The upcoming Bitcoin Cash [BCH] hard fork on November 15 has had the cryptocurrency community in a tizzy concerning its outcome. Those involved in the heart of the discussion have also begun speaking up, with Craig Wright, the proponent of Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision and Jihan Wu, the CEO of Bitmain, firing shots at each other regarding the fork.
Wu is pushing for the adoption of a protocol known as Wormhole on the BCH blockchain, which would effectively allow the coin to become a platform for programming and executing smart contracts. This would allow for the issuance of other assets on the BCH blockchain, similar to the Ethereum network.
Craig Wright, on the other hand, wishes to bring Bitcoin back to the way Satoshi Nakamoto, who he claims is himself, envisioned it. The implementation is known as Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision and will lock in the base protocols at Bitcoin v0.1.0 and increase the block size to 128MB. This has led to his vocal criticism of Wu’s idea, leading him to state that he was pushing for a change of the BCH protocol to Proof of Stake.
Now, more recently, Wu has taken to calling Wright a spy working for Blockstream. He stated:
“From the very beginning I have had a conspiracy theory that CSW is a spy controlled by Blockstream.”
This was in response to a screenshot posted by Vin Armani, the CTO of CoinText, which showed Gregory Maxwell, the CTO of Blockstream, reportedly talking to Craig Wright. The email stated:
“I see now that Roger Ver, Rick Falkvinge, Olivier Janssens, and Jihan Wu appear to be aggressively attacking you in public and trying to distance BCH from you. To the best of my knowledge all of these parties previously believed in you. It seems to me that it is simply a matter of time before a forceful public denunciation by someone previously cited as proof of your merit, such as Gavin, brings things crashing down around you.”
This is in reference to Gavin Anderson, one of the few individuals that worked on Bitcoin with Satoshi himself, who claims that Craig Wright is indeed the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. However, many of the BCH community seem to disagree,
User Melik Manukyan on Twitter stated:
“Craig S. Wright
C S W
Core S W
Core Segregated W
Core Segregated Witness Core/Segwit
Craig S. Wright is a secret @Blockstream agent sent in to undermine the true #Bitcoin and destroy Satoshi’s Vision.”
User Bittburger seems to be in disagreement with Wu, stating:
‘Honestly Jihan you’ve shown about 100x more suppprt of Core than CSW has. His entire campaign has been the downfall of Core and Blockstream. While you have almost singlehandedly kept them in power. Please move your hashpower to BCH”
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BSV STN is mining 1.4-gigabyte blocks; Is this a scaling solution or a journey towards centralization?
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,
So the #BSV test network mined 6 blocks over 1GB 👀
Two of them were 1.4GB & one of these contained 359,793 transactions! Check out https://t.co/tArDkAwpFR
Just wait until this is happening on main net! 🙂
Are you paying attention yet??#BSV is #Bitcoin #CraigisSatoshi
— Conor McGee – $two2wheel2life (@two2wheel2life) May 22, 2019
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.
“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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