Although Bitcoin Cash once used to be just another Bitcoin fork, it is currently among today’s market leaders. In terms of capitalization, it comes 4th with an approximately $9 billion market cap. However, its reputation has been compromised since the rumors of the upcoming BCH fork have spread.
Usually, a fork takes place when miners and developers fail to find common ground. To accept protocol changes, the network requires consensus. Otherwise, the currency might split into two: the original one and a ‘modernized’ copy. For instance, BCH came into being primarily as a solution to Bitcoin’s scalability problem.
In the summer, the Bitcoin Cash community split in two. One fraction — with Jiahan Wu, Roger Ver, and their miners — plans to keep the 32 MB block size as it is but implement a set of other measurements. Another fraction — represented by Craig Wright, Calvin Ayre, and their miners — insists on increasing the block size up to 128MB and excluding extra options. In case both of the sides hold their ground, November 2018 will bring us a BCH hard fork, which means a couple of new Bitcoin Cash versions.
Who Pulled the Trigger
The Bitcoin Cash drama got worse after a Medium post by Cobra — a controversial figure in the crypto world and the owner of bitcoin.org. Based on the recent dissonant proposals of the BCH teams, he made an assumption that, eventually, they would “conflict with each other.” This would, in turn, “lead to a critical consensus failure and split of the coin into two competing chains (Bitcoin Cash ABC & Bitcoin Cash nChain/Coingeek)”. He also called it “a disaster for all investors and users of Bitcoin Cash” and announced a Cobra Client. It will, apparently, ensure safe implementation of the upcoming hard fork. Whether he was trolling or not, the tempers ran high.
The Conflict In Detail
On the one side of the dispute, there’s Craig Wright — chief of the nChain, who once claimed to be the creator of Bitcoin. Backed by the Coingeek team, he created Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision), meant for those miners who prefer the original version of Bitcoin. Also, SV intends to increase the block size to 128 MB for faster and cheaper transactions. However, on his Twitter account, he denied that this could possibly cause a hard fork:
“There is NO #BCH split. SV will not be a separate fork. It will compete as per the whitepaper on hash power. Ignore these frauds.”
— Dr. Craig S Wright (@ProfFaustus)
Coingeek’s owner, Calvin Ayer, shared the same idea and promised to fight against the split of the BCH chain:
“Coingeek and friends believe in the Satoshi Vision for the evolution of Bitcoin and that means all disputes should be settled by Nakamoto consensus and miner hash elections.”
Next thing we know, Bitcoin ABC, the biggest Bitcoin Cash client, just four days after Coingeek’s SV release, published version 0.18.0 of full node Bitcoin Cash implementation. Including canonical transaction ordering and a new opcode that “improves the BCH scripting language to permit the validation of messages from outside the blockchain.”
Jiahan Wu, Bitmain’s founder and one of the active supporters of Bitcoin ABC and the initial BCH fork, has his own vision. He promotes the idea of issuing tokens on the network, just like Ethereum as well as token burn. Mr. Wu has been rather critical of the whole SV idea. He tagged Wright as a “Fake Satoshi” and insisted on sticking to the base protocol while adding certain species:
“BCH will continue its roadmap to build electronical cash on base protocol and encouraging permissionless innovation in layer-2. I see lots of builders are working so hard! Fake Satoshi can never stop us”.
— Jiahan Wu (@JiahanWu)
Others stay quite skeptical towards the ABC and Mr. Wu’s alliance. According to Bitcoinexchangeguide:
“Bitcoin ABC and Wu are pushing individuals to invest in something that would not be helpful for the whole network”.
A few Other Opinions
But Mr. Wu and Bitcoin ABC are hardly the only opposition to Dr. Wright and CoinGeeks. Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder, does not seem to be too agreeable either. In reference to his Twitter:
“The BCH community should NOT compromise with Craig Wright to ‘avoid a split’ and should embrace it as an opportunity to conclusively ostracize and reject him. Bitcoin Craig (BCC) can go take the ticker symbol from the now-defunct cryptocurrency to which it is a fitting successor”.
At the same time, there are those who see the issue as a conflict of personal interests. In a post on a Bitcoin forum, Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer Andrew Stone wrote:
“It is ironic that these changesets are mutually compatible, yet both groups reject the other’s changes… Given the “no changes, no matter how reasonable, except mine” strategy being pursued by both of these organizations, I can only sadly conclude that this is again about power and ego not about technical merit and end user adoption.”
It still remains uncertain whether the anticipated fork will take place. “The civil war”, however, continues and with November 15th approaching, the pressure is definitely on. Right now we can only guess what the future holds for Bitcoin Cash.
What do you think of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork? Is it a good or a bad thing? Which side do you support? We’re really curious about your thought on this matter! And in case you want to learn the end of this drama, follow Lumi wallet on Twitter and Facebook and we’ll make sure you stay notified. Got some questions? Feel free to ask them in our Telegram public chat and use Reddit for more serious debate.