The Segregated Witness scaling solution will finally lock in on 8 August, with only 60 blocks left to signal.

SegWit lock-in is expected to come at around block #479,708. After the lock-in, a two-week grace period will follow. Only after that SegWit will be fully activated: it is currently expected to happen on block #481,824 or on 21 August.

Within the two-week grace period bitcoin services, such as miners, exchanges, wallets and users themselves, will have time to upgrade to a new protocol. After the SegWit activation comes into force, miners who have not upgraded their software will lose their rewards for mining because their blocks would be rejected by upgraded miners' software.

The main features of SegWit are mostly aimed to make the network more resistant to vulnerabilities, such as transaction valleability (TxMal). Thus, it supposes to reduce unspent transaction output (UTXO) growth, allowing faster scaling of the bitcoin ecosystem. SegWit will also make bitcoin's code safer to upgrade by adding a version number to future changes. Segwit will also increase the protection of multi-signature transactions by boosting pay-to-script-hash (P2SH) security.

On the eve of the SegWit lock-in, the bitcoin exchange rate has jumped to almost $3,500, reaching the all-time high of $3,471. It is expected that the after SegWit reaches the lock-in mark, more institutional investors will come to the cryptocurrency market, thus sending the bitcoin price to another peak.

After 21 August, the next challenge for the bitcoin network is expected to come in November when the community will vote for or in contra another hard fork of the blockchain. Elaborated at the New York meeting in May 2017, SegWit2x upgrade is designed to double the block size. This solution is not supported by the Bitcoin Core developers which call SegWit2x too unsafe and unnecessary.