Bitcoin XT

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Bitcoin XT logo

Bitcoin XT is a proposed fork for the bitcoin Core reference client. In mid-2015, the concept achieved significant attention within the bitcoin community in 2015 amid a contentious debate among core developers over increasing the blocksize cap.[1] [2]

The proposal did not gain the necessary support to go into effect on the Bitcoin network by early 2016, the earliest possible switchover date.


On June 10, 2014 Mike Hearn published a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP 64), calling for the addition of "a small P2P protocol extension that performs UTXO lookups given a set of outpoints."[3]

On December 27, 2014 Hearn released version 0.10 of the client, with the BIP 64 changes.[4] It was intended to support queries for his Lighthouse crowdfunding platform project.[citation needed]

On June 22, 2015, Gavin Andresen published BIP 101 calling for an increase in the maximum block size. The changes would activate a fork allowing 8 MB blocks (with doublings every two years) once 75% of a stretch of 1000 mined blocks is achieved after the beginning of 2016.[5]

On August 6, 2015 Andresen's BIP101 proposal was merged into the XT codebase.[6]

On August 15, 2015 version 0.11A was released to the public.[7][8]

Bip 101 was reverted[9] and the 2-MB blocksize bump of Bitcoin Classic was applied instead.


The August 2015 release of XT received widespread media coverage. The Guardian wrote that "bitcoin is facing civil war".[1] Reason wrote that "Bitcoin XT represents a technical and philosophical divergence."[10] Wired wrote that "Bitcoin XT exposes the extremely social — extremely democratic — underpinnings of the open source idea, an approach that makes open source so much more powerful than technology controlled by any one person or organization."[11]

In the event, the XT hard fork stalled. On 11 January 2016, the earliest possible date for the transition to take effect, only approximately ten percent of Bitcoin miners were using the XT protocol to sign blocks, whereas 75% would have been required to make the new protocol the de facto standard.[12]

External links


[13] [14] [15] [16][17] [18][19] [20]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Alex Hern. "Bitcoin's forked: chief scientist launches alternative proposal for the currency". the Guardian. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  2. Grace Caffyn (August 17, 2015). "Bitcoin 'Forked' in Contentious Bid to Address Scaling Concerns". CoinDesk. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  3. "bips/bip-0064.mediawiki at master · bitcoin/bips · GitHub". GitHub. 
  5. "bips/bip-0101.mediawiki at master · bitcoin/bips · GitHub". GitHub. 
  7. Mike Hearn. "Why is Bitcoin forking? — Faith and future". Medium. 
  10. "New Version of Bitcoin Threatens to Split Cryptocurrency Loyalists". Reason magazine. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  11. Cade Metz (19 August 2015). "The Bitcoin Schism Shows the Genius of Open Source". WIRED. 
  12. Scalability Debate Continues As Bitcoin XT Proposal Stalls, CoinDesk, 11 January 2016, accessed 18 May 2016.
  13. Paul Vigna (17 August 2015). "BitBeat: Bitcoin’s Noisy Size Debate Reaches a Hard Fork". WSJ. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  14. "Bitcoin XT: What Is It and Why Was It Released?". 19 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  15. "Bitcoin price crashes amid dispute over Bitcoin XT split". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  16. "Developers split over bitcoin's future as rival software emerges". Reuters via Yahoo News. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  17. "Bitcoin XT launches as solution to block size debate - Business Insider". Business Insider. 17 August 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  18. "Bitcoin could split in debate over currency's future". BBC News. Retrieved 20 August 2015. 
  19. "Forking_Hell". The Economist. 22 August 2015. 
  20. Olga Kharif (18 August 2015). "Bitcoin Is Having an Identity Crisis".