BitMEX to Launch ‘Bitcoin BitMEX Research’ Software Fork Client To Compete With Bitcoin Core

Trading Platform BitMEX To Launch A Software Client To Compete With Bitcoin Core

Earlier this week, in a lengthy post, crypto trading platform BitMEX announced that it will launch its own Bitcoin software client to compete with reference implementation and industry standard Bitcoin Core.

BitMEX Research said that it chose to release its own BTC client to help correct the misunderstanding that open-source software repository Bitcoin Core is in charge of the cryptocurrency’s development and “has the unique capability to change or prevent changes to Bitcoin’s consensus rules.”

The Three Competing Approaches

  • Competition between chains: A competing project which deliberately changes the consensus rules to the current implementation. Both soft and hard forks fall into this category, and the potential risk is that this could split the coin into two chains. Although, of course, this could be the intention. Whilst competition over the consensus rules can allow bitcoin to adapt over time, too much disagreement risks damaging the stability of the coin. This kind of competition should therefore only occur with widespread community support, or by launching a new coin.
  • Competition between independent implementations: A reimplementation of bitcoin without using the Core code. This could be to streamline or utilize the benefits of a different programming language. The risk here is that any different to the consensus behavior may cause an accidental chain split. A diversity of clients would be a key strength against any bugs in a dominant implementation.
  • Other competing software projects: These neither change the consensus rules nor re-implement the codebase. Achieved by creating a software fork of the project and making only non-consensus changes. BitMEX claims that these projects are neither risky nor controversial, as far as they can tell.

BitMEX Launches New Client

BitMEX also announced their own new client to compete with Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin BitMEX Research. This falls into the “Other competing software projects” category. It aims to reduce the network’s reliance on a single major software repository without introducing new risks to the ecosystem. To that end, it will neither implement consensus changes that would force a hard fork nor attempt to re-implement the protocol by rewriting the codebase. Instead, it will launch its client as a fork from Core.

“Since it is a software fork of Bitcoin Core, it carries none of the risks of not being a bug for bug compatible, like Satoshi was concerned about,” the authors added.

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