On November 15, 2018, Bitcoin Cash has a scheduled hard fork. The community is debating about it since there are two different groups that have opposed visions about that. Both sides have been working with their developing teams, publishing papers and testing all the features available.
The situation is clearly confusing for some people that is trying to know how these two groups think. The two main sides are the Bitcoin ABC development team and supporters of this client, and the Nchain development team with the Bitcoin SV clients’ proponents.
Bitcoin ABC supporters and its developing team propose an opcode called OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY (DSV) which would aim the scripting of Bitcoin Cash. Moreover, it would also include canonical transaction ordering (CTOR), and other minor technical improvements.
At the same time, the Nchain team and its client Bitcoin SV want different features. That is, an upgrade to 128 MB block size increase, include the opcodes: OP_UL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, OP_INVERT, and finally remove the 201 opcodes per script.
Craig Wright is Nchain’s chief scientist. He is completely opposed to the Bitcoin ABC proposal. And there are many others that support the Bitcoin SV proposal. The blockchain and mining firm CoinGeek has also shown its support to Nchain’s idea.
There are several individuals and companies that are supporting one or the other side. One of the main debates was focused on CTOR and its idea. Andrew Stone, for example, criticized the proposal arguing that it would not scale. Coingeek has also published its own position on the matter.
Nonetheless, Electron Cash famous developer, Jonald Fyookball, gave an explanation why CTOR should be added to the Bitcoin Cash protocol. Mark Blundeberg has also given a comprehensive technical dive into canonical transaction ordering. Other supporters of this proposal are the Bitcoin Miner Jonathan Toomim and the BCH mining pool Rawpool.
Toomim commented on the matter:
“During the stress test, blocks propagated through the non-China mainnet at around 300-1000 kB/s – This is pretty slow, and would cause problems with orphan rates if block sizes were frequently larger than 8 MB unless we improve our block propagation algorithms.”
The OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY (DSV) has also been discussed. Craig Wright says that DSV opens many issues, something that is in line with what other experts think.
Owen Vaughan, Nchain’s senior researcher, wrote a paper in which he explains that arbitrary messages can be directly signed and verified in Bitcoin Cash script without having to introduce new opcodes.
Blundeberg has also written an extensive and explanatory post in which he explains that DSV has several benefits. One of them is called ‘Pay To Identity’ – which is a proposed use of the so called OP_CHECKDATASIG.
The community has several things and topics to discuss about and the hard fork is just going to happen in november. However, the teams would ultimately allow the decision of the majority hashrate.
Additionally, there are some advocates that believe that the block limit should be completely removed. Nonetheless, the stress test showed some important problems related to the introduction of blocks larger than 8 MB.