After abandoned by its initial team, the controversial SegWit2x hard fork of Bitcoin was finally launched by a pretty much unknown group raising eyebrows everywhere about its sustainability. JustCryptoNews.com explains why this is probably a massive joke.
To those of you who don't know, SegWit2x was a project, led by Jeff Garzik and backed by a so-called "big-blockers" group of Bitcoin miners and companies (Xapo, Bitmain, Bloq, Blockchain,Shapeshift etc), that tried to upgrade the bitcoin protocol forcefully via a hard fork scheduled for November 16. That caused months of a much-heated debate inside the community, mainly due to lack of replay protection among other more political reasons. Failing to achieve consensus, the whole project was canceled back in November, as JustCryptoNews.com first reported.
Nevertheless, another group stepped in last week announcing it would fork off at block 501451, which was mined at around 6 PM UTC, on December 28. The Segwit2x 2.0 team announced its official launch on Twitter:
Who is behind the resurrection of Segwit2x?
According to the official website, http://b2x-segwit.io (note the lack of https), Jaap Terlouw appears to be the new project’s Founder and Lead Developer. According to his statement in the official site, the hard fork aims to address issues of “commission and transaction speed within the Bitcoin network,” as he believes that Bitcoin is currently “almost impossible to use as a means of payment.”
Segwit2x 2.0 Severe Inconsistencies
After the initial announcement, the new Segwit2x project became the focus of scrutiny by the community. Many saw various problems that do not add to its credibility.
First and foremost, the project has promised BTC holders that in addition to being credited with the equivalent amount of the new coin (called B2X) in a 1:1 ratio, they would also receive “a proportional number of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoins as a reward for their commitment to progress.” That alone is controversial since Nakamoto's bitcoins belong to him. Therefore he and only he is naturally entitled to the equivalent B2X coins.
Moreover, there is no precise information about how will they distinguish and then access Nakamoto's bitcoins. The only answer in the FAQ says that by “Bitcoin of Satoshi Nakamoto” the project means what the founder of Bitcoin "mined at the time of zero network activity". The team claims these bitcoins are 2 million which will be gradually credited to the crypto-exchanges and wallets of their "partners". At the moment of writing, no such partner list exists on the website. What if Satoshi Nakamoto wants to get his B2X, you ask? Well, the project team has solved this already: "He is not able to do this, as we blocked the initial blocks for conversion to Bitcoin Segwit2X," they say.
Second, the Segwit2x 2.0 team seems weak concerning technical expertise and is mostly unknown as there is not enough information about the team members on the website. The only developer listed is a person called Robert Szabo. In his Linkedin account, Szabo describes himself as "a Genesys Certified Professional with over seven years’ experience working with inbound call routing, reporting, outbound dialer, and InfoMart. " He states that he is looking for a new opportunity where he can fulfill his potential, though.
Except for Szabo, the only other technical person inside the team is Artur Bujnıckı, who carries the title of Senior Software Engineer.
There are only two other team members, both working on business development: Donna Khyuz has a title of "Business Developer" and Bartosz Kozłowski, whose title is "Business Development".
The lack of serious blockchain expertise in the team leaves many doubts as to whether the project will ever achieve its very lofty targets. In the official roadmap, they are talking about features already "implemented" such as replay protection, X11 algorithm, difficulty retargeting after every block, and unique address formatting, as well as more advanced ones like Lightning Network support, ZkSnarks, smart contracts and, ultimately, anonymous transactions.
Evidently, the Segwit2x 2.0 team consists of people that they are not prominent inside the Bitcoin community. As a matter of fact, none of them were part of the original S2X team or the original New York Agreement (NYA). To be fair, though, we have to remember that Bitcoin is open source. Thus, nobody can stop anybody from forking and develop their own cryptocurrency no matter what their prior expertise.
The third questionable issue about Segwit2x 2.0 has to do with the founder of the new project, Jaap Terlouw. He has a LinkedIn profile which is half-empty at best. There he claims that he is the ‘main developer’ of the new SegWit2x. Nevertheless, he fails to show any sources that validate that he is indeed a ‘developer.’
Moreover, the project’s GitHub account was opened less than ten days ago, which makes it even younger than some of the earlier announcements of the upcoming fork in the press.
But the most alarming issue about the new Segwit2x project is inside the code itself. It seems the team has pre-mined 6 million of B2X coins. That amounts to 28% of the total supply of 21 million coins. If this proves to be true, then the team will have a controlling stake over the new cryptocurrency, not to mention the enormous and almost instant potential profit if they decide to pump and dump the new altcoin. Note that, at the moment, eight exchanges are already listed as official supporters of the fork. Thus, a pump and dump might be very tempting.
Despite the aforementioned issues, the project seems to be pushing ahead. The team has already announced a wallet as well as a dedicated mining pool. Given the high media coverage about the unexpected hard fork, and the pledge for free B2X coins to BTC holders, it is safe to assume that there is a pumping period ahead of us. After all, there are already "reports" about Segwit2X futures skyrocketing, beating all records and so forth. And that's the first step of a good pump.
What do you think? Is the new Segwit2x 2.0 a joke or is it a legitimate Bitcoin hard fork?