Cryptocurrency wallet service BitGo has announced its policy on the upcoming SegWit2x hard fork, which is scheduled to take place on approximately November 16.
In a blog post, BitGo co-founder Mike Belshe stressed that although the company “would very much like to see one chain emerge after the fork,” it is prepared for the likely event that Bitcoin will split into two competing blockchains. BigGo intends to eventually provide support for both blockchains, but its primary concern is restoring service for “the most viable chain”, at which point the company will also assign ticker symbols to both chains.
Significantly, Belshe says that although the company will take hashrate into consideration, the primary determiner of the most viable chain will be the market price of each coin:
BitGo will be supporting the most viable chain as quickly as possible (based primarily on market price), and will support the minority chain a few weeks thereafter.
Prior to the announcement, there was much speculation about how BitGo would approach the fork. Belshe is the project lead for SegWit2x and has expressed optimism about the success of the hard fork, but BitGo is not a signatory to the New York Agreement (NYA), and the company has allowed its employees to voice their own opinions on the fork. BitGo engineer Jameson Lopp, for example, has been one of the proposal’s most vocal critics.
It is impossible to predict the eventual outcome of the fork, but BitGo’s stance appears more favorable to the incumbent blockchain than those of SegWit2x signatories such as Blockchain, Coinbase, and Xapo, each of whom indicated that they would determine which chain earned the title “Bitcoin” based primarily on the network’s accumulated difficulty. Since SegWit2x appears to have majority miner support, this policy favored the forked chain.
However, the incumbent blockchain may have an advantage when it comes to market price. Several exchanges have listed SegWit2x futures, and there have been wide price fluctuations between markets, but chain split tokens have consistently traded at a significant discount against tokens representing the incumbent chain. At present, B2x/BT2 futures are trading at approximately 0.286 BTC on HitBTC but just 0.169 BTC on Bitfinex. The value of these chain split tokens has gradually increased as the fork has grown larger on the horizon, but they remain far less valuable those of the incumbent chain.
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