After a long, uncertain wait filled with heated disagreements and debate, Segregated Witness is now officially locked in on the Bitcoin network.
After the activation of BIP 91, all mining pools began signaling support for SegWit- and as of today it had enough support for enough time to fully activate. SegWit isn’t fully activated just yet, though. There will now be a 2 week “grace period” to allow everyone to get ready for the change.
Once SegWit is fully active, it should help to alleviate the scaling issues that have plagued Bitcoin for a while. Right now the Bitcoin network can only process 6-7 transactions per second because each “block” of transactions is limited to 1 MB of data and a lot of that space is taken up by “witnesss” data that is only needed once for validation. SegWit allows for a theoretical block size increase to just under 4 MB by giving more priority to the transaction data than the witness data.
Aside from the transaction volume increase, Segwit also fixes Bitcoin’s malleability issues, and will help pave the way for other improvements like the Lightning Network.