On August 20, 2018, maintainers of the most used full node BCH client have announced the release of Bitcoin ABC version 0.18.0. The version release follows the recent announcement from the firm Nchain, who recently revealed they were launching a client called Bitcoin SV, but with completely different upgrade features.
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Bitcoin ABC Developers Launch Version 0.18.0 With Consensus Changes
Even though Bitcoin ABC was late on delivery the developers released exactly what they initially described in the development team’s roadmap five days later on August 20. On Wednesday, August 8 the ABC programmers disclosed a list of consensus changes they planned on adding to the version 18 codebase. After the announcement the chief scientist of the blockchain firm Nchain, Craig Wright, denounced the client developers for adding OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY (CDSV), and said that the change would never take place.
Fast forward to August 16, when Nchain revealed to the community that the company was launching another Bitcoin Cash client called ‘Bitcoin SV.’ The client is said to be based off the Bitcoin ABC v0.17.2 codebase, but also contains three completely different consensus changes in contrast to the ABC developers desired upgrades.
Now the version 18 ABC client is here, and contains the following consensus changes for this coming November:
A new opcode called OP_CHECKDATASIG that improves the BCH scripting language to permit the validation of messages from outside the blockchain. This will enable uses such as oracles and cross-chain atomic contracts.
The introduction of canonical transaction ordering. This is a technical building block that lays the foundation for massive scaling improvements in the future.
Several minor technical fixes and improvements.
The developers detail that all Bitcoin ABC users should upgrade to version 18 as soon as possible for the November 15 upgrade.
“We aim to work in the best interests of miners, investors, and users of Bitcoin Cash, and to collaborate and coordinate with other teams and projects in the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem,” explains the ABC developers. “Bitcoin ABC 0.18.0 grew out of this collaborative process — It implements network upgrade features developed with input and collaboration from many different groups.”
It is an important step in the process of careful and incremental technical progress to improve the utility of Bitcoin Cash and enable massive on-chain scaling.
Will the BCH Community See Two Incompatible Clients Next Month?
Following the release, the Bitcoin Cash community, of course, began to discuss the latest version release and how it will be different than Bitcoin SV. The creator of the social network Yours.org, Ryan X Charles said a few words to his followers after the announcement:
ABC moving forward with hard fork changes (CO, DSV) incompatible with Nchain and Coingeek’s hard fork plan (128 MB limit). We may end up having to run multiple nodes and pausing payments if the nodes disagree. What are BU, XT, and others going to do?
After the statement from Ryan X Charles, a good portion of the community argued about each side of the debate ferociously. Some BCH supporters sided with ABC’s proposed consensus changes; some sided with Nchain and Coingeek’s Bitcoin SV concept and upgrade features. Most of the BCH crowd explained they would wait for miners like Bitmain and Viabtc to speak up about ABC’s new code and the opposition towards the changes.
The Bitcoin ABC client is at odds with Nchain’s proposed client Bitcoin SV. At the moment Bitcoin SV is used by 65% of the network. Coingeek’s Calvin Ayre Says His Hash ‘Will Only Support Bitcoin SV,’ and Nchain’s Craig Wright Says ‘No Compromise’
Following the announcement the founder of Coingeek’s mining pool, Calvin Ayre explains his hash rate will be pointed at Bitcoin SV when it launches.
“My Hash will only Support Satoshi Vision,” Ayre emphasizes on August 20.
Craig Wright also had a few things to say on Twitter about the version 18 ABC release and responded to an individual who liked the idea of a compromise that was suggested earlier this week by Bitcoin Unlimited’s chief scientist Peter Rizun.
“Let’s compromise for the November hard fork for BCH: – Add Nchain’s opcodes (if ready) — Add OP_CHECKDATASIGVERIFY — Hold off on lexical ordering — Hold off on OP_GROUP,” Rizun explains on Twitter.
Implement BIP101 with no cap (a permanent solution instead of forking to 128 MB)
However, Wright disagrees with the idea of a compromise. “No, Bitcoin is all about competition – it is stable money,” Wright responds to the idea. “It is designed to STOP change — To fix the protocol in STONE — Compromise is what Chamberlain wanted in 1938 And, luckily Churchill had the balls to resist.”
Prior to the Version 18 Release Viabtc’s Founder Speaks Up, But Many Supporters Now Wait for the Next Move
Prior to the release of ABC’s new codebase with added upgrade features the founder and CEO of Viabtc and Coinex, Haipo Yang did give his opinion towards increasing the block size. The Viabtc founder believes a DDOS could threaten the BCH chain if developers are not careful.
“Bitcoin Cash will increase the block size as big as we can when it’s necessary — But I believe it is good for Bitcoin Cash to be anti- DDOS to keep the block size at a reasonable limit — I believe every serious business on blockchain industry has had a very bad experience with DDOS,” Haipo Ya explains one day before the code release.
Bitcoin Cash fans now wait for the next move. Overall the discussion about upgrading the Bitcoin Cash protocol is sure to continue, especially with the two sides in such disagreement over consensus changes. As we mentioned in our last report about this discussion we spoke with Bitcoin XT developer, Tom Harding, who explained to news.Bitcoin.com that XT would follow the majority hashrate’s decision. Further this week Bitcoin Unlimited released its latest version but detailed that November upgrade changes wouldn’t be added until later. Bitcoin Cash proponents will now wait to see if BCH Miners speak up and detail their opinions publicly. Further, most people know its now Nchain’s turn to provide a working full node client, because Bitcoin ABC is being utilized by over 65 percent of the BCH network.
What do you think about the recent Bitcoin ABC release and the possible incompatibility and conflict with Nchain’s upcoming Bitcoin SV client? Do you think miners will speak up about this subject in the next few weeks? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Bitcoin SV, and Bitcoin ABC logos.
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