BitcoinCash.org announced that on November 15th, 2018, its network will undergo a planned upgrade. This hard fork may see the formation of two separate chains: Bitcoin Cash ABC and SV (Satoshi Version). This separation derives from disagreements in the consensus of developers, miners, and contributors. In particular, the opposing views of Jihan Wu (the founder of Bitmain) and Roger Ver, and Craig Wright and Calvyn Aire (Founder of Coingeek). The two camps have their own beliefs and interests which they want the project to follow. However, the reality is that each side is looking to gain control, profits, and personal fame.
Bitcoin Cash is a blockchain that split from the original Bitcoin strand (Bitcoin core) in August 2017. The developers at the time, especially Roger Ver, believed that Bitcoins’ data block sizes (1 MB) were too small and restrictive. And that they needed to be larger to achieve mainstream adoption. Therefore, a hard fork occurred and Bitcoin Cash was created with 8 MB data blocks in the blockchain. Bitcoin Cash became an instant success, speeding up transactions and gaining use. It also became the number four cryptocurrency by market cap.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ABC
If the fork occurs, Roger Ver and Jihan Wu would remain at the head of the original chain: Bitcoin Cash ABC. For Roger Ver’s part, he wants to expedite crypto adoption and pushes BCH to become the number coin in future use, surpassing even Bitcoin. For Jihan Wu, Bitcoin Cash is all about money; BCH is a very large investment. In leaked company documents, it was revealed that Bitmain may own as much as one million dollar BCH.
Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0
The leading cause of the break up of Bitcoin Cash is the proposed upgrades to the network on August 20, 2018. These upgrades include the adding of a new operational code called OP_CHECKDATASIG. This code improves the scripting language to permit validation of messages from outside the blockchain. This will enable the use of oracles and cross-atomic contracts. Also, the upgrades call for Canonical Transaction Ordering; a “technical building block” that will allow for scaling of the network. And finally, there will be some minor miscellaneous fixes and improvements.
The opposing camp construed of Craig Wright, Nchain, and Coingeek believes these changes deviate from the original principles of Bitcoin. Wright stated that the addition of new opcodes essentially alter the intentional time limitations in block creation, security, and stability of the blockchain. However, there are a lot of hidden motives to his statements which make his objections questionable. In particular the self-interest of developing a whole new currency and its associated financial and personal benefits. Jihan Wu and Vitalik Buterin hace been highly critical of Wright, calling him “Fake Satoshi” and a fraud.
The bickering by the two sides however is not about programming codes, but more about money. With the impending securitization of Bitcoin and adoption, there is a race to become the coin for everyday use. And the associated fees from every transaction (from micro-payments to large money transfers) bring the potential for massive profits. Therefore, the two sides are simply jousting for control of Bitcoin Cash and the power and wealth that its success may bring.