BCH Upgrade Debate Continues — A Fork Strategy and the ‘Miners Choice’ Meeting
On August 21 Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer Andrew Stone wrote a proposal which outlined a strategy for the upcoming November hard fork. Stone explains that there are two changesets proposed by two different full node clients and Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) plans to implement consensus changes from both organizations, allowing participants the ability to vote for features using BU.
The Bitcoin Unlimited Strategy
The Bitcoin Cash community has been fervently discussing the latest Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0 release and its differences with the upcoming Nchain client Bitcoin SV. Both organizations have two different changesets they would like to see added to the next hard fork this November, and if they both proceed without compromise there could be a blockchain split. Following the ABC release, Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer Andrew Stone published a plan called “BUIP098: Bitcoin Unlimited’s strategy for the November 2018 hard fork.”
“There are 2 changesets proposed for the November 2018 hard fork that have a variety of supporters but can be summarized as coming from Bitcoin ABC and Nchain,” explains Stone. “It is ironic that these changesets are mutually compatible, yet both groups reject the other’s changes.”
There may be some specific critiques of various proposals, but the core the rationale behind the rejections seem to be the same used to block Group tokenization — fewer changes are better because every change introduces risk.
Vote for Compromise
Further, Stone proposes a strategy for BU’s future and the developer states the client’s message will be: “Run Bitcoin Unlimited to vote for compromise.” This means BU will incorporate both changesets proposed by Nchain and Bitcoin ABC, and they can be activated in two ways Stone emphasizes.
“Either be activated via BIP135 (a generalized form of BIP9 miner voting via version bits), explicit configuration, or (development time and feasibility permitting) emergent consensus,” Stone notes.
By allowing BIP135, we move to a miner voting process that allows individual features to gain agreement before activation. By allowing explicit configuration — that is, allowing a user to force the feature “on” or “off” — people running the BUcash full node can quickly react to any hash-power surprises.
Stone also adds an appendix of all the changesets proposed for the Bitcoin Cash protocol that detail the various arguments against each one, while also detailing whether or not BU is capable of featuring each request. Following the BUIP, many developers such as ‘Freetrader’ and Bitcoin XTs Tom Harding favored the proposal.
Coingeek Announces Miners Choice Meeting
A little after the announcement from BU’s lead developer the mining pool Coingeek revealed a sponsored gathering called the ‘Satoshi Vision Miners Choice Meeting,’ which will take place in Bangkok on August 30th. Additionally, Coingeek’s founder Calvin Ayre says he is “firm on restoring the Bitcoin protocol to its original design.” Ayre explains in a statement:
“We need to stop relying upon developer-determined default block caps. The block size is miner-configurable, allowing individual miners to set what maximum block size they wish to accept from another miner. This approach is similar to Bitcoin Unlimited’s ’emergent consensus’ mechanism for block size, and therefore has precedent,” Ayre explains in a statement.
This ‘miner’s choice’ approach has two benefits: (1) it takes the block size question out of the hands of BCH developer groups, and avoids unnecessary future disagreements between developers over maximum block size; and (2) it puts the block size question in the hands of miners — key users of the BCH network — so they can direct the scaling roadmap, as driven by network usage growth and their own economic incentives.
The Coingeek organization adds that they want all BCH miners to join them in choosing the block size. Coingeek is also inviting mining pool representatives to come to the W Hotel in Bangkok Aug 30th to hear the organization present the case for Bitcoin SV.
Anyone who does not agree with Satoshi Vision is welcome to fork off to their own new path. Any forks from the Satoshi Vision path will not be Bitcoin and will have to come up with some other name for their fork.
Throughout the rest of the day and into the overnight BCH proponents discussed each position on the table. Most BCH fans were pleased with how BU chose to handle the situation between Nchain and Bitcoin ABC developers.
“[Bitcoin Unlimited] have the soft skills needed to talk to the community, are actually able to compromise in a constructive way and don’t shove developer decisions down your throat — Thank you for your service,” one Redditor notes on Tuesday.
Feel like you missed something? For a brief history concerning BCH consensus changes planned for November check out these reports below:
- The Opposition Towards Bitcoin ABC’s Proposed Upgrade Changes
- Coingeek Speaks on Consensus Changes and Next-Gen ASIC Chip
- Nchain Plans to Launch a BCH Full Node Client Called ‘Bitcoin SV’
- November BCH Upgrade Discussion Heats Up After Bitcoin SV Full Node Announcement
- Network Incompatibility Discussed After Bitcoin ABC Launches Latest Version
What do you think about Bitcoin Unlimited’s proposal? What do you think about Coingeek’s statements? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin Unlimited, and Coingeek logos.
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