bitcoin cash hard fork

This article is regularly updated to include the latest Bitcoin Cash fork developments.

What is the Looming Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork?

As part of the Bitcoin Cash system, the community schedules a bi-annual upgrade to keep the network up to date.

The next upgrade is due on November 15th, around 4.40pm GMT. However, there is disagreement over the upgrade itself. The split in the community is likely to create a “hard-fork,” where the blockchain splits with two different rules or “protocols.”

Background reading: What is a hard fork in cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin Cash ABC vs nChain

The dispute centers around two developer communities: Bitcoin Cash ABC and nChain.

Both aim to release a different version of the upgrade on November 15th.

The difference in opinion means this is a “contentious hard-fork.” When the upgrades are made, there will be two versions of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain, and it remains to be seen which will be the “dominant” chain.

The Argument: Bitcoin Cash ABC

One of the most prominent features of the Bitcoin Cash ABC proposal is to move beyond monetary transfers. An improvement to the scripting language may lead to the introduction of smart contracts on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain.

Further reading: What is a Smart Contract? (In Simple, Easy-to-Understand Terms)

The upgrade will also introduce “canonical transaction ordering,” which alters the way transactions are listed in a block. Bitcoin Cash ABC claims this will act as the foundation for enormous scaling potential in the future.

The current proposal maintains the current block size of 32MB, although ABC is open to increasing it in the future.

The Counter Argument: nChain

The major feature of the nChain upgrade is the quadrupling of blocksize. nChain proposes a new blocksize of 128MB, which is their solution to scaling issues.

nChain will release a “full node implementation” reflecting these changes on November 15th. nChain calls this upgrade Bitcoin SV, or “Satoshi’s Vision,” as they claim it is a true reflection of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s ideals.

The Two Upgrades Are Incompatible

The two differing proposals cannot function together. So, when the two parties activate their upgrade, two different chains will be created, hence the hard fork.

Who’s in Favor of Bitcoin Cash ABC?

Software company Bitcoin Cash ABC put forward the proposal, hence the name.

Their software is used by two-thirds of Bitcoin Cash mining nodes, who simply need to upgrade the software to implement the upgrade.

As for the big name support, Roger Ver and his website bitcoin.com are vocal supporters of Bitcoin Cash ABC. Bitmain, the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company, has also publicly stated support for Bitcoin Cash ABC.

Pre-fork trading on Poloniex showed that ABC was initially valued four-times higher than rival SV, suggesting that traders backed the ABC project. However, the two coins are now trading at near parity ahead of the fork.

Who’s in Favor of Bitcoin Cash SV

The loudest voice for Bitcoin Cash SV is Craig Wright, who has publicly declared himself as Satoshi Nakamoto in the past.

His software company nChain proposed the alternate vision, called Bitcoin SV (or “Satoshi Vision”)

The argument reached boiling-point when Roger Ver published an email reportedly from Craig Wright which read “You are my enemy… You will now discover me when pissed off.”

Bitcoin Cash also has support from the vast majority of Bitcoin Cash mining pools. Current estimates suggest that SV will command up to 72% of mining power, which could give it the edge when the fork initially happens.

Coinbase, Binance, and Ledger Support?

Two of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, Coinbase and Binance, have both expressed support for the hard fork. Although, it remains to be seen which fork they will ultimately follow.

As Coinbase explains:

“Unlike previous BCH hard forks, there is a competing proposal that is not compatible with this published roadmap. Coinbase will monitor the hard fork process and work to minimize customer disruption until the network meets Coinbase security standards.”

 

Binance didn’t comment on the contentious nature of the fork, but did express support:

“Binance would like to confirm support for the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork.”

 

Hardware storage company Ledger will also support the forked coin, but clarified it would only support the dominant chain:

“Ledger will pause Bitcoin Cash service to avoid unwanted transactions until it is clear which of these chains will be the dominant one.”

 

In all cases, transactions will be paused at least an hour before the fork is due to take place (roughly 4.40pm GMT).

What Happened to the BCH Price?

Generally speaking, a hard fork often triggers a price run in anticipation of free tokens. When a hard fork occurs, holders of the coin are often granted the new forked token on a 1:1 basis.

This was the case when Bitcoin forked to create Bitcoin Cash. Everyone holding bitcoin also received the same number of bitcoin cash tokens.

Traders initially flocked to BCH in anticipation of a new, valuable forked coin.

However, that excitement has run out, with Bitcoin Cash falling almost 20% this week. After the initial gold rush, traders are contemplating the fact that vicious infighting could have a negative effect on the future of Bitcoin Cash.

Conclusion

Unless nChain and ABC come to a compromise or agreed solution, Bitcoin Cash will fork on November 15th, resulting in two separate blockchains. The dominant chain will likely be supported by major exchanges and third parties, but it remains to be seen which chain that will be.

Block Explorer will keep you updated on the developments as we move closer to the November 15th upgrade.

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bitcoin cash fork fight

It’s judgment day for Bitcoin Cash.

After a vicious war of words between the two competing sides, Bitcoin Cash will execute a hard fork today and split into two separate blockchains. By the end of the day, we may have two new cryptocurrencies on the market:

Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin Cash SV.

However, the developers behind Bitcoin Cash SV do not expect the two new blockchains to live in harmony.

Background reading: November’s Bitcoin Cash Fork, Explained

Bitcoin Cash SV: “The Intention is for Only One Chain to Survive”

Looking back to a press release issued earlier this month, the Bitcoin Cash SV camp explained clearly:

“With Bitcoin SV, we are not seeking to create a new Bitcoin variant and we are not intending to create a new Bitcoin SV token.”

The statement was issued by nChain, the software and development company behind the proposed SV upgrade. It continues:

“There will likely be a period of time before this temporary chain split is resolved, while miners are voting with their hash power.”

In other words, they believe only one chain should be allowed to exist after the fork: the longest one. That will simply be determined by how much hash power (or mining computer power) is directed to each chain.

“No Transaction Replay Protection” – a Technical Trip Wire

Transaction replay protection is a mechanism built into blockchains that makes transactions on one blockchain invalid on the other one.

Bitcoin Cash SV has not implemented this protection.

Without transaction replay protection, it means users can unwittingly lose money by accidentally transacting on the wrong chain. It also opens up holes for hackers to exploit.

It’s a sign of war from Bitcoin Cash SV. They expect the “losing” chain to peter out, with no protection needed.

If you’re a Bitcoin Cash holder, however, you need to be careful. The best advice is to keep your Bitcoin Cash safely in a wallet until the dust settles.

A Fight for Hash Power

If only one chain is to exist, it will come down to a fight over hash power. In other words, the decision lies with Bitcoin Cash miners: which upgrade will they devote their mining power to?

Indications suggest that Bitcoin Cash SV has the edge with at least 72% of estimated mining hash power compared to ABC’s 13%.

This also gives SV the potential power to initiate a 51% attack against the ABC blockchain. Craig Wright, the man behind SV has not ruled out this possibility. Miners could also mine “empty blocks” that don’t contain any transactions. It would effectively bring the blockchain to a halt. 

Further reading: BCH Fork Wars: Who’s Winning? (The Two Sides, Explained)

What will happen?

It’s still too early to tell. However, there are three possible outcomes:

  1. Only one coin survives – As Bitcoin Cash SV hopes, a dominant chain could emerge and overwhelm the hash power of the other.
  2. Two coins emerge – If hash power is shared to a viable extent, there may be two concurrent blockchains and two separate cryptocurrencies.
  3. Implosion – There’s a chance that the vicious infighting and nefarious hashing actions could kill the value of both blockchains and endanger the entire future of Bitcoin Cash.

Block Explorer will keep you updated as more news comes in.

The Bitcoin Cash debate rages on as we approach Thursday’s hard fork.

There’s a very real possibility that Bitcoin Cash, as we know it, will split into two separate cryptocurrencies.

The two camps are deeply divided over technical (and political) disagreements. This isn’t just a debate over algorithm changes, it’s a fight over the true vision of bitcoin.

New to this debate? Here’s everything you need to know about the Bitcoin Cash hard-fork

So who’s winning?

Well, it depends on how you look at it.

Traders Are Backing the Bitcoin Cash ABC Project

Thanks to Poloniex – a crypto exchange which opened up pre-fork trading on both coins – we know that traders value Bitcoin Cash ABC about four-times higher than rival Bitcoin Cash SV.

Traders are currently pricing BCHABC at $390.

But they’re only pricing BCHSV at $111.

It’s a fairly clear indicator that traders are throwing their weight behind ABC. ABC is backed by bitcoin.com‘s Roger Ver, mining giant Bitmain and most large third-party service providers.

But Bitcoin Cash SV May Have More Miner Support

While traders are important in the debate, so are Bitcoin Cash miners.

Bitcoin Cash miners will have to choose which version of the upgrade they migrate to on November 15th, and early indications suggest Bitcoin Cash SV might have the edge.

The largest Bitcoin Cash mining pools, including CoinGeek, BMG Pool, okminer, mempool, and SVPool, have publicly backed Bitcoin Cash SV. 

Translated into hash power, the current estimates look like this:

Bitcoin Cash SV has at least 66% of estimated hash rate.

Bitcoin Cash ABC has at least 18% of estimated hash rate.

The numbers come from CoinDance’s hash power charts.

bitcoin cash hash rates

Hash power simply refers to the amount of computer power dedicated to cryptocurrency mining at any one time. If the majority of hash power is directed at one side of the fork, we can infer it has more support from miners.

In other words, it looks like miners might back SV.

These Figures are Estimates

It’s important to remember that figures on both sides of the debate are estimates.

Poloniex trading figures are based on a hypothetical market with relatively thin trading volume.

And the CoinDance hash estimates are based on how mining pools have indicated their support. Miners themselves won’t necessarily follow the public statements of their pools.

Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV Explained

Bitcoin Cash ABC – Lays the groundwork for enormous scaling in the future. Keeps the block size the same, while building functionality for new features like atomic contracts. Backed by Roger Ver, Bitmain, and supported by Coinbase, Binance, and other large third-parties.

Bitcoin Cash SV – Claims to be the true Bitcoin vision (or “Satoshi Vision”). Technical updates include a larger block size to improve transaction speed. Backed by Craig Wright, nChain, CoinGeek and a large portion of BCH mining pools.

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bitcoin cash ABC

Bitcoin Cash is about to tear itself in two.

On one side, Bitcoin Cash ABC.

On the other, Bitcoin Cash SV.

Sound messy and confusing? Well, it is.

Bitcoin Cash is on the brink of another hard-fork – where a blockchain splits in two, potentially creating two separate cryptocurrencies.

Background reading: What is a hard fork in cryptocurrency?

Early signs suggest that Bitcoin Cash ABC has the edge and will become the dominant chain. But what is Bitcoin Cash ABC? Who’s behind it? And what changes will it bring? Let’s dive in.

What is Bitcoin Cash ABC?

1. The “Best Money the World Has Ever Seen”?

Bitcoin Cash ABC has a grand vision of creating the best money the world has ever seen, according to their roadmap. In very simple terms, it’s an upgrade to the existing Bitcoin Cash system.

That in itself isn’t unusual. Bitcoin Cash developers schedule bi-annual upgrades to keep the system up-to-date. In the past, the community has mostly agreed on how to move forward.

But now there’s a major divide in opinion, which could lead to two separate cryptocurrencies.

2. Who’s in Favor of Bitcoin Cash ABC?

Software company Bitcoin Cash ABC put forward the proposal, hence the name.

Their software is used by two-thirds of Bitcoin Cash mining nodes, who simply need to upgrade the software to implement the upgrade.

As for the big name support, Roger Ver and his website bitcoin.com are vocal supporters of Bitcoin Cash ABC.

Bitmain, the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company, has also publicly stated support for Bitcoin Cash ABC. Bitmain is reportedly marketing its new miners heavily at mining farms for the upcoming hard fork. 

Exchanges Binance and Coinbase have expressed support for the hard fork and cold storage company Ledger will support the dominant chain (likely ABC).

3. And Who is Against Bitcoin Cash ABC?

The loudest voice against Bitcoin Cash ABC is Craig Wright, who has publicly declared himself as Satoshi Nakamoto in the past.

His software company nChain proposed the alternate vision, called Bitcoin SV (or “Satoshi Vision”)

The argument reached boiling-point this week as Roger Ver published an email reportedly from Craig Wright which read “You are my enemy… You will now discover me when pissed off.”

Bitcoin Cash SV also has support from mining company CoinGeek.

4. The Technicals of ABC: Same Block Size, More Features

From a technical viewpoint, Bitcoin Cash ABC aims to maintain the current block size of 32MB. However, they will introduce “canonical transactions,” which allows for enormous scaling.

As explained in the ABC roadmap, “there are some technical improvements that must be made to enable Bitcoin Cash to scale to a world-wide currency.”

In a nutshell, Bitcoin Cash ABC is about laying groundwork for huge scaling in the future. On the flip side, Bitcoin SV wants to go ahead and raise the block size immediately to 128MB, claiming “the future of Bitcoin is big blocks, big business, and big growth.”

Another technical upgrade for Bitcoin Cash ABC is a new opcode that will introduce the potential for cross-chain atomic contracts.

5. Bitcoin Cash ABC Has the Edge According to Pre-Trading at Poloniex Exchange

Poloniex took a unique position by allowing users to trade both tokens ahead of the official hard fork.

Early trading activity put Bitcoin Cash ABC at five times more valuable than SV. 

Bitcoin Cash ABC has a price of $505.

Bitcoin Cash SV has a price of $104.

Of course, this is all subject to change as we move closer to the hard fork implementation. 

Countdown to November 15th

The hard fork is due to take place on November 15th, unless the two communities can come together and reach an agreement.

If no compromise is reached, we will likely see the emergence of two new cryptocurrencies.

Block Explorer News will keep you up to date in the coming week as the clash evolves.

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bitcoin mining energy consumption

It’s a tough time to launch bitcoin mining hardware. As Block Explorer recently reported, bitcoin mining profits turned negative earlier this year. Not only that, but pressure is building over the energy consumption and environmental impact of bitcoin mining.

But that hasn’t stopped Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin mining company, from building the next-generation mining equipment.

Bitmain’s new ASIC miners are set to launch Thursday 8th November, but will they reduce energy consumption?

ASIC explained: ASIC miners, or Application Specific Integrated Circuits, are super-powerful processing chips that focus on just one task, in this case, cryptocurrency mining. They are different to normal graphics cards or computer chips which are multi-purpose.

Everything we know about the new Bitmain ASIC Miners

Bitmain is launching two new devices on Thursday: the S15 and T15

Specific details, however, are sparse. We don’t yet know the price, features, or specs of the two devices.

Bitmain has only eluded to the launch via a tweet and empty product pages

Will the new Bitmain Miner Reduce Energy Consumption?

Bitmain’s co-founder and CEO Jihan Wu revealed some information about the forthcoming technology in a speech in September.

He suggested the new miners would “achieve a ratio of energy consumption to mining capacity that is as low as 42J/TH.”

To put that in perspective, Bitmain’s current top-of-the-range miner (Antminer-S9) runs at 96J/TH. In other words, the new miners are significantly more energy efficient than its predecessors.

The current Bitmain Antminer S9

Environmental Impact of Bitcoin Mining

The news comes in the same week as a new research paper which claims bitcoin mining is three-times as expensive as mining the same value of gold.

A further study suggests bitcoin mining consumes the equivalent amount of energy as the entire country of Austria.

The new Bitmain miners may go a small way to lowering the very real impact of bitcoin mining on the world around us. 

7nm Chip Technology

The extra efficiency comes from Bitmain’s new 7nm chip technology. As explained by Jihan Wu, the 7nm Finfet technology is more powerful and more efficient than before. With “more than a billion transistors,” it ushers in a “new era of high-efficiency.”

Of course, nothing is confirmed until Bitmain reveals the full specifications of the new models. Expect more details when the miners are made available for purchase tomorrow.

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