F2Pool, why not pick a side?
Many had wanted Wang Chun to start signalling for the activation of SegWit especially in the wake of the recent showdown between the Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Unlimited developers.
The man known to be the face of F2Pool – the second largest mining pool controlling about 12% of the mining hashrate – has stuck to his guns and choose not to budge. Also, he didn’t show any obvious support for the Bitcoin Unlimited camp which has been proposing another option. Hence, it could be rightly said that Wang and F2Pool placed themselves in the middle – neutral.
His stance on the hard fork issue has been deemed most rational of the major players that could be seen and heard in the ensuing saga especially when he stated that Bitcoin can’t and won’t fork.
While he has been praised in some quarters for not supporting BU, a keener look into his comments on the Bitcoin scalability issue – as well as those attributed to him – shows that he didn’t rule out the possibility of a fork completely. Rather, from his assessment, what could be deduced from his words is that the stage does not seems set for a fork yet.
Before the March 25 showdown which dropped Bitcoin price below the $900 range – that was when about 46.5% of miners that signalled for BU in the last 144 blocks thinks differently, Wang had tweeted a post that seems to shield miners as the target of the ongoing deadlock but shifted it to developers.
He maintains that the miners were “using their hashing power to rescue Bitcoin from those malicious developers” – those developers who refused to admit that the blocks are full, and claim 300 KB is more than enough for now. He later submitted that an unusable network, no matter how safe, is useless.
He further tweets to single out a Core developer as one of the few “still actually coding something.”
When linked to a screenshot thread of a QQ group discussion on 8btc forum in which a co-founder of F2Pool, Mao Shinhang, described Core developers as “douchebags” and that BU code “sucks”, it supports the argument that F2Pool supports both camps’ points of view – SegWit and increased block size.
So why not pick a side?
Though F2Pool is seen as the key mining pool to activate SegWit starting with Litecoin, a call which has been going on in the past months, Wang notes that the decision to “support someone who often see you as their enemy” requires deep thinking before a choice is made.
The Bitcoin hard fork has been considered a risky venture that needs careful preparation and enough time to deploy particularly for the huge amount that could be at stake. While it is somewhat clear that F2Pool seems to be working to achieve a low price in the mining space for the foreseeable future, the debate on what would become of the fork continues.
This is particularly relevant because the idea of a user activated soft fork UASF that was earlier suggested by som sections of the Bitcoin community has turned out to be controversial. UASF reportedly centres on how a blockchain might add an upgrade that is not directly supported by those who provide the network’s hashing power.