Bitcoin Cash, for those of you living under a rock for the past few weeks, is preparing to undergo a very contentious hard fork today, November 15. The war of words (and hash power) has been gathering steam the past few days, with leaders of each project trading insults and threats. All the while trying to get as many miners on their side as possible in order to ensure that their chain emerges victorious. With the split imminent, we take a look at the technical aspects of the two chains and see which, if any, represents the true Bitcoin Cash vision.
Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC), led by Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, and backed by mining giant Bitmain, represents the ‘original’ Bitcoin Cash client that split from Bitcoin in 2017. This chain forks once every six months, but this time BCHABC want to implement some changes that others disagree on, two of which have caused the most friction.
The first is Canonical Transaction Ordering (CTOR), which involves ordering transactions into blocks in a certain way compared to the current system of almost no ordering, which the BCHABC team believe will improve future scaling. They also want to implement an “OP code”, which will allow for smart contracts to be built on the chain, thereby bringing to an end its function as a purely monetary system.
Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision
The Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BCHSV) chain is led by Craig Wright, chief scientist of project backer nChain, who also counts mining operator Coingeek among his supporters. nChain reject CTOR because they believe the risks outweigh the potential benefits, which they say are as yet unproven. BCHSV also includes a raised block size of 128MB per block from the existing 32MB (which BCHABC will keep) in order to reduce the need for further scaling later on. It also reintroduces older OP codes, as well as a size limit on scripts.
In Other Words…
Anyone who doesn’t understand the technical ins and outs of Bitcoin Cash’s code might find this summary useful, given that it comes from someone who knows a thing or two about Bitcoin Cash – former senior Bitcoin Cash engineer at Coinbase, Tanooj Luthra:
Bitcoin ABC is the better approach. It better sets up Bitcoin Cash as a more usable currency by unlocking more future development. On-chain scaling of Bitcoin Cash requires much more than just increasing the block size limit, and Bitcoin ABC is doubling down on creating a more scalable node by removing a lot of the technical limitations that will pay off in the future. Furthermore, there’s also no reason that ABC can’t increase its block size in the future up to 128 MB like Bitcoin SV thinks is required now. Bitcoin ABC is even more appealing when you take a look at the last years’ worth of blocks and see that the vast majority were well under the current limit of 32 MB anyways.
With BCHSV still leading the way in hash power going into the fork, the crypto world is waiting for Bitmain to wheel out their 90,000 big guns and start shooting. Expect fireworks, and casualties, as the BCH for unfolds.