Make Bitcoin Cash Great Again: Can BCH Avoid a Blockchain Fork Split Using Replay Protection?
The next couple of weeks will be crucial for the BCH. As many would know, the Bitcoin Cash blockchain is looking set for a split. There are many arguments online detailing the point of view of sides of the coin. One thing that most neutral commentators agree on is that this might not be ideal for the industry as a whole. One such view was aired recently by the CEO of Money button, Ryan X Charles.
For the uninitiated, Money Button is an online payment system for websites and apps. Built on the BCH blockchain, it allows for almost instant, nearly free payments across the globe. Thus, when Ryan, a self-professed Bitcoin Cash proponent, recently talked about his concerns, people lent an ear to what he had to say. In a recent video, he details why the forking of the network might not be good and how to go about preventing it.
With less than 10 days to go, the head of Money Button started off by discussing why he was not in favour of the split and how this was a “bad situation”. He discussed the need for a unifying factor to enable the creation of “world money”. This would motivate and allow people to add more value to it, and this is where he reckons the future lies. He voiced his concern that splitting the chain would decidedly be a step back. Along with that, from a technical standpoint, this would decrease the network effect of the chain. He reasons this would not only devalue it in real terms but also affect the overall utility of the Blockchain.
Discussing the history of what led to the launch of Bitcoin Cash, Charles described how it had replay protection; where every transaction had a different fork ID and a different signature algorithm. This was to help differentiate between transactions for Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin [BTC]. However, this split has no such protection. Thus each transaction is valid on both chains. Though this has an inherent risk of being misused, Ryan has advised against implementing replay protection.
He reasoned that it is more important to recognise that there could be two different chains on a single network and accept that some transactions will not know which blockchain it will link up with or even have its own chains. He feels the best way to show that one is “anti-split” is to not implement replay protection. Thus all transactions will be accepted on both chains. This means if a transaction in invalid on one chain, it will be invalid on the other as well. And he is putting his money where his mouth is. Money Button looks to be going this route to provide protection against loss of funds that might happen during the possible split.
It should be noted that the industry as a whole is not adopting this en masse and are being more pragmatic. Some have decided to stop trade until things settle, while Bitcoin.com has announced that they plan to add replay protection to their transactions.
While both the dev teams seem to have passionate and logical reasons to suggest and go forward with their changes, a middle path would be a far better outcome; especially in these bearish market times.