BIP91 vs August 1st

BIP91 reaches 80.5% network support
19 July
Bitcoin

Is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen

Bitcoin community has lost sleep for a couple of months over SegWit2x and the Bitcoin User Activated Soft Fork (UASF) which is to be activated on August the 1st.

Now, while a significant part of users is concerned about a possible hardfork in the Bitcoin network, the miners begin to vote for BIP91 proposal as it is considered to have good chances to become an unexpected compromise solution in the debate on consensus.

In fact, it is the only proposal actively preventing a Bitcoin chain split right now. The bigger question is whether or not BIP91 can gain enough traction in the coming days.

Blockchain

Distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks

The support for BIP91 is certainly on the rise. Various mining pools are actively signaling support for this solution right now: 80.5% of blocks mined over the past 24 hours support this solution. It goes without saying that scaling Bitcoin without a chain split should be in everybody’s best interest.

Bitcoin voting chart on xbt.eu Bitcoin voting chart on xbt.eu

Why BIP91?

The implementation of softfork in the Bitcoin network requires miners to include a special signal bit into the blocks, thereby showing their willingness to adopt the new rules. The original version of Segwit2x required the inclusion of the fourth signal bit (bit 4) in order to support BIP141, and that's when the conflict appeared, because the BIP141 code had been already written to respond to the first signal bit (bit 1).

To bypass this conflict, BIP91 uses an additional bit signaling the mandatory acceptance of the original first signal bit. Accordingly, there is no need to change the already existing SegWit activation logic.

Thus, if BIP91 to be activated before July 31th, it will replace BIP148, which also assumes the activation of SegWit, but carries the risk of splitting the Bitcoin network into several blockchains.

However, if one big mining pool stops signaling it, BIP91 will be back below 80% pretty quickly. Given that some pools like to play games with the rest of the Bitcoin community, BIP91 may never happen in the end. After all, there are less than two weeks to see it get locked in, which means time is of the essence.

Intel to Apply Blockchain Mining to Genetic Sequencing

Intel intends to utilize the energy expended during cryptocurrency mining for the sequencing of genetic data
15 December

Yesterday the U.S. Patent released a patent application called "Blockchain System with Nucleobase Sequencing as Proof of Work". In the application Intel’s inventors describe a type of computer called a sequence mining platform (SMP) which would identify the order or nucleobases in a deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA).

Nucleobases are the molecules that make up DNA and RNA, which contain the genetic information within every living organism on the planet. The order of these bases determines what physical traits a person, plant or animal features.

The patent application states that the SMP would use a nucleobase sequencing unit to actually establish the order of nucleobases in a given sample, which would then be verified by the blockchain before being permanently recorded on it.

The POW algorithm will be used to both identify the sequence and subsequently verify it, according to the application, and the sequence recorded on one block would be used as a base for the POW problems in the next block.