Bitcoin ABC Developers Announce Upgrade Timeline for November 2018 Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

The Bitcoin ABC development team just published their November upgrade timeline for the upcoming network upgrade. Scheduled to be completed on November 15, the hard fork will upgrade Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with new protocol changes.

The November hard fork is expected to be the fourth successful hard fork completed by the Bitcoin Cash community. The first hard fork took place on August 1 when BCH split from BTC, with the next two successful hard forks occurring on November 13, 2017 and May 15, 2018.

The November 2017 hard fork for Bitcoin Cash fixed the network’s difficulty adjustment algorithm (DAA), while the May hard fork increased the block size to 32MB while also re-enabling Satoshi OP_Codes and increasing the default datacarriersize to 220 bytes. All of these protocol changes were designed to enhance the usability and scalability of the Bitcoin Cash network without resorting to centralized scaling solutions like the Lightning Network currently being proposed by legacy bitcoin (BTC) developers.

In any case, the Bitcoin ABC team has officially announced their November 15 hard fork schedule, including the steps leading up to the hard fork. Bitcoin ABC explains in a blog post,

“As the November 15th hardfork upgrade approaches and proposals continue to be discussed,”

“the Bitcoin ABC team would like to set a timeline to ensure a smooth upgrade in November. Using our learnings from the previous fork in May, we want to make sure people are aware of these dates in advance, and more importantly, that the community help us encourage everyone to stick to them.”

There are three key dates with this hard fork upgrade, including August 15, October 15, and November 15.

August 15: Code Complete

The code for the Bitcoin Cash protocol upgrades is expected to be complete on August 15. The Bitcoin ABC cited “higher-than-normal risk associated with protocol upgrades” as the reason for the August 15 deadline.

“Everyone needs time to review the code changes involved,” explains Bitcoin ABC. “To accommodate that, Bitcoin ABC is targeting August 15 as its code completion date.”

Any protocol changes that take place after this date will be pushed to the hard fork scheduled for May 2019.

Over the next five weeks until August 15, all protocol changes must come with an associated spec, tests, and time to review both the spec and tests. All Bitcoin Cash developers are encouraged to have protocol specs near completion in the next few weeks.

Once all code has been received by August 15, testing on the testnet will begin.

October 15: Testnet Deadline and Official Release

October 15 is the date of the testnet deadline and the official release.

“Barring the discovery of any major issues after two months of testnet testing and debugging,” explains Bitcoin ABC. “Bitcoin ABC will launch the official release for version 0.18.”

By launching the official release on October 15, Bitcoin ABC is giving node operators approximately 30 days to upgrade their software in anticipation of the hard fork.

November 15: Hard Fork

The hard fork is expected to take place on November 15. Node operators will be required to upgrade their software prior to this date to ensure compatibility with the new version of Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin Cash has completed three successful hard forks so far, and the November 15 hard fork is expected to be similarly successful. Stay tuned as the code for the November hard fork completes the peer review phase and gets added to the testnet release.

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