Bitcoin's awaited privacy upgrade requires Schnorr signatures, which cannot be implemented into bitcoin without SegWit.
With the impending release of Segregated Witness, implementation of the Schnorr cryptographic signature algorithm might follow soon after, potentially improving Bitcoin's scalability, efficiency and privacy, all in one go.
Many cryptographers consider Schnorr signatures the best in the field, as they offer a strong level of correctness, do not suffer from malleability, are relatively fast to verify, and ‒ importantly ‒ support multisignature: several signatures can be aggregated into a single, new signature.
However, until now it has not been possible to utilize Schnorr in Bitcoin. Another type of signature scheme, Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), is baked into the Bitcoin protocol, and changing that would require a hard fork.
That's where Segregated Witness comes in.
With Segregated Witness, all signature data is moved to a separate part of the transaction: the witness, which is not embedded in the “old” Bitcoin protocol. And thanks to script versioning, almost any rule applied in the witness can be changed through a soft fork. Including the type of signature scheme used.
Both Roger Ver and Andrew Stone seem to be anti-segwit for inexplicable reasons. BU supporters seem to think SegWit is favorable, but only as a hard fork – an argument that I don't think is smart and is quite frankly disingenuous. If anything it seems they simply object to it because Core developers designed and implemented it (the responsible way IMO, as a soft-fork).
Why does Andrew Stone largely dismiss the desire for segwit integration into BU? He claims there's too much "technical debt" w/ SegWit @~ 52 minutes into the interview; example given is a ridiculous cop-out. He also claims "if we're going to do a hardfork anyway, why not take SegWit and make it into a hard fork?" as an argument against Core's implementation, yet his software is the software that is actually set to hard-fork, yet he hasn't ported SegWit in to activate when/if his miner-controlled blocksize hard-fork activates! At least he encourages everyone that's not a sock-puppet and can demonstrate that to register on their forum to propose any changes they want to BU which will be voted up or down by the members. Whether your membership will be rejected outright if you have voiced any pro-core opinions or not is an open question.
On to Ver. Why has Roger Ver chosen a demonstrably anti-segwit approach (despite his politically safe, but practically meaningless rhetoric about not blocking SegWit), even though I have yet to find a single retail/wallet/actual-nonminer-btc-adoption-entity that is against the SegWit approach? It enables so many pro-fungibility features in the future that it seems to me to be a no-brainer to activate. My suspicion about Ver is that he's hedging his bets with massive investments in altcoins with better anonymity features anyway, such as ZCash, Monero and DASH, so even if Bitcoin fails or falters due to fungibility issues, his anon-coin investments will offset his BTC losses.
What do you think?