A new version of Bitcoin ABC’s Bitcoin Cash software has some enhancements that are intended to prevent chain reorganizations from taking place. This is partially in response to “attacks” the network has experienced since the contentious hard fork earlier this month, and partially to prevent a similar situation as was seen in Bitcoin Cash Satoshi’s Vision a few days after the fork.
According to the announcement, some new code will limit the effect that a reorganization, or competing chains emerging and potentially neutralizing previously made transactions, can have on an individual client.
“You may have read on different media there are a few miners that continue to threaten the BCH network with chain reorganizations. Many see this as a threat to the fundamental functionality of the chain and its use as peer to peer cash. We understand the uncertainty this causes for users, businesses, and the market in general.”
It seems the method used to do this is by changing the parameters under which standardized Bitcoin ABC clients will consider reorganizations. According to this commit, they must “have enough work piled up.” Additionally, child blocks will not be automatically moved.
Altogether, with a number of other minor improvements in this version, it will indeed be much more difficult for an upstart chain that is longer but has a different transaction record (a situation that can create chaos for the network over short spans, but never actually does damage to user wallets) to simply take over. The default behavior of the clients will no longer be in support of such chains by nature.
“With this new release, you will know that transactions are immutable after 10 confirmations. This protection keeps deep reorganizations from negatively impacting you or your business.”
It doesn’t mean that reorganizations are impossible. It simply means that there are a lot more parameters the clients will consider when such reorgs present themselves.
Another commit “automatically finalizes” blocks after 10 confirmations. This is something like setting the blocks in stone after the nominally required number of confirmations, a situation that reorganizations can refute through having a longer chain/more work.
According to a website that keeps up with such things, less than 100 nodes had upgraded to 0.18.5 by time of writing, with a majority still running 0.18.2.
Last modified: November 23, 2018 18:44 UTC