So I think that there are some misconceptions that needs to be cleared up regarding the difference between signaling intent and actual activation of SegWit.
As I understand it come August 1st there will be orphanage of blocks that do not signal SW. This means that from August 1st until November 1st(+ retarget period) when segwit is actually enforced there will be a several month period in which the transaction format stays the same yet there will be two branches of "Bitcoin" being mined both conducting transactions that are compatible across both chains with no guarantee as to which transaction will make it into which blockchain.
If there is no clean way to divide your transactions to ensure with a 100% guarantee that it will make it into bip148 chain vs legacy chain be then we will have systematic chaos. There is also a possibility of massive losses. What if your receiving funds from a legacy chain address to your wallet that gets picked up in the bip148 block but not the legacy chain and the bip148 chain dies off? That tx never happened and you lose your money. Not to mention even if we assume a best-case scenario in which every single miner currently signaling segwit mines the bip148 chain we will see blocks confirm at approximately 30 minutes vs 10 minutes. Now if we're not delusional thinkers we will accept that we will not have a maximum output of miners and instead there will be a faction that goes one way or the other leaving us with probably much less than 30% of hashrate. 1hr blocks is my best guess. We currently go sometimes 40 minutes to 1 hour with bad luck from miners with the current hashrate. That means that we may see four to six hour block confirmation times with bad luck on bip148 miners, assuming my best case guess of hashrate. Of course you have to mention that it will sometimes go the other way and we will get 5 to 10 minutes Blok confirmation times as well.
Either way the more I look at the basic assumptions of how this will play out the more cautious I am about it. In order for this to succeed it has always relied on large economic actors transacting on bip148 supporting nodes, and I don't see how this can be done without widely deployed ecological support from both wallets and exchanges.
I still support bip148 but we need solutions for replay attack protection immediately and that won't happen unless we educate developers on the present issue and make them understand that this caveat is currently a do-or-die situation.
I mentioned the issue to the mycelium developer and he said that they are essentially looking into it but gave no further information. I hope that electrum and all other wallet providers are also looking into this issue as well as exchanges, but I also fear that there is a status quo divided between wallets and exchanges.
It seems to me that according to the communications published by Major wallet developers they are all favorable to bip148, but so far exchanges have been very wary to make any public statements regarding this proposal. This makes sense because they wish to protect their customers and their Investments and that means maintaining the status quo and not encouraging something that would cause disruption and possibly large economic losses.
Unless we can get replay attack protection integrated into the proposal or broadly across the ecosystem fast then it doesn't seem that the exchanges are going to give their customers a choice on this issue.
Without their support I fail to see how this will be successful. shaolinfry stated right in the bip148 submission that economic support is a do or die scenario. I'm of the position that if we cannot rally the appropriate amount of economic support before August 1st that we should withdraw software supporting this proposal as to not ensure chaos within the network.
Honestly this reminds me a lot of the Bernie or bust movement. I liked the movement because it was a Grassroots movement that was trying to stand up to the status quo. And in order for your movement to succeed you have to approach it with a cult-like fever as to instill upon other people within the public your cultish fever towards accomplishing a goal that seems pretty obvious as to be with in the best interest of the community (SegWit). But if your movement only divides society and allows another incumbent to dominate, or even worse a new player to step in and take over the system that is even worse, then all your movement has succeeded in doing is to worsen the situation at the exact polar opposite of what you were trying to accomplish, which was to better the system.
These sociological effects are difficult to examine from a personal perspective when you're in entrenched in the ideology, but post-event you can look backwards and say "wow I really fucked up". I think that's what Bernie or bust people are unanimously saying right now, or at the very least they're thinking it inside their heads even if they don't want to admit it to all of their friends and families because they wish to save face.
Think if all the Bernie or bust crowd voted for Hilary right now? We would have a different president. And regardless of your particular political alignment this demonstrates how when you have a minority faction within a system who are cultish in their approach how they can skew the race and change the outcome. Please don't downvote me because you think I'm talking trash on your favorite politician, I am not I am merely representing the social divides and how they can change outcomes.
bip148 is that cultish social divide right now and I would like to see more discussion on the realistic outcomes that we will see after August 1st and how we will navigate these outcomes. We cannot succeed by pushing our heads in the sand and ignoring the problems that this movement currently faces, and we should be willing to shift our position if in the face of overwhelming evidence we see that this will lead to a negative and not positive outcome.
The way I see it there are solutions to these problems but with time being limited I'm not sure how realistic it is to implement these Solutions to Rally the support needed for a transition in the right direction.
Solutions for success –
1) replay attack protection 2) major exchange support (get a single one and it will snowball) 3) a compatible proposal like what Jeff garzik is working on or bip91/COOP that has compatibility with current bip148 installations.
If we cannot accomplish one and two then I do not think that we should support mining a bip148 chain. If number 3 occurs then I think it will make the situation significantly less risky if there is wide support across the ecosystem that actually installs that software. If it is installed then it is assumed that it will signal SW which would then create a majority of the ecosystem signaling SW which would be compatible with bip148 because the blocks would not be orphaned. I think it would result in a minority chain that would be quickly abandoned since miners follow the money and a non-SW signaling fork wont be of any value if say, 75%+ of the ecosystem is not only mining SW signaling blocks orphaning non SW blocks.