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Update: My assumptions on UASF seemed to be wrong. Looks like the way this UASF for SegWit is drafted can indeed lead to a serious chain split and is not a valid option to get out of the hashpower signaling deadlock.
There seems to be a big misunderstanding among many people that the sole ACTIVATION of SegWit is very risky and can cause harm to the whole network. They seem to perceive the "user activated soft fork" (UASF) as a "user enforced USE of SegWit". But that's not true the UASF request is only about to ENABLE the feature and see if that changes many miners minds and signal support for it. And it is about to GIVE EVERY MINER ENOUGH TIME to update their software so they can DETECT INVALID/MALICIOUS SegWit transactions. It does not mean miners are forced to help mining SegWit transactions if they don't want. Of course it is very dangerous/risky for an individual user to use SegWit transactions directly after activation, as long as there's not enough hashpower supporting it. But that is a risk for the individual user, not for the network. Every reasonable user (receipient) should wait before they really use SegWit in a big valued transaction. Nobody is forcing them to do this just because SegWit is activated. Everybody can continue sticking to the current/traditional/non-SegWit transaction format. And every reasonable miner should only update their software, so that they at least can understand SegWit transactions. Nobody is forcing miners to help mining SegWit transactions just because the feature is activated. So if a malicious user/miner/attacker starts producing and mining invalid SegWit transactions before a majority of hashpower is backing it, he will just create it's own faulty chain which is shorter than the main chain. We should trust on the game theory whole Bitcoin is built upon, that: 1. Most people on Bitcoin are reasonable (selfish?) 😉 2. Most people will update their software before activation day, so that they can detect and reject blocks with invalid SegWit transactions 3. Not many people will USE SegWit before a majority of miners is signaling support for it. And if so, the game theory defines this as "stupid" and it would only be those people's loss. But it would be nobody elses problem or a problem for the network itself. 4. (Yes, only the miners who were too lazy/stubborn to update their software until activation day could be tricked into mining on the wrong chain for some time until they realize that they are no longer on the longest chain anymore and spend a few minutes of their resource time on the wrong chain. But that's their own fault, they should have had enough time to update their software to protect against this.)
Cheers and peace!