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Bitcoin Exchange Bitfinex CSO: There’s a Chinese “Political Effort to Delay or Block” Segwit

Justin OConnell on 18/12/2016


A recent discussion between the open-source Bitcoin Core developers, which oversees the Bitcoin code, and the influential Roger Ver, who has spearheaded many endeavors and appeared on countless programs to discus the cryptocurrency, took a brief aside to lament developments in China regarding a solution to the Bitcoin Block Size debate.


Bitcoin Core developer Phil Potter, Chief Security Officer of Bitfinex, reports that miners, “relatively centralized and mostly in China”, have mobilized against Segwit.


“There has been a big political effort to delay or block it. It’s a pain in the ass technically for miners to upgrade to this anyway,’ Mr. Potter says in the roundtable discussion. “I think we’re seeing a delay in miners being able to signal.” Acknowledging a rift, and potential disconnect between Bitcoin Core developers and the Chinese mining apparatus, Mr. Potter imparts something must be done to reach out beyond the Great Firewall.


“I definitely think that people in Core need to do a better job of communicating with the miner community in China,” Mr. Potter says. “…[T]he fact that the Great Firewall of China exists, it does create a problem for mining….To communicate through that firewall into China, if you’re mining outside of China, there’s a significant problem there.


Roger Ver, albeit later in the conversation confirms positions on China.


“I agree with everything said about China,” Mr. Ver says, albeit much later in the conversation after Mr. had made his comments.


Mr. Potter, as CSO of Bitfinex, has had his work cut out for him as late. In a marquee event for Bitcoin in 2016, Bitfinex suffered a crippling hack earlier this year. Since the hack, there have been discussions of a “bail-in“, and the company reached out to the hacker to extend an olive branch of sort. To date, there’s been no word of a reply.


“We’ve been having a rough go of it,” he says in the discussion. “We’re in recovery mode. That’s on the topic of bitcoin’s future as well. I think the other co-participants here have heard me speaking about this, or I have talked with them individually at length.”


In recent month, Chinese miners have faced a crackdown on those illegally using energy. Miners using power supplies at oil production facilities were found out in November. In December, Chinese police shut down more miners illegally procuring their electricity.

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