support for XT. However, he is now a strong supporter of segregated witness, also called SegWit. He recently made a confession when a large number of Bitcoin Unlimited nodes crashed. He confessed that he lobbed RAM grenades some time back, which seem to be delivering results at the moment.

The confession made by Jameson became extremely popular. People started discussing whether Jameson was behind the Bitcoin Unlimited bug, which lead their nodes towards crashes. Jameson gave an answer to this as well. He specified that BU nodes crashed not because of his measures and that his confession was only meant as a joke. Furthermore, Jameson specified that he doesn’t have enough time to take part in those activities.

What changed Jamesons mind?

As mentioned earlier, Jameson was a strong supporter of bigger blocks some time back. However, he has transformed to become a supporter of SegWit. The ideas of Jameson have contributed a lot towards this transformation. He always believed we needed every type of scaling at our hands. If Bitcoin was to go mainstream, it is important to be equipped with blocks of a larger sizes. Therefore, Jameson is not opposing larger blocks. However, he is against Unlimiteds emergent consensus and the way it influences the balance of power in the ecosystem.

Cost of Node Option

Most of the SegWit supporters believe that an increase of the blocksize causes more centralisation. The viewpoint of Jameson to this was also discussed in the interview. According to Jameson, centralisation would depend on an undefined number of variables. These variables are difficult to predict or measure. However, what most people refer to when talking about larger blocks is the increasing centralisation. Due to the emergence of larger nodes, the running cost would increase. Possibly only a limited number of people would choose to pay that cost. Jameson has written down a detailed article on this scenario. In this article, he has given special attention towards the Cost of Node Option, a topic most people don’t talk about.

The Cost of Node Option is being used in order to support the arguments of people in favor of small block. If the Cost of Node Option would be minimized, the number of people who are abled and willing to run nodes could easily increase. The individuals who are big block supporters tend to believe that larger blocks on the other hand have the ability to increase the user base. According to Jameson, there is no possibility to predict what would take place in the future. On the other hand, we don’t have the ability to specify whether one perspective is more accurate than the other.

In one of the articles by Jameson back in 2015, he specified that we may need to get hold of 10GB blocks. Jameson strongly believes that the block size should be increased. This throw up an important question, whether enough researches have be made to determine the safety aspect of hard forks? If the cryptocurrency meta space moves in the direction of a hard fork, we would probably not be in a position to stop it.

The usage of Lightning Network

Some individuals fear the activation of SegWit. That’s mainly due to the limitations that can be found in the on-chain capacity. According to Jameson, there’s not much to be afraid of. The layer two solutions have the ability to work as amplifiers for all on-chain transactions. Therefore, a layer two solution certainly has the ability to work better than a layer one solution. There seem to be an interesting balance in this situation as well. For example, if a layer 1 is associated with good transaction throughput ability, the fees would come down to zero in the practical world. In the meantime, a little incentive needs to be paid in order to use the layer two. This can reduce CONOP at the end of the day. As you can see, many different variables come into play with this type of a situation. However, only few of those variables seem to be simple and easy, when you take a look at them. The others are more complicated and you would need to have a deep understanding and the guidance of an expert like Jameson in order to figure them out.

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This is Lutpin, and I edit, review and publish articles for CryptoNews. Sometimes, I also write them myself. I started being interested in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as far back as late 2012/early 2013. A year later I dropped out of the scene due to losing interest. Since 2015 I'm back in and involved deeper than ever. Besides writing articles, I'm a huge fan of gambling, preferrably combined with cryptocurrencies. Another big interest of mine are physical bitcoins, I know everything about them. Besides Crypto-News and Crypto-Games, you can find me mainly on bitcointalk.org