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New Protocol: Bitcoin Cash to Hard Fork in May 2018

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM
Conor Maloney
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:06 PM

The lead developer of full-node client Bitcoin ABC Amaury Séchet has confirmed that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will fork on May 15 to allow for bigger block sizes along with some other adjustments.

Bitcoin ABC developers have also made the codebase for the client Bitcoin ABC 0.17.0 available for download  ahead of the launch, with the new consensus rules included. The change is scheduled for May 15 at 12:00:00 UTC and will take place based on Median Time Passed (MTP) instead of at a set block height.

Developers released an announcement saying “when the median timestamp of the most recent 11 blocks is equal to, or greater than 1526400000, then the new consensus rules shall apply to the next block.  The exact time of activation depends on the time this block is found.”

The changes: Block Size and Op Codes

The two main features are instant confirmation and scaling –  block size will increase up to 32MB with the new fork to allow for greater volume and speed of transactions. In an interview at the Satoshi’s Vision conference  in March, Sechet described the scaling change as allowing “Paypal-like volume of payments”. Operational codes are being rewritten and added as well to introduce “Ethereum-like characteristics”, with the updated OP-codes and colored coin technology potentially enabling representative assets and basic smart contracts.

Séchet went on to voice his support for having multiple implementations of Bitcoin Cash from other development teams behind clients like Bitcoin Unlimited and Parity.  Séchet feels that multiple implementations of the protocol help keep things running smoothly:

“It’s important to have several implementations for two reasons: the first is a technical reason. If there is a bad bug in one implementation, if you have another, you can keep the network running.”

He also described how multiple clients prevent monopolization and promote fairness. “I think that it is great because if one client started going rogue it would start to lose market share and another client will gain that market share. It’s keeping everybody honest,” he added.

In the announcement, developers advised anyone running a node to download the new version while asking for community assistance in “contacting exchanges, wallet providers, and other ecosystem participants, and letting them know they should upgrade their software or run an updated version of Bitcoin ABC or other compatible software.”

ABC developers report that Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin X clients have said that they will be updating their software in accordance with the hard fork.

Featured image from Shutterstock.