Is Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Set To Leapfrog Bitcoin (BTC) With Schnorr Signatures Implementation?
Bitcoin Cash Set To Leapfrog Bitcoin With Schnorr Signatures
The fourth most valuable, by market cap, cryptocurrency in the world is set for a fork. This fork is not looking anything like the previous hard fork and no major split is expected this time around. This is because this latest fork is going to focus on general efficiency, and on scalability issues that have plagued Bitcoin and its many variants for a long time. This has to lead many to think that this will finally put Bitcoin Cash on the fast track to becoming an even bigger player in the market than it currently is, with a chance at taking on the big daddy coin.
This Fork Will Be Different
The Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), the legacy protocol of the original Bitcoin will be replaced on the Bitcoin Cash mainnet. This change is set to happen on May 15th, and the move is set to make transactions leaner than ever before. This will allow more than a few signatures to be verified at the same time.
The reason Bitcoin has not implemented Schnorr signatures is due to the patent conditions that have plagued the algorithm. While these restrictions have now been lifted, Bitcoin has not prepared to switch and has found itself being beaten to the punch by the more agile Bitcoin Cash.
The last fork to happen in the Bitcoin ecosystem was when Bitcoin Cash split into Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Bitcoin Satoshi's Vision (BSV). The split happened due to a difference of opinion on the size of blocks. The gist of the situation is that BSV wanted them to be bigger, putting the number at 128mb, while BCH wanted zero-confirmation transactions.
Craig Wright, the head of BSV, lost the war for the “soul of Bitcoin”. He did not only lose the value war, but also the hash war. Each side attempted to become the dominant chain and BSV roundly lost. They did not only become the lesser of the two tokens, but they lost the PR war. This loss has been compounded by Wright's actions over the last year with lawsuits coming thick and fast. The fallout from this fork lead to a collapse of prices in the cryptocurrency market when it happened.
What's The Fuss All About?
Many people are making a big fuss about Schnorr Signatures being added, and for very good reason. They will add more security to the blockchain, increase the privacy of transactions and most importantly they will increase speed to transactions. Each signature requiring less memory space is most likely the main reason for the implementation as Bitcoin Cash has its eyes on becoming the world's first true, global payment system.
Which is why getting ahead of Bitcoin Core is such an important aspect of this switch. Bitcoin Cash never wanted to become more valuable – they just wanted to become a proper method of payment. This requires efficiency which is what Schnorr Signatures offer. Storage and bandwidth will both be reduced by close to 25% which will dramatically increase the scalability of the platform. Scalability has always been a bone of contention with regards to Bitcoin Core.
There is also the linearity property that the Schnorr Signature algorithm allows. It gives multiple users may actually produce a single signature that would then be valid for all the individual public keys. That allows for transaction signers to remain anonymous, which is becoming an ever more important factor when people look to cryptocurrency these days. Particularly in light of some of the newer blockchain projects that have abysmal privacy measures in place.
Bitcoin Not Stagnant
However, all this doesn't mean that Bitcoin will remain stagnant. Far from it – the development team is busy with a plethora of changes that are focused particularly on the scalability issues that have plagued the venerable coin for so long.
Introducing SegWit in August 2017 kicked off a serious push by Bitcoin to improve these issues of scalability and the continued expansion of the Lightning Network as a second tier protocol shows promising signs for the future. Peter Wuille has also pushed for the inclusion of both Taproot and Schnorr signatures in the Bitcoin roadmap. The boost of popularity that Bitcoin Cash will receive for getting there first might not be enough to push it over the edge.
All that is for the medium future, because right now Bitcoin Cash is first to migrate and that can only be good for the overall cryptocurrency ecosystem. Schnorr Signatures are finally here, and this implementation will lead the way in showing just how good (or bad) it turns out to be in practice.