Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Debate Reconvenes After the Stress Test
Over the last few weeks, there’s been a heated discussion within the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) community concerning the scheduled November 15 hard fork. There’s a strong disagreement between the BCH development teams, Bitcoin ABC, Nchain, and Bitcoin Unlimited in regard to the hard fork’s upcoming consensus changes. Fast forward to this week as Nchain has published the Bitcoin SV beta release, Coingeek’s Calvin Ayre speaks out against chain splitting rumors, and there have also been a few insightful studies done on Bitcoin ABC’s proposed canonical transaction ordering (CTOR) upgrade.
Nchain Launches Bitcoin SV Beta Version
Last week’s BCH Stress Test Day took everyone’s minds off of the ongoing upgrade debate taking place within the Bitcoin Cash community. It all started during the last week of July when Bitcoin ABC revealed the team’s roadmap and published the 0.18 ABC codebase in the second week of August. Nchain’s chief scientist Craig Wright was one of the first to oppose the upgrades proposed by the ABC team. Wright explained he was vehemently against adding the opcode called OP_CHECKDATASIG (CDS), and the implementation of canonical transaction ordering (CTOR). Wright detailed his team Nchain would create their own BCH full node client that would entail completely different upgrades within the codebase. Nchain disclosed the new client would be called Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) and the full node client will restore the Satoshi opcodes OP_MUL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, OP_INVERT, remove the 201 opcode script limit, and increase the base block size to 128MB.
About a week and a half ago BCH miners, developers, and industry leaders met in Bangkok to try and hash out the differences, but the meeting didn’t pay off with any compromise between the disagreeing camps. At the time Nchain also launched the Bitcoin SV alpha release and revealed a new mining pool dedicated to the SV codebase. Now, this week Nchain has released the Bitcoin SV beta version on Github. Observers have noted that there was some newly added code related to the 128M increase, some revised release documentation, and some other minor changes.
Coingeek & Calvin Ayre: We Will Fight Any Attempts by Anyone That Cause a Chain Split
On Monday, September 10 Calvin Ayre, owner of the blockchain firm and mining pool Coingeek, explained in a recent post that his company will not allow a hash war to split the BCH chain. Ayre emphasizes that his firm has never had the intention of splitting the true version of Bitcoin (BCH).
“We will fight any attempts by anyone else to cause a chain split,” Ayre details. “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.”
Nakamoto consensus dictates that at all times the longest chain (with the most Proof-of-Work) shall prevail and this will be respected at all times by Coingeek media and mining.
Ayre believes other “contentious, untested and unnecessary protocol changes” have recently been introduced to the BCH community, placing a lot of blame on the Chinese mining firm Bitmain Technologies. The Coingeek owner says Bitmain seeks “to constantly experiment with the protocol creating constant instability and driving corporate investment away.” Bitmain has denied all of the Wormhole security issues and CTOR allegations in a recent blog post addressing these accusations. Ayre says he and Coingeek are quite confident that in the end, smart miners will not follow a path towards their own annihilation.
Coingeek is confident that no miners are stupid enough to support a path that leads to their own destruction so we are also confident that this election will be won by the miners and will prove the wisdom of Satoshi Vision.
Some Examinations of CTOR
Lastly, there’s been a lot of insightful studies concerning the CTOR upgrade proposed for November. A post on r/btc gives a comprehensive technical dive into the implementation of canonical transaction ordering. Many developers such as Andrew Stone, Peter Rizun, and Amaury Sechet discussed the topic within the post’s comment section.
According to the study, CTOR could theoretically benefit ideas like Graphene and possibly help with the mempool bottleneck. The author of the post explains, “In the last stress test, we also saw limitations on mempool performance (tx acceptance and relaying). I hope both of these fronts see optimizations before the next stress test, so that a fresh set of bottlenecks can be revealed.”
Further, the BCH mining pool Rawpool has also published a review of CTOR this week. Rawpool’s study is insightful and details that the mining pool has been testing the new upgrade. Essentially Rawpool details that the current method the Bitcoin protocol uses right now is topical transaction ordering (TTOR). However, the study says that in time it “cannot be denied” that “traditional TTOR sorting will inevitably face problems such as rising memory overhead and increasing computing time.”
“On the other hand, the fully optimized CTOR ordering should be a completely new data maintenance system, which is bound to have considerable complexity,” Rawpool’s translated research explains.
Rawpool will continue to communicate with the development teams of Bitcoin ABC and Nchain. The deployment of test nodes has been completed and will actively participate in the testing of new upgrades and stress testing throughout the network.
For Now, the BCH November Upgrade Debate Still Remains Unsettled
There’s been a lot of discussions and debates regarding the November 15th BCH upgrade. Bitcoin Unlimited’s lead developer has also critiqued canonical ordering in a post that declares “ABC’s CTOR will not scale.” Stone says that there are two significant problems with CTOR and he explains the sharding proposal (scaling by distributing data to multiple machines) “will not work,” and “lexicographical transaction ordering is unnecessary.” Moreover, Nchain’s Craig Wright has been writing a lot of long-form posts about this subject and generalized Bitcoin topics concerning the technology’s economics nearly every single day.
For now, it seems the debate will continue, and Bitcoin Cash proponents will have to wait to find out what will happen when it gets closer to the upgrade. News.Bitcoin.com will be sure to keep our readers informed every step of the way.
What do you think about the BCH November upgrade debate? Do you think the disagreeing parties will come to a compromise? Let us know in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Twitter, Coingeek, and Pixabay.
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