Bitcoin Cash Speeds toward Blockchain Split as SV Client Receives Formal Release



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bitcoin cash fork

Bitcoin SV, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) software client published by blockchain development firm nChain, is now live on GitHub.

Released this week, SV (short for “Satoshi Vision”) version 0.1.0 aims to place the fourth-largest cryptocurrency on track to fulfill pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for Bitcoin to become electronic cash — or at least nChain’s interpretation of that vision.

To that end, this initial SV release will, upon activation of the BCH network’s Nov. 15 hard fork, raise the default BCH blocksize limit to 128MB from 32MB, reintroduce four so-called “Satoshi opcodes” — OP_MUL, OP_INVERT, OP_LSHIFT, and OP_RSHIFT — and more than double the maximum number of opcodes per script to 500 from 201.

More significantly, the release is purposely incompatible with the consensus changes implemented in the latest upgrade of Bitcoin ABC, which remains the dominant BCH full node client despite a recent decline in market share. Among other things, ABC’s client will implement canonical transaction ordering, which the developers say will enable “massive on-chain scaling,” as well as one new opcode — OP_CHECKDATASIG — that would make BCH compatible with oracles and cross-chain atomic contracts.

bitcoin cash nodes
Source: Coin Dance

With the scheduled Bitcoin Cash hard fork now less than a month away, the standoff between SV and ABC is poised to result in a chain split that will see the competing wage a messy war for the future of the protocol.

In addition to a high profile promoter in bombastic nChain CTO Craig Wright, the SV project has support and financial backing from CoinGeek, the cryptocurrency firm founded by billionaire Calvin Ayre. CoinGeek operates the second largest bitcoin cash mining pool and currently accounts for about 26 percent of the BCH blocks mined over the past seven days. SVPool, which nChain recently launched through a private beta and has not yet opened to the public, makes up another 3.5 percent of the hashrate.

As CCN reported, BCH development group Bitcoin Unlimited has attempted to broker a compromise. BU version 1.5.0, which was released on Oct. 13, features support for the upgrades introduced by ABC, and developers have said that support for SV’s proposed features is “pending” as well. Significantly, all of these changes are user-configurable, enabling node operators to vote on which features they support adding into the protocol through an alternative activation mechanism.

Meanwhile, pseudonymous Bitcoin.org co-owner Cobra has announced a plan to create a competing client that would maintain the current consensus rules and reject all of the proposed changes from SV and ABC. However, though the hard fork is quickly approaching, Cobra has not yet released the “Cobra Client” software.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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