Bitcoin wallet service Blockchain has announced it will add full support for bitcoin cash across all its platforms by the end of Q1 2018. The company says it is also working on integrating SegWit support in its wallet products.
Blockchain made the announcement in a blog post, explaining that it believes bitcoin cash — a cryptocurrency created on August 1 by hard forking the bitcoin blockchain — has proven that is a viable, top-tier cryptocurrency.
“Market demand for Bitcoin Cash has proven strong and, in our view, it’s likely here to stay,” the company wrote.
Since its launch, bitcoin cash has consistently maintained a top-four spot in the market cap rankings, and it briefly held the second position over the weekend at the height of its phenomenal week-long rally. Now that SegWit2x — a scaling proposal intended to immediately ease transaction fees by increasing the nominal bitcoin blocksize — has been suspended indefinitely due to a lack of community consensus, analysts speculate that individuals — and perhaps business — who desire bitcoin to be a currency first and a store of value second will rally around bitcoin cash.
Blockchain, incidentally, was an advocate for SegWit2x, and many of that proposal’s opponents criticized the company for failing to integrate support for Segregated Witness (SegWit), an upgrade that had already been activated on the bitcoin network through a soft fork in late August. In addition to laying the groundwork for long-term “second-layer” scaling solutions, SegWit immediately reduces transaction fees by approximately 35%. Consequently, Blockchain — along with several other SegWit2x-supporting businesses that have not yet integrated SegWit — have been accused of dragging their feet for political reasons.
Blockchain, however, says that the delay stems from the complexity of integrating SegWit into products that have billions of users.
“This will be a major and complex update to some of the most sensitive parts of our codebase, across a wide variety of platforms and devices, affecting billions in user transactions with potentially significant privacy implications,” the company wrote.
Nevertheless, Blockchain says it will begin rolling out SegWit support within its bitcoin wallet products in 2018, with a Q1 target date.