It appears there is another major development regarding BIP148. LocalBitcoins, the largest peer-to-peer Bitcoin exchange platform, has confirmed they will support BIP148 withdrawals. To be more precise, they will do so if that blockchain remains. This means LocalBitcoins could end up supporting two different iterations of Bitcoin in the end. An intriguing development, to say the least.
It is quite interesting to see how companies respond to the concept of BIP148. As most people know, there is a chance we will see two different Bitcoin blockchains after August 1st. If that were to happen, things could get quite messy. Moreover, there is the question of which platforms will support BIP148 coins if it doesn’t become the main chain. It now appears LocalBitcoins will be one of the companies to support this chain if it remains.
LocalBitcoins Is In Favor of BIP148, Sort of
To be more specific, the platform will support BIP148 withdrawals. This means users can’t buy or sell BIP148 coins on the platform directly. However, this decision also raises a lot of questions. It does not appear the platform will implement transaction replay protection. That is a bit troublesome, but we will have to wait and see how things play out. The chain split scenario may not happen after all either. It is too early to tell what the consequences will be, come August 1st.
This news hints at an interesting opportunity, though. People who deposit Bitcoin to LocalBitcoins right before August 1st should, in theory, be able to withdraw the coins to both blockchains. This would effectively double one’s coin balance. Then again, one does not need a third party to have coins on both chains either. Back up your Bitcoin wallet.dat file and import it into a BIP148 client on August 1st to achieve the same result. It is a far safer way compared to trusting third parties with your money.
Even though BIP148 supporters may see this as good news, that is not necessarily the case. Outspoken support for this soft fork is still relatively small right now. It is possible most service providers maintain a wait-and-see approach, though. It is certainly possible this soft fork will fail and disappear into obscurity. It may also become the leading blockchain for Bitcoin. Anything can happen at this point, that much is evident.
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