Segregated witness

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Segregated Witness (or SegWit) is a computer software upgrade designed to help address scalability issues with some cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Litecoin.

Overview

SetWit was first introduced by a developer named Pieter Wiulle at the Scaling Bitcoin conference in 2015. In his presentation, Wiulle said that by implementing a new protocol to bitcoin's core code that removes certain data normally recorded on its blockchain and storing that data outside the block, he could fix a bug in bitcoin's code called "transaction malleability," which is a bug that allows anyone to change small details that modify the details of the identifying addresses relevant to a transaction - in other words, the data that tells you who sent bitcoin to whom - as well as its subsequent hash. Others praised this proposed protocol upgrade as a potential solution to bitcoin's relatively poor scalability; by implementing this upgrade, bitcoin would be able to process more transactions per second, because less data would be required in order to record a transaction in a given block, enabling the protocol to process more transactions per second. This was dubbed "segregated witness," because the signature data had previously been named the "witness."[1]

In August 2017, SegWit was enacted to the bitcoin blockchain. Because of how the protocol was designed, it was implemented without causing a hard fork.[2]

References