There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the planned November 15th Bitcoin Cash Fork event, but one thing is certain: cryptocurrency's biggest proponent, Roger Ver, Executive Chairman of Bitcoin.com, is not a fan of the planned upgrades to the network that takes place every six months.
"If PayPal had known that this type of controversial fork was likely to happen, they might not have added bitcoin cash at all to their roadmap," Ver said in an interview with CoinDesk, referring to PayPal's recent announcement to add cryptocurrencies – bitcoin- Contain cash – to his system. “So having these controversial hard forks is really a big problem. I would like to see this end. "
At the time of going to press, PayPal did not respond to CoinDesk's request for comment on the upcoming fork event. Paxos, the company that provides crypto services for PayPal, declined CoinDesk's request to comment on the issue.
A bitcoin fork known for forks
As opposed to a “soft fork” that allows un-upgraded and upgraded nodes to continue to interact with each other, a hard fork is a software upgrade that implements a new rule in the blockchain that is incompatible with the older software. As a result, developers tend to be extremely conservative when adopting hard forks, and usually try to ensure that there is community consensus on these types of code changes. However, some hard forks have been controversial. In these cases the blockchain is split into two different versions when some nodes on a network use a hard fork and others do not. One with the old software and one with the new software.
Bitcoin Cash itself is the result of a tough diversion from Bitcoin after a group in the Bitcoin community who advocated the literal interpretation of Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper insisted on increasing the block size. They pushed for a hard ramification of the original Bitcoin blockchain as they view inexpensive peer-to-peer transactions as the core value of the blockchain.
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Today, as the most well-known branch of Bitcoin, the Bitcoin Cash network is updated every six months, and a chain split can occur if the community fails to meet consensus requirements. An example is when Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) deviated from Bitcoin Cash on November 15, 2018.
The Bitcoin Cash hard fork, expected on November 15, is the result of a blockchain update proposal by a group called Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCH ABC) led by developer Amaury Sechet. The update contains a controversial new "Coinbase Rule", according to which 8% of the Bitcoin cash mined must be redistributed to Bitcoin ABC as a means of financing the protocol development.
Developers with "too much money"
This funding approach has sparked a debate within the BCH community about the governance and development of the software on which the Bitcoin Cash blockchain runs.
The group, led by developers at BCH ABC, believes that organized and consistent efforts should be made to make Bitcoin cash a universal digital payment. Therefore, according to Chris Troutner, a developer who previously worked at Ver & # 39; s bitcoin.com and is related to Sechet's BCH ABC group, developers should be funded by the Bitcoin Cash network.
However, an antagonistic group against this funding mechanism, including Ver, said that since the software is an open source protocol, developers should volunteer to improve the protocol and seek financial resources elsewhere.
Ver went a step further and said the problem with the Bitcoin Cash network is that developers have "too much money".
"I think the way (bitcoin) got off the rails with bitcoin cash is that developers had too much money and then started developing and tinkering with too many different things, which created a problem on the network . "
Troutner, who told CoinDesk that it will support both chains after the fork, said the real problem behind the dispute is a collective hatred against Sechet. Sechet's BCH ABC has been leading the planned Bitcoin Cash updates for the past several years, Troutner said. And the Sechet team has always wanted to implement this funding mechanism.
"(BCH ABC's opponents) want Amaury Sechet to leave the ecosystem," he said.
Read more: Ethereum's "unannounced hard fork" tried to prevent the disruption it caused
Ver said he didn't think the fork would happen as planned, saying only about 0.2% of the blocks mined on Bitcoin Cash signaled support for Bitcoin ABC.
At the time of going to press, of the last 1,000 blocks mined on Bitcoin Cash, around 80% signaled support for the Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) and only 0.3% for Bitcoin ABC, according to Coin Dance.
What the data may indicate is that a diversion will take place as the BCH ABC software upgrade is not supported by the majority of miners as more blocks signal support for BCHN. That will force BCH ABC to break away from the old chain, said Aidan Mott, an analyst at Messari.
On the other hand, Troutner believes the data may have hampered actual support for BCH ABC.
"If you think about it in terms of game theory, some miners are probably rightly signaling for BCH, but other miners planning to mine on ABC are probably signaling for BCHN too because they want their competitors to mine on that chain," so explained Troutner. "That makes it easier for them to break down blocks in the ABC chain."
Exchange and "fork fatigue"
Verse early argument is that service providers like PayPal can be frustrated by a cryptocurrency blockchain that is constantly going through forking events. This type of frustration already occurs with the crypto exchange. Although it is unclear which chain will become the dominant chain after the diversion, some major crypto exchanges have already announced their support for BCHN, which will inherit the Bitcoin Cash name, assuming the BCH ABC would get the minority of nodes.
In a post by Kraken on Nov. 6, the exchange said it would support BCHN "regardless of the outcome of the fork".
"Bitcoin Cash Node tokens are referred to as 'Bitcoin Cash' on our platform and represented by the 'BCH' ticker symbol," Kraken said in the Post. "We will ONLY support Bitcoin Cash ABC if the hash power in the ABC network is at least 10% of the hash power in the Bitcoin Cash Node network."
"Exchanges need to empower themselves to know what their customers want, which means they understand the nature of the miners' consensus, but also the positions of the development teams," Mott said. "With that in mind, just keeping support and just running the Bitcoin Cash Node network software would be a pretty easy decision."
Since the prices of the two newly split cryptocurrencies are determined by supply and demand in the market, exchanges play an important role as they assign the new tokens to their customers.
Another important implication from Krakens Post is that the exchanges can also decide which new chain will be named Bitcoin Cash.
Read More: Roger Ver's Mining Pool Supports Bitcoin Cash Dev Fund Due To Chain Split Threat
Ver claimed that Bitcoin Cash was less popular than Bitcoin because the latter took the name "Bitcoin" after the hard fork. Since then, marketing has been one of the biggest obstacles to the mass adoption of Bitcoin Cash, according to Ver.
The market cap of Bitcoin cash at the time of writing is roughly $ 4.88 billion, however, Bitcoin has a market cap of $ 283.28 billion, according to CoinDesk 20.
"When the split happened, the Bitcoin Cash version had all of the properties that initially popularized Bitcoin, but the other version that didn't have those properties got the Bitcoin name and infrastructure," Ver said. "Bitcoin Cash has rebuilt the entire infrastructure and brand awareness from the ground up."
In this case, BCHN is ahead of BCH ABC, as shown by the support of the exchanges when it goes by the name Bitcoin Cash.