Private Internet Access was one of the first VPN providers to accept Bitcoin as payment for our VPN service back in early 2011 on the #Bitcoin-OTC channel on IRC. Since then, Bitcoin has grown into a truly mature, decentralized network with widespread usage across the globe. This is both good and bad; while Bitcoin’s utility and price have risen, so have its fees. Luckily, the Bitcoin Core developers have invented a solution to this problem that has widespread community support: Segregated Witness (SegWit).
Segwit increases capacity and lays the foundation for the Lightning Network which enables truly free (or close to it) and instant transactions. Segwit is backwards compatible, has been tested rigorously, and is already live on Litecoin (a fork of Bitcoin, also known as an altcoin). Sadly, Bitcoin miners have been blocking Segwit for many, many months for political reasons.
We’ve been fighting the good fight since the beginning. To us, Bitcoin was an obvious movement to throw our support behind. As longtime Bitcoin supporters and users, PIA truly believes that the users are the ones that have the real power in a decentralized system.
Therefore, PIA is throwing its support behind the BIP148 User Activated Soft Fork (UASF). In Chinese, the BIP number – 148 – 一百四十八, means “A lifetime of prosperity.”
BIP148-UASF is a movement of Bitcoin users who are forcing the issue and taking back power from miners to get Segwit activated. PIA is joining this movement and will be enforcing Segwit consensus rules on August 1st. Since the beginning, we have been using Bitpay to accept Bitcoin payments, so we will be requesting that they support the UASF to process our payments. If we can’t get them to do so in time, we will be switching to a payment provider that does support the