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Hash War Looms as Bitcoin Cash Tax Drama Explodes

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
Greg Thomson
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:40 PM
  • An anonymous group of miners announced plans to hardfork a new bitcoin cash blockchain if tax on miners isn’t removed.
  • Group claims to control 42% of the BCH hashrate, with plans to expand it to 2.5 exahash per second by the May 15 fork date.
  • A repeat of 2018 costly hash war could be on the very near horizon.

Bitcoin cash (BCH) could be on the verge of another hash war after the ongoing tax drama took a major turn.

An anonymous group of miners has threatened to launch a new breakaway bitcoin cash blockchain in protest of the tax. The group claims to represent 42% of the current BCH hashrate – and says that number will rise before the May 15 deadline.

The 12.5% mining tax was proposed as a way to fund developers, but its reception divided bitcoin cash’s users.

Bitcoin Cash: Hash War Beckons?

On Monday, a dissenting post was made to Read.Cash titled, “A Response from an Opposing Mining Group ”. Within six hours the post had accrued $2,217 in contributions from like-minded BCH users.

The post states the miners’ intention to create their own BCH blockchain if the proposed tax plan is not withdrawn.

Assuming the proposal is not withdrawn, or modified to be acceptable, we will continue to mine up to the hard fork, which will create our own chain after the fork due to the consensus rule change introduced by the signatories.

The current tax proposal  would see miners who refuse to stump up the 12.5% effectively booted from the blockchain. In practice, blocks filled by those miners would be “orphaned” – quietly removed from the chain.

If the mandatory tax imposition is not made voluntary, the dissenting miners plan to launch an all-out hash war.

We definitely plan to obtain more hashrate than the signatories can muster. The market will need to decide in the days following the fork. We hope the signatories will see the light and remove their “non-debate” clause.

Revisionist History of the Tax Plan

So far the four signatories of the plan have shown no signs of wavering. Roger Ver, Jihan Wu, Haipo Yang and Jiang Zhuoer represent 47% of bitcoin cash’s hashrate via their mining pools.

Some backstepping did occur, however, as shown by the editing of the tax proposal to remove references to communism.

The “non-debate theory” used to justify the imposition of the tax plan was the brain-child of former Chinese communist party leader Deng Xiaoping. The theory suggested that debate was pointless, and it was better to simply push ahead and experiment.

Bitcoin Cash, Hash War, Miners Tax
References to Chinese communist organizational philosphy were removed from the original tax proposal. | Source: Jiang Zhuoer, Medium

In the heavily invested world of cryptocurrency, the notion of experiment with bitcoin cash didn’t sit well with its users. The miners’ post states:

The citation of Chinese Communists Party Deng Xiao Ping philosophy as a guiding precept for Bitcoin Cash is definitely not well received in our rank.

In the days since the post went live, all mentions of “non-debate theory” were removed from the tax proposal. Strangely, the archive of the original on Wayback Machine  has also been removed.

Repeat of 2018 Hash War Doesn’t Need to Happen

The last hash war to hit bitcoin cash shook up the market in more ways than one. Both sides burned through tens of millions of dollars in a war of attrition.

The cryptocurrency market sunk 50% in a month, and dropped to its lowest combined value in over two-and-a-half years. In the end, a chain split occurred and Bitcoin SV (BSV) became the third “true bitcoin” in the top ten.

The dissenting miners’ say a repeat of that situation doesn’t need to happen. They hope the tax proposal will be altered before the May 15 update.

Our goal is NOT to put the plan we highlighted at the end of this article into action. The plan is for the signatories to reconsider their non-debate stance, and take the community comments into consideration.


Disclaimer: The above should not be considered trading advice from CCN.com. The writer owns bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.