What’s to Come Right After the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Blockchain Mining Hashrate Power War?
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is going to experiment a hard fork in the coming hours. This planned upgrade could lead to two new virtual currencies and blockchain networks, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC.
During the last days, the BCH community has experienced a so-called ‘hash war’ in which mining pools started to define which of the two networks they were going to back. At the very beginning, most of the community supposed that Bitcoin ABC was going to be the winner, nevertheless, Bitcoin SV currently has most of the hash power.
Controlling most of the miners in the network, there is a possibility to launch a 51% attack in the other network. This is something that Bitcoin SV might eventually do once the hard fork occurs. Craig Wright and Calvin Ayre support the Bitcoin SV proposal. Roger Ver and Jihan Wu are on Bitcoin ABC’s side.
Peter Rizun, the chief scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited, says that the hard fork is a test of the ‘honest majority’ explained in the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper. This assumption is based on the premise that security is guaranteed if a 51 per cent of nodes does not behave in a malicious way.
Rizun Commented On The Matter:
“The security of blockchains come from economic incentives, not from math. We cross our fingers and hope that a group of attacker nodes will choose to play by the rules. Maybe they won’t. The coming hash battle is putting Satoshi’s assumption to the test.”
After the hard fork there will be a blockchain split in which both networks will be fighting in order to be considered the ‘true’ network. Nevertheless, the networks did not add support to ‘replay protection,’ which allows funds to be safely spent as soon as a split occurs.
It is very important for users to be careful about transacting at the time of the split because hackers and attackers could exploit the lack of replay protection. At the time of writing, Bitcoin SV is currently controlling a larger amount of hash power than Bitcoin ABC.
With 51% of the hash power, it is possible for the majority (this time Bitcoin SV) could perform a so-called ‘double-spend attack.’ WIth this hash power, it is possible for Bitcoin SV to produce blocks in secret with false transactions and insert these transactions on the blockchain.
There are other issues that can arise from the upcoming hard fork and hash war. It is possible for an attacker to le the Bitcoin ABC chain grow and then perform an attack overriding blocks. This could cause users to lose several millions of dollars.
Another thing that could be performed by a malicious network is to spam the other proposal and make transactions take more time to confirm and spam the whole network. This is known as ‘Satoshi’s shotgun’ and it might generate over 800 transactions per second in the network.
Rizun has also said that there is a possibility of experiencing a ‘fair fight.’ In this case, Bitcoin SV would just prevent changes in the ABC network to be activated.
Moreover, he said that Bitcoin SV could mine blocks that are valid for both of the implementations but that would punish miners that attempt to activate ABC changes. The network would simply refuse to include these changes in a block. This would ultimately lead to ABC miners to give up on the changes.
Although this is the most cost efficient thing to do, it might be complicated to do it from a technical point of view.
Rizun is very excited about the outcome of the upcoming hard fork and how these networks are going to be working in order to ‘battle’ in different scenarios. This would provide a clear answer about how strong these networks are and how they can be enhanced.
“People think you just make a blockchain and it becomes secure by some mathematical pixy dist. It doesn’t,” Rizun said.