Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) Lead Developers Unveils Strategy For Upcoming BCH Hard-Fork


With Bitcoin Cash set to undergo another hardfork on November 15, 2018, there have been debates in the Bitcoin Cash community as to what change-set would be best for the network.

Bitcoin Unlimited offers an upgrade strategy

A major subject of discourse in the Bitcoin Cash community is the recently released Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0 and its differences from the upcoming Nchain client Bitcoin SV.

The upcoming hardfork of Bitcoin Cash would be performed by the Bitcoin ABC development team. Bitcoin ABC has already released updates for the new version, but it would not go live until November.

Just after the ABC release, lead developer at Bitcoin Unlimited, Andrew Stone published a plan called “BUIP098: Bitcoin Unlimited’s strategy for the November 2018 hard fork.”

On the 21st of August, Andrew Stone wrote a proposal which outlined a strategy for the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hardfork in November.

Stone explains that there are two change-sets proposed by two different full node clients, stating that Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) plans to implement consensus changes from both organizations.

In doing so, participants will be given the ability to vote for features using BU. Andrew Stone explained:

“There are 2 change-sets proposed for the November 2018 hard fork that have a VARIETY of supporters but can be summarized as coming from Bitcoin ABC and Nchain. It is ironic that these change-sets are mutually compatible, yet both groups reject the other’s changes.”

According to Stone, the “core the rationale behind the rejections seem to be the same used to block group tokenization — fewer changes are better because every change introduces risk”.

According to Stone, both organizations have two different change-sets they would like to see added to the next hard fork this November, and if they both proceed without compromise there could be a blockchain split.

The Bitcoin Unlimited compromise

Stone after proposing a strategy for the future of the network, states the client’s message will be: “Run Bitcoin Unlimited to vote for compromise.”

What this means is that Bitcoin Unlimited will incorporate both change-sets proposed by Nchain and Bitcoin ABC. Stone explained that this can be activated in two ways.

“Either be activated via BIP135 (a generalized form of BIP9 miner voting via version bits), explicit CONFIGURATION, or (development time and feasibility permitting) emergent consensus,”

Activation via the BIP135 will move Bitcoin Cash into a miner voting process that allows individual features to gain agreement before activation.

While activation via explicit configuration will allow users to force the feature “on” or “off” — people running the BUcash full node can quickly react to any hash-power surprises.

Most members of the BCH community appear unhappy with how BU chose to handle the situation between Nchain and Bitcoin ABC developers.

Calvin Ayre remains unmoved

Calvin Ayre who is the founder of Coingeek has stated that he is “firm on restoring the Bitcoin protocol to its original design.” Ayre explains that:

“We need to stop relying upon developer-determined default block caps. The block size is miner-configurable, allowing individual miners to set what MAXIMUM block size they wish to accept from another miner. This approach is similar to Bitcoin Unlimited’s ’emergent consensus’ mechanism for block size, and therefore has precedent,”

After stating the benefits of the “miner’s choice”, Ayer stated that they want all BCH miners to join them in choosing the block size.

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