what is segwit

What Is SEGWIT? [Segregated Witness]

Have you ever heard about segwit? Or are you searching for a definition for segwit? So actually what is segwit?

Before we get started I highly recommend you to read my “how bitcoin transactions work” article. Why? I explained everything about the transactions and this article also related to bitcoin transactions at some point.


The first thing that you have to know, Segwit is a short form of “Segregated Witness”

Wait, what?

Don’t worry I will explain everything. Keep reading.

Segregated Witness, In other words, Separating the digital signature is a solution that came from a hard fork of bitcoin to speed up the bitcoin transaction network.

Why did bitcoin developers want to do that?

Since 2009 when bitcoin has started, millions and billions of transactions have been completed. The competition is getting higher and higher day by day. So the transaction speed of bitcoin became slower.

It’s a thing like when your personal computer filled up with a lot more data and it’s getting slower and slower.

That is the main reason for this segwit which is separating the digital signature from the transaction block. You may not know these terms. But, I will figure it out.

How segwit helps to speed up bitcoin transactions?

To understand that, we need to discuss some facts.

1) Transaction Block

A transaction block is an item created when a transaction happens. A transaction block contains the following things

  • The Public Keys
  • Digital Signature.
  • Transaction Details.

The public key is the address of a cryptocurrency wallet

2) Digital Signature

This is your witness when you making a cryptocurrency transaction. In other words, its similar to the signature on a money cheque in the real-world that identifies the owner of the account.

The bitcoin network can identify the digital signature and its details.

Understanding Segregated Witness

The segwit concept was formulated by Dr. Pieter Wullie in 2015 which is separating the digital signature from the block to minimize its size. And transfer it in a different block.


Which results in rapid and smooth transactions.

Bitcoin experts said that 65% of block space freed out if the digital signature removed. And that means the digital signature is the largest data script in a block.

As an example, If a block size is 1000KBs, The digital signature of that block is about 650KBs.

That is pretty much high, right?

That’s why the developers decided to carry out the segregated witness separately for better transaction speed, lower fees.


The segregated witness was originally planned as a Hardfork. But developers decided to go with a Softfork to minimize transaction failures in the network.

The first Segwit happen in 2016 October, and the second one in 2017 August. It is called Segwit2x. I will be explaining that in a future article.

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