Crypto Community Spotlights Bitcoin Cash’s Potential Centralization With Questionable Checkpoint By BAB (BCH ABC)
Unannounced Introduction Of Checkpoint By Bitcoin Cash ABC Sparks Controversies
The 15th November hardfork of Bitcoincash into BCH ABC and BCH SV is finally over and as of now, it looks like Bitcoin Cash ABC chain is winning the civil war. It has more accumulated proof of work and is trading at a higher value on future exchanges.
Although, there is a catch with BCH ABC. On the day of the hardfork ABC client’s lead developer Amaury Séchet (deadalnix) released an update. The update came with a feature whose inclusion sparked controversies. It was their “Checkpoint” feature.
Just a look at the replies on this Twitter thread will give you an idea about how outraged the public was. One of the replies said:
“Fork checkpoint.., post fork checkpoint… lol that's what I called decentralized. Well done ABC, you have killed PoW. Nothing stopping you from mining 100% of blocks and checkpointing. What a parody of bitcoin.”
Another user added:
“Upgrade? It's a total Power grab. ABCs changes have alienated over 50% of the community. SV is simply keeping bitcoin, at scale. Why do you want to make all these contentious changes? Bitcoin went to 20k but you think you can do better? Really ?”
Do these comments have any grounds? Is BCH ABC really not decentralized and are they grabbing power?
The checkpoint demands formation of the first Bitcoin Cash ABC block as a new protocol rule. Any chain without this block would be considered invalid by the Bitcoin ABC software client. This has the consequence that rival miners will be unable to override the complete Bitcoin Cash ABC chain. This notably is one of the possible threats in a “hash war.”
Former Blockstram CTO, Gregory Maxwell notes:
“Most of their usefulness is that they prevent a dos attacker from filling up bitcoin node’s disk space with long runs of low difficulty blocks forked off low in the chain. e.g. you start off with difficulty 1 blocks at block 0, now mine-able by the millions by a single asic— _MAYBE_ a chain that starts off that way could eventually turn out to be the longest so absent the checkpoints a node would happily follow an endlessly long chain of them.”
Although, it seems like it implies central control of the Bitcoin ABC development team over the BCH ABC chain. A checkpoint is seen to reverse this proof-of-work consensus mechanism when nodes follow the longest valid proof-of-work chain. This starts the chance of the checkpoint causing another split in the future. One who support the checkpoint and one who doesn’t.
The ABC team is deliberating a centralized resolution to introduce a checkpoint very high up in the blockchain.