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The long-anticipated hard fork of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain has gone live, with reports confirming that the first mined block came from the BCHABC protocol, even though SV boasted a much larger hashrate in the days preceding the split.
The code for Bitcoin cash’s hard fork has been activated yesterday as announced, and,according to the CoinDance, the last “common block” among bitcoin cash miners, at the time of writing, was #556,897, mined by Bitcoin.com– which is supporting Bitcoin ABC.
Still, at this point, we cannot define which of the two will become the dominant software of the BCH network. Will it be just one or two distinct chains will continue to co-exist in the long-term?
As we already wrote, there are two dominating proposals for the implementation of the BCH network in the form of Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision).
Bitcoin ABC stands for “Adjustable Blocksize Cap”, and its proponents argue that the basic structure of BCH is “sound,” and “does not need any radical change”. Proposed changes include “removing software bottlenecks” and enabling node operators to change their block size limit.
The other implementation, Bitcoin “Satoshi’s Vision” or Bitcoin SV, rejects these changes to instead restore retired code from the original bitcoin protocol and increases the block size from 32 MB to 128 MB.
In the background, there is also a third faction called Bitcoin Unlimited, led by Andrew Clifford. They are proposing, as expected, a compromise between Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV. Bitcoin Unlimited was pushed to the sidelines as Ver and Wright fought on social media, but there are people who believe that they could be the real winners after all.
In the lead-up to this event, threats of chain sabotage by avid Bitcoin SV supporter Craig Wright suggested the potential use of hash power to mine both a Bitcoin SV chain and, it that way, create empty blocks on an opposing Bitcoin ABC chain, which could fatally damage operations on the opposing network.
Bitcoin ABC supporters did not see this as a possibility, but Bitcoin SV’s mining pools consolidated much of the hash power on the network, proving that they could follow through if necessary.
Mining pool Mempool mined the first block of Bitcoin SV, with SVPool and Coingeek mining subsequent blocks. Mining pools Bitcoin.com, BTC.com and Antpool have controlled the ABC action to date.
Yesterday, mining pool Bitcoin.com released an announcement to users saying all hash power going into mining the bitcoin blockchain would be temporarily deployed to mine Bitcoin ABC blocks.
Though this announcement received negative feedback from those who claimed the organization had no legal right to redirect mining support in this way, data on the site indicates that starting at 17:30 UTC the mining pool has steadily been reallocating hash power in support of the Bitcoin ABC blockchain. 133 blocks have been mined under the new consensus rules and at the time of writing, Bitcoin ABC was 49 blocks ahead.
According to numbers on Coinmarketcap, the comparative value estimated of both bitcoin cash cryptocurrencies is currently about $83 for Bitcoin SV and $284 for Bitcoin ABC.
Gleamy Post-Fork Universe
BCH holders can expect to see some crazy fluctuations. Wright has already threatened to begin a 51 percent attack on the Bitcoin ABC blockchain if his SV gains a majority of the hash-rate on the network. While ABC expects to draw hash power from Bitmain’s bitcoin hash pools, the overall ugliness of the situation could lead BCH to new lows and may even threaten the original bitcoin’s value for a while.
The numbers can always change, but there is a chance that supporters could move from one chain to the other, and there are other resources being included to strengthen the chains. Many platforms are watching this hard fork play out, leaving the community in the dark about the future of Bitcoin Cash until a resolution happens.
According to the underlying architecture of Bitcoin Cash, if Bitcoin SV manages to 51% say in the hash power, it can launch attacks on the minority chain. And Wright’s intention shows he is much likely to do it.
Peter Rizun, the chief scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited says that the upcoming hash war is the biggest test for Bitcoin network’s underlying security assumption, called the “honest majority”.
Bitcoin whitepaper says that the honest majority assumption depends on the basis the 51% nodes should behave non-maliciously for guaranteed security.
“The security of blockchains come from economic incentives, not from math. We cross our fingers and hope that a group of attacker nodes will choose to play by the rules. Maybe they won’t. The coming hash battle is putting Satoshi’s assumption to the test.”
CoinGeek Planning an Attack Against ABC?
Bitcoin ABC’s self-proclaimed “benevolent dictator,” Amaury Séchet, said that he believes, due to metrics that are publicly available, that BCH mining pool CoinGeek is presently preparing an attack against the ABC chain. He cited the fact that they did not appear to be using anywhere near their normal 2 exahash worth of mining power in the immediate aftermath of the fork.
Joining the chat he said:
“If you think you have a better plan, and I think with BCH we have a better plan than BTC, then you can compete on the open market, and either we’re right, and we end up winning, or we’re wrong and BTC ends up winning, and that’s all good and fine and that’s market competition.
What we are seeing right now, though – or rather, what we are not seeing right now, is CoinGeek and BMG’s hashrate. Right? It’s completely gone. It’s not winning, mining anywhere that we can see. What that tells me is, you know, they have not thrown like 2 exahash at this, right? So they are preparing some kind of attack.
And right now we are not in a situation where people compete in an open market. We’re in a situation where we have an adversary that, you know, that is planning an attack. And so we need to consider them an attacker at this point.”
He added though, that if they are going to launch an attack against BCHABC, they will have to be treated as such.
The threat, according to the lead developer, is from the hash that exists which can feasibly attack the Bitcoin ABC network. “The hashrate that is missing right now that we’re not seeing anywhere,” he specified.
The question of where CoinGeek’s hash has gone is a good one. Potentially, it is mining regular BTC since it is no longer all required in order to mine Bitcoin SV, or it is mining Bitcoin ABC, which has seen a notable uptick in hashrate, but it is just as possible that it is preparing for a nefarious purpose as Séchet describes.
Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Caused “Crypto Civil War”
Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency investment firm BKCM, has said the market is experiencing a “crypto civil war” as the announced “hard fork” in Bitcoin Cash failed to gain consensus among peers in the community.
The disagreement is behind the plunging digital currency market, with Bitcoin losing the $6,000 handle on Wednesday.
“Things exploded on Wednesday as Bitcoin dropped below $6,000 and is gradually approaching the $5,000 mark. The imminent software upgrade of Bitcoin Cash, born out of a Bitcoin hard fork by developers wanting to increase Bitcoin’s block size limit is, to blame.
When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing. So, we’ve got ourselves a ‘crypto civil war’ […] People started selling. That triggered stops. Everybody got concerned. And that’s what happened today — the entire market sell-down.”
Meltem Demirors, CEO of cryptocurrency research firm CoinShares, claims that some investment funds have taken “some money off the table” after a number of events piled up.
“I think all other assets that are not Bitcoin are in the midst of a liquidity crisis. What we’re seeing across the board is asset prices are down 75 percent or more, in some cases 95 percent. We’re now at a point where projects are running out of money. They’re going to need to start firing employees. They’re going to need to cut costs. You’re going to see consolidation, and some of these assets, inevitably, will get marked to zero.”
Did You Like Prison So Much?
Aside from the currently happening war between BCHABC and BCHSV, their supporters are also on fire on Twitter.
While waiting for the hardfork to complete, Jihan Wu, the proponent of BCHABC is retweeting all comments coming from his supporters.
Craig Wright’s comments on Roger Ver’s using Bitcoin.com hashpower to mine BCHABC during the hardfork were totally covering his style.
Wright warned Ver that such actions would bring him back to prison after reminding that Japan is a member of Interpol. “Did you like prison that much?” he tweeted.
His statement is captured and given an “interesting comment” that referred to him as “Bad Satoshi”, saying, “Can someone give him a lollipop so he can stop this tantrum.”
The hardfork is not over yet, at it leaves us to wait and see. Or, how the self-proclaimed Satoshi Craig Wright sad: “Hash competitions are a marathon, not a sprint.”