A Year Later: How the Bitcoin Cash Community Found Itself on a Verge of a Split
Background and main milestones in the development of Bitcoin Cash
As you know, before the activation of SegWit, the size of the bitcoin block was only one megabyte. When “digital gold” was not so popular, this restriction did not particularly affect the performance of the blockchain and did not lead to huge queues of transactions in the mempool and to the growing fees.
In April 2017, the bitcoin exchange rate accelerated its growth and began to attract more and more attention of the masses. This, in turn, caused an exponential growth in the number of network users and increased transaction demand.
By May last year, the situation with the overcrowding in the mempool has worsened: commissions increased, some transactions took several days to get confirmed.
After some time, a compromise protocol SegWit2x was proposed, which meant the activation of Segregated Witness, followed by an increase in the block size up to 2 MB.
Current status of the project and its market position
As you know, time puts everything in its place, and in this context, the current state of the “obstinate” Bitcoin Cash is no less interesting. In particular, we will consider such important indicators for any cryptocurrency as the volume of transactions, the average size of commissions, as well as trade turnover.
Despite many gloomy forecasts about the future of Bitcoin Cash from its ardent opponents and skeptics, the coin has long been consistently ranked fourth in the ranking of CoinMarketCap.
At the same time, Bitcoin Cash turnover on exchanges is not so small. So, as of 31.07.2018 BCH takes the fifth position in terms of trading volume, second only to bitcoin, Tether USD, Ethereum and EOS.
On the verge of a split
Most recently, the main developer of Bitcoin Cash, Amaury Sechet, proposed the so-called pre-consensus protocol, the essence of which is that the nodes agree in advance on the general form of a block, not knowing which node will find it.
The initiator of this offer believes that the pre-consensus will facilitate the introduction of zero-disclosure transactions, which can be used in the BCH network for quick payments, and also for solving the problem that bitcoin hopes to eliminate through the Lightning Network.
In general, the offer is intended to make the Bitcoin Cash system more reliable, and the block working more productive. Seshe insisted on making changes to the code as soon as possible.
This offer was supported by the main developer of Bitcoin Unlimited Peter Rizun. He called the pre-consensus a good idea. Professor of Cornell University Emin Gün Sirer also tried to convince his Twitter followers that the new protocol did not threaten anyone’s interests and its implementation was appropriate.
The founder of ViaBTC mining pool, Hypo Yan spoke in favor of reducing the time of block creation in the BCH network. Thus, he believes that in the Bitcoin Cash network a block can be created every minute.
However, the solution came across a fierce criticism from the “self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto” and the head of nChain Craig Wright.
In particular, Wright said that those who wished to support the pre-consensus could create a separate chain, but no one else would use the code.
Mercilessly criticizing the more reliable, according to Seshe, system, Craig Wright also expressed the view that it did not contain any advantages, was not focused on a long term and was dangerous in general.
Moreover, Wright has promised to “destroy” the ViaBTC pool, if it supports the proposed change.
This conflict was vigorously discussed on Reddit, whose members are actively “stocking up on popcorn” in anticipation of irreversible changes in the Bitcoin Cash community, which is now more than ever close to a split.
Thus, we can conclude that the team of the Bitcoin Cash has not brought anything new to the industry during this year. Despite the relatively low fees, the daily volume of transactions in the Bitcoin Cash network is more than 10 times lower than bitcoin.
It also seems a bit strange that BCH, although its exchange rate to bitcoin has fallen below 0.1 BTC recently, is still in the top five of CoinMarketCap rating.