It seems that the air pertaining to the SegWit2x hard fork is now clear! Amidst a lot of confusion and doubts in the past 24 hours, it seems final that the hardfork will not happen.
Earlier this year in May, a group of companies arrived at a unanimous decision and scheduled a fork that would double the block weight for Bitcoins. However, last week, due to lack of consensus from the members, the plans of the hard fork were officially called-off by the same members who earlier agreed to this.
However, it was noted that there was a small group of miners who were working actively for the fork to go through. In the possibility of the hard fork, famous exchange Coinbase issued a notice of the necessary steps it could take in the condition the hard fork goes through for protecting user data and accounts.
Now, on the very day of the scheduled activation, it has been found out that software compatible with the fork has been laden with bugs. The btc1 SegWit2x nodes were programmed in a way to fork away from the original Bitcoin blockchain and thus create a new (Segwit2x) blockchain and a new (B2X) currency. However, from the fork point, not a single SegWit2x block is found to be mined which means that the hard fork has been canceled finally!
The SegWit2x hard fork was expected at the block number 494784 after which it would split from the original and existing Bitcoin blockchain thereby resulting in its own SegWit2x blockchain and a new B2X currency.
However, the btc1 nodes could not make it beyond block 494782. The reason is that has the hard fork happened, the very first block or the “base block” of the SegWit2x would have a size larger than 1 MB. This was the basic pre-condition to divert from the original blockchain. But the plans failed “off-by-one-error” wherein the SegWit2x block started rejecting smaller than 1 MB at one block prior to 494784 i.e. at 494783 itself.
Additionally, there was another bug in the software which did not allow miners to mine the block of larger size when required. Due to all these wrong happenings, even if some miners wanted for the hard fork to go through, they couldn’t make it happen automatically. A manual push would require reconfiguring the block size settings and there is little possibility that miners knew how to get it done.
Although SegWit2x has failed right now, technically it would be wrong to say that it is completely “dead”. There is every possibility that the SegWit2x could happen sometime in the future. The SegWit2x would have resulted in a third derivate of Bitcoin after the original currency went for two hard forks this year resulting in two Bitcoin off-shoots – Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold.
The Bitcoin Cash was the result of the difference of opinion between the miner and developers community over the block size. While on the other hand, the Bitcoin Gold was formed to make Bitcoin mining process more democratic with less-expensive hardware requirements and easily accessible to new developers, unlike the Bitcoin mining process which is argued to have been centralized in the hands of big corporates and requires high-end expensive hardware.