This is one of the most widely used Bitcoin wallets in the world, if not THE most widely used. They claim over 19+ million wallets have been created on their platform and they have processed over 100 million transactions.
This means that what Blockchain.com does with their platform matters.
They are the wallet of choice for the average non-technical user. Any technical change to their platform, chances are the average user may not understand it and therefore Blockchain.com is essentially making that choice for them, which is okay because that’s the reason why people choose them.
The main reasons why people go to Blockchain.com is they want a simple user interface that hides the complexity of all things Bitcoin. The flip side to that, however, is that these 18 million users may not fully understand the implications of what Blockchain decides to do on their behalf. I recently pointed out that on SegWit.party/charts.
It’s a website that tracks the percentages of transactions that use the SegWit address format and it shows this is still only happening for about 10% of all transactions in the Bitcoin network. I also pointed out that Blockchain.com probably has a lot to do with this.
I use Blockchain.com like I would my regular wallet. It’s the one I carry around with me all of the time with a small amount of Bitcoin in it for spending anywhere that accepts it. I noticed that even now after SegWit has been with us for months when I click receive in my Blockchain.com wallet, it doesn’t create a SegWit address. It means all of the thousands of thousands of transactions per day that originate from the Blockchain.com wallets are using the old address format and therefore taking up more block space then they need to.
This is especially important right now when BTC.com is reporting a pool of unconfirmed transactions that total 92 megabytes. It’s been at this level for days now and remember that the average block time of 1 megabyte that gets processed takes 10 minutes. So to be clear, Blockchain.com is failing to adopt SegWit fully into their platform which is contributing to this backlog.
Most of these users have no idea that this is going on.
Blockchain Is Going To Make 2 Major Changes To Their Wallet Platform
The first change is to add Bitcoin Cash support by the end of the year. The second change is that they will be rolling out segregated witness reports fully by the end of March 2018.
So 19+ million wallets, remember? This is huge. Putting the Bitcoin Cash thing on the side for just a second, as soon as Blockchain.com switches their platform to use SegWit by default, all of their users will start generating SegWit addresses as soon as they hit the receive button. This will happen automatically.
This will do the whole Bitcoin ecosystem some good in terms of these transaction backlogs since Blockchain will no longer be this big source of old-style transactions that take up more block space. That still months away which is frankly an eternity in the Bitcoin world but at least we are no longer in the dark about this.
The average ordinary Bitcoin user comes to them because they want a simple interface, as Blockchain.com hides the complexity. Well, all of those users are going to see a 3rd cryptocurrency appear in their wallets.
Blockchain.com already also supports Bitcoin and Etherium, but soon you’ll log in and have a place to store your Bitcoin Cash as well.
This will have many repercussions, one of the most important being, suddenly millions of people that have never even heard of Bitcoin Cash will discover it for the first time. Another implication is some users might send Bitcoin to their Bitcoin Cash address. I think the Blockchain.com developers will catch this and prevent this from happening in the interface, but they can’t prevent a user from sending from an external Bitcoin wallet that’s trying to receive it into their Bitcoin Cash wallet.
So this really comes down to the Bitcoin Cash developers.There was some talk about changing the address format on Bitcoin Cash so there was a clear distinction between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash but that seems to have gone quiet.
In conclusion, I bet one of the reasons why Blockchain.com has given themselves several months to make these changes to SegWit, is not just about software development, but rather to get their support team ready. I can see them seeing a tidal wave of support tickets from confused users asking things like, “what is this Bitcoin Cash?” and “I sent my Bitcoin to the Bitcoin Cash wallet by accident and so on…”
Blockchain.com did say that it is due to user demand that Bitcoin Cash has proven strong demand.
So this is on the more abstract level. Is this responsible? Even though there is market demand. I already heard people objecting on the basis that if Bitcoin Cash didn’t carry the Bitcoin name, Blockchain.com wouldn’t be making this move.
You could argue that Litecoin has been around so much longer than Bitcoin Cash yet, Blockchain.com hasn’t given any indication for supporting Litecoin, so why not?
You know the contention that hi-jacking the Bitcoin logo and brand name comes along in the online discussions frequently these days, someone even came up to me and said: “what if someone hijacked your brand Coinjolt.com?”
Well, since the basis that the Bitcoin network, the name, the logo and everything else is all considered to be public property and thus not owned by any individual by definition and for good reason.
Which is why everyone loves it.
However, there are 2 sides of the coin.
Anyone can take the name and repurpose it however they want. I’m personally fine with this because the benefits of having a public network like Bitcoin is worth the friction caused by any so-called hijackers because I trust the free market from let’s call it, “crowd-sourced wisdom.”