Two days ago, on August 8th, the team at Bitcoin ABC released an important message on the soon to come, hard fork in November. ABC’s proposal is to make five significant changes on the codebase of the system. Testing for the changes is happening at an opportune time, starting on August 15th.
The new consensus changes will upgrade the current system to improve it prior to the November Hard Fork. New code that will be released later this month (August 2018) will affect the BCH community as well. Users are preparing for the additional code upgrade. According to ABC Code developer’s the completion of the new codebase is less than a week out, making timeline completion faster than previously anticipated. That means users of BCH must prepare faster than anticipated as well.
Several new changes have been made to the massive codebase. The first to receive an upgrade is regarding canonical transaction ordering. To work effectively, it will operate with a policy that is nearly like the one used to select mempool transactions that go into blocks. A user will send a new block big enough to handle transaction data still waiting for placement on the mempool.
Another improvement is the minimum transaction size of 100 bytes to protect against fraud. The enforced transaction size is currently rejected to some degree by the Bitcoin Cash community, so at this time it is only a proposal.
Next in line for an upgrade is regarding the activation code for implementation of different checks. With the OP_CHECKDATASIG and OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY protocols, signatures are checked to ensure they are valid regarding message hash and public keys.
ABC’s development team’s last announced update is to enforce push-only script signatures. According to outside forums, the ‘upgrade’ is not seen as an improvement by community members.
More changes are taking place as well, like the modified free structure that will allow for lower exchange rates. The change is another that is not accepted by the BCH community who sees it as a strict change to the consensus protocol. The proposed changes are stirring the pot of frustration for users on the platform.
Controversy is normal for cryptocurrency platforms, especially since most people fear change. User’s don’t necessarily see improvements in the same light as developers do, especially when they are being forced to abide by them. ABC developers see the upgrades to improve the versatility of the network, whereas users are seeing them as limitations.
A point made by Nchain’s chief scientist Craig Wright was regarding developers attempting to enforce the push the OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY – those who did would simply be replaced via funding from the community. As he remarked, there are plenty of developers who can fill positions right now. Basically, the push will not happen unless those who are trying to want to lose their titles.
Wright remarked with the hard-hitting statement:
“Miners vote – Think we are not serious. Watch the Axe fall.”
Some people are directly opposed to his distaste for the developer’s choices for ‘upgrades’ to the system. Others are in support of his decision to protest the changes like his good friend Calvin Ayre of Coingeek. Calvin straightforwardly said they would not take any roll in risky protocol changes.
According to Calvin, the regular hard fork of BCH needs to be stopped. A stabilized Bitcoin protocol is needed for multiple reasons. More importantly, the decision for a hard fork needs to be voted on by miners, not decided by developers.
Wright ended his disproval of the changes with the following quote:
“The original Bitcoin protocol – Not a social experiment. If you get in my way… Watch the juggernaut roll!”
What is your opinion on the changes made by ABC and Wright’s retribution against them? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.