Saturday, November 28, 2020

Tensions Flare: Is Bitcoin Cash Headed to Another ‘Catastrophic’ Fork?

Despite tensions flaring among Bitcoin Cash developers over the protocol’s difficulty algorithm, another chain split seems unlikely.

The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community is divided over whether to change the cryptocurrency’s difficulty adjustment algorithm, with a recent developer meeting reportedly concluding with attendees storming out of the event.

On August 4, Chris Pacia, the lead developer of the peer-to-peer marketplace OpenBazaar and a volunteer BCH developer, tweeted that “multiple people walk[ed] out” of the meeting as consensus was not reached over whether to make adjustments to Bitcoin Cash’s difficulty algorithm.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin tweeted in reply that he doesn’t understand with BCH people “care so much” given “your algo is fine as is” and added:

“I will be honest; being optimistic that BCH development would improve once they got Craig [Wright] out is definitely looking like one of my worse predictions.”

Some reports indicate that growing tensions over the difficulty algorithm may result in yet another BCH chain split. Outspoken Australian BCH proponent Hayden Otto tweeted: “I will be sticking with the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain this coming chain split.”

Difficulty algo dispute is ‘trivial’

But speaking to Cointelegraph, Otto said his tweet was meant as a joke to “troll” those opposing BCH’s core ‘Bitcoin ABC’ developers.

He played down the significance of the community disagreeance as “a trivial matter,” but also said that “enemy operatives who pose as BCH supporters” are using the difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA) as a wedge issue “to create chaos and sow division”:

“Changing the DAA has been made a priority issue by a select few people who want to stop miners gaming the current DAA by switching large amounts [of] hashrate to and from BCH — which results in inconsistent block mining times,” he said.

“This really only affects people who are depositing to exchanges which require an unnecessary amount of confirmations for deposits, but doesn’t affect the vast majority of people using BCH in a personal or business capacity where 0 confirmations are sufficient.”

Otto says fork is unlikely

According to Otto, Bitcoin ABC announced a forthcoming overhaul to the difficulty algorithm come BCH’s next scheduled upgrade on November 15. However, he asserts those who pushed for the adjustment remain unhappy because ABC’s proposed upgrade doesn’t go as far as the ‘BCHN’ implementation that they have suggested.

Despite the disagreement, Otto believes that a BCHN chain split is unlikely, stating that the “BCHN software is not widely adopted by miners” and thus its supporters “will not have a majority vote to get their desired changes through on the upgrade date.”

“They are now relying on ‘proof of social media’ tactics in an attempt to persuade miners and businesses who run ABC to capitulate and swap over to the BCHN software.”

“Right now it’s all just posturing online, but when it comes to the upgrade date I don’t think the BCHN supporters will follow through on anything. They will be a minority chain and another split would be catastrophic for anyone following the minority chain,” Otto concluded.

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