Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork: Debates Over Pre-Fork Trading and Project’s Future Heat Up

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 6 min read
Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork: Debates Over Pre-Fork Trading and Project’s Future Heat Up
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More debates heat up on the eve of the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork. While a number of prominent crypto exchanges already granted support for the new coins, there are those, who believe that the roadmap has no chances.

Poloniex, which became the first exchange to offer trading for the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork, is offering the following pairs: BCHABC/BTC, BCHSV/BTC, BCHABC/USDC, and BCHSV/USDC. Customers also have the option of converting Bitcoin Cash into BCHABC and BCHSV, and vice-versa. However, there will be no withdrawal facilities for the two coins before the hard fork.

The exchange is operated by the Goldman Sachs-backed startup Circle. Trading coins on both sides of the contentious hard fork is scheduled to activate on the BCH network on Nov. 15.

In the announcement they said that the responsible thing to do in this case is remain neutral and allow the community to decide which chain to support, and that they want to empower the community to demonstrate their support through trading activity.

They wrote:

“This is the first time we are offering pre-fork trading and it is part of a broader effort to make Poloniex one of the most innovative exchanges in the world. Going forward, we will evaluate each hard fork individually and decide whether to support the fork or to offer pre-fork trading.”

Poloniex also said that they would evaluate each hard fork individually and decide whether to support the fork or to offer pre-fork trading. This pre-fork trading offer is a first for the exchange, and it is part of efforts to become a top innovative exchange.

They warned:

“You do not have to engage in pre-fork trading. If you choose to engage in pre-fork trading, please note that, as with all trading on the platform, trading in these assets can be extremely risky, and you trade at your own risk. It is possible that one of these chains will not be economically or technically viable after the fork, and its value will drop to zero.“

Bitcoin Cash Surges as Crypto Exchanges Extend Support for the Hard Fork

Since the announcement of the hard fork and the possibility of a network split, several crypto exchanges have informed their customers on how they plan to handle the possible eventualities.

On November 2, Binance confirmed its support of the hard fork and said that it would temporarily suspend deposit and withdrawals of BCH.

Coinbase also announced its support of the planned upgrade and informed its clients that it would pause deposit and withdrawals services on all BCH wallets for the hour leading up to the hard fork. Ledger also announced its plan to suspend deposit and withdrawal support for BCH before the hard fork to avoid loss of funds.

This fork will not activate for a full week, but early returns show that traders are much more confident in BCHABC’s ability to retain its value, at least over the short-term. At present, BCHABC is trading at $535 against USDC, nearly six times above BCHSV, which is priced at just $90.

Though this news is important for the Poloniex exchange, they are actually following in the footsteps of HitBTC’s decision to allow users to trade futures in October 2017 for the SegWit2x token. Unfortunately, this token ended up being called off, which was primarily due to a lack of support. If Poloniex is successful, they will become the first exchange to achieve that milestone instead.

USDC, launched in September, has already seen widespread adoption in the crypto ecosystem. More than 50 exchanges, protocols, platforms, applications and wallets have embraced USDC and trading volume continues to grow. The circulating supply of USDC has surpassed 130 million.

Roger Ver Takes Stance Against Craig Wright

Early cryptocurrency adopter and outspoken Bitcoin Cash evangelist Roger Ver said that he is having second thoughts about his former alliance with self-described Bitcoin creator Craig Wright.

Ver, the owner of crypto wallet service and bitcoin cash mining pool, stated in a newly-uploaded YouTube video that Wright — whose firm, nChain, is the developer of BCH software implementation Bitcoin SV — had “fooled” him.

“It’s never easy to admit that you’ve been fooled, but maybe I’ve been fooled,” Ver said while sharing a screenshot of an email that Wright had allegedly sent him after he publicly backed BCH development group Bitcoin ABC — not Wright’s SV — in the debate over the impending BCH hard fork.”

Wright tweeted:

“Side with ABC, you hate bitcoin, you are my enemy. You have f–king no idea what that means. You Will. I AM Satoshi. Have a nice life. You will now discover me when pissed off. And, no. You Could have had proof. Your choice. F–k you.”

The truth is that this kind of protection, that prevents a malicious user from broadcasting a transaction on both sides of the fork, does not exist in the wild, so users should be careful about moving their funds if they intend to hold coins on both sides of the fork. That’s particularly true since Wright, whose firm, nChain, is leading the development of the SV software, has suggested that SV miners could blacklist certain addresses that spend funds on the ABC chain.

Craig Wright, who claims (without much evidence) that he is bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto has long been one of the leading figures of bitcoin cash, the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which famously broke off of bitcoin in the heat of the scaling debate last year.

Bitcoin Cash Users Still in Favor of Bitcoin ABC

However, an experimental market on a major crypto exchange suggests that bitcoin cash users may favor the more established version of the software, Bitcoin ABC, ahead of an expected fork this month.

Due to the technical design of the cryptocurrency, currently the fourth-largest by market capitalization, bitcoin cash users must “hard fork” the blockchain, or adopt a new software version with changes as decided by open-source developers, every six months.

And although Wright isn’t quite endorsing an attack fully, on Twitter he seemed to provide a rationale for miners to use their power to “kill off” the blockchain running Bitcoin ABC. According to Wright, by deploying hashpower, Bitcoin SV miners can effectively mine empty blocks on the competing bitcoin cash blockchain, stopping transactions from going through.

Wright argues that these kinds of things are “a part of the protocol” and thus fine to do (and to his point, there are not rules preventing this).

And sure enough, one new mining project called SharkPool tweeted that it will “exclusively” mine empty blocks, pointing to Wright’s tweetstorm as reasoning.

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