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Bitcoin Cash [BCH] hard fork: Cobra changes his tune, supports BCHSV after calling Cobra client “the real BCH”

Anirudh VK



Bitcoin Cash [BCH] hard fork: Cobra changes his tune, supports BCHSV after calling Cobra client "the real BCH"
Source: Unsplash

The upcoming hard fork for Bitcoin Cash [BCH] has long been coming, with the community finding divides within themselves for features to be included. Primary suggestions include Bitcoin ABC, backed by Jihan Wu, the CEO of Bitmain, and Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, realizing his vision of the Bitcoin protocol in his implementation.

However, around late August, an unlikely competitor joined the fray. Cobra, the anonymous handler of the website, announced his support for Bitcoin Cash and announced that he would also release an implementation for the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. It was pitched as an implementation which included replay protection and prevention of transactions from being replayed across multiple chains in case of a chain split.

Along with the client, Cobra also promised a hashpower of 25% of the existing Bitcoin Cash hashpower of the time, with continued use of the “BCH” ticker symbol on a “major cryptocurrency trading platform”. This was set to provide a safe option for businesses and other companies that used BCH as payment. He stated during its launch:

“Bitcoin Cash as will be implemented by the Cobra Client is the real Bitcoin Cash. All other versions of Bitcoin Cash (ABC and nChain) are scams and go against community consensus by pushing controversial changes.”

However, Cobra seems to have now changed his tune, as he has now turned his support to the Craig Wright/Coingeek faction of the BCH community. For further clarity, Wright is pushing “Satoshi’s Vision” version of Bitcoin Cash and aims to lock in the original Bitcoin 0.1.0 protocol with a block size increase to 128MB from the existing 32MB. This is to improve the scalability of the blockchain. Cobra said in a tweet earlier today:

“In the upcoming Bitcoin Cash fork, I will be running and supporting Bitcoin SV. We need to stop adding too many new features all at once, and the protocol as implemented by Bitcoin SV makes the least changes. We must look past individuals and just focus purely at the technology.”

However, he also elaborated on his decision, stating that Bitmain controls and manipulates the Bitcoin Cash community. He called it a “Chinese monopoly”, and added:

“They are trying to become a more powerful version of Blockstream, and @deadalnix is just their puppet. They force changes through without consensus. Let’s free Bitcoin Cash from BITMAIN control and return it back to its users.”

However, he also mentioned that if SV became “corrupted”, another fork away was the solution. This comes at a time when Bitcoin Cash, as per ABC’s vision, is to implement Wormhole, a smart contracts platform backed by Bitmain. This, along with Canonical Transaction Ordering and OP_CHECKDATASIG, lays the groundwork for Bitcoin Cash becoming more scalable than it is today.

The hard fork is scheduled to take place at UNIX timestamp 1542300000, or November 15. A hard fork will result in a duplication of tokens, and it is left to see who will hold on to the ticker symbol and continue the longest chain by Nakamoto Consensus.

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Anirudh VK is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. He has a passion for writing and interest towards the future of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. He does not own any cryptocurrencies currently.

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BSV STN is mining 1.4-gigabyte blocks; Is this a scaling solution or a journey towards centralization?




Source: Unsplash

Bitcoin SV, the fork of Bitcoin Cash, has set up an STN [Scaling Test Network], specifically intended to test on-chain scaling for large blocks, which also acts as a standard network in the latest update of Bitcoin SV. It was noted that the STN was mining blocks that were more than 1 GB in block size, a development that was celebrated in the BSV camp after a Twitter user, @two2wheel2life, tweeted,

BSV has a total of four such networks defined, i.e., Mainnet, testnet, regtest, and STN. According to the website, STN was implemented to reduce the impact of scalability testing on testnet and to preserve testnet as a network for testing of applications built on top of Bitcoin SV, without requiring testnet users to make significant hardware available.

Block 11891 on the STN was 0.95 GB in size and processed a total of 9530 transactions in the block. Block 11901 was 1 GB in size, and block 11902 was 1.4 GB in size, which could possibly be the biggest block mined on the STN.


Is Bigger Better?

The question of bigger block sizes has sparked quite a few debates, be it Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Bitcoin SV. It was one of the reasons why Bitcoin Cash forked from Bitcoin and why Bitcoin SV forked from Bitcoin Cash.

However, does massive block size really solve the scaling problem without any drawbacks? The Operations Manager of STN, Brad Kristensen, had some interesting things to say to AMBCrypto about the recent achievements of the STN.

Brad stated,

“We’re very pleased with the results, and I think it’s a strong signal of what is to come from Bitcoin SV on mainnet as we continue to increase adoption. The STN is running the same public release available right now (0.2.0). Anyone can join the STN to test their applications /services.”

According to BSV’s roadmap, the first upgrade for the project will be ‘Quasar,’ which is proposed for July 24, 2019, and will concentrate on scaling by increasing the default block size hard cap.

Centralization or scaling?

Andreas Antonopoulos, a prominent Bitcoin advocate, had a different opinion on the rise in block size for Bitcoin SV. When AMBCrypto reached out to him, he commented,

“Large blocks have a centralizing effect on mining and node operators. It is unlikely that the main BTC chain will increase the blocksize as it has taken a different path for scaling, via layer-2 payment channels (Lightning Network) and on-chain optimizations (Segwit, Schnorr etc.).”

As stated by Antonopoulos at the ‘Bitcoins in Bali’ meetup on June 27, 2017, if the block size is increased in orders of magnitude at a rate that is proportional to the increase in user base, a difficult problem will emerge wherein Bitcoin transitions from a decentralized to a centralized system.

Additionally, Antonopoulos said,

“If my block takes 11 minutes to validate, then i’m off the blockchain, which means fewer people can validate independently, which means the system becomes centralized. With which one of these increases, fewer people can participate in the validation process, fewer people can participate in storing the data, and fewer people can participate in being independent actors. We go from a system that is decentralized to a system that gradually gets more and more centralized.”

The above gives a clear idea of what could happen if the block size increases. However, Craig Wright announced in one of his Medium articles of his plans to increase the block size, giving his opinion on the same,

“The reality is that scaling on-chain is much simpler than anyone likes to admit. There is nothing special to be done in order to achieve this, it is just allowing commercial systems to compete and to remove the false idea that home use and hobby nodes need to be subsidized”

So, how will BSV fare? Will it still be successful after implementing larger blocksize or will it accept the centralization that comes with increased block sizes? Only time will tell.

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