“Any time you feel forced to square off to defend yourself or something you value you always need to have an end game plan,” CoinGeek owner Calvin Ayre began in an editorial to the Bitcoin community. It’s a dramatic turn from what some partisans announced would be a years-long battle for the soul of BCH. Instead, it appears Ayre’s implementation, Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (SV), will become its own coin, and, in his words, give both sides a win.
Bitcoin SV Announces End Game
In Ayre’s opinion, the Hash War’s “end game was always making sure there was a version of the original Bitcoin still able to show off its original economic design genius to the world.” The Bitcoin Cash network was scheduled for its usual upgrade on 15 November 2018, but it soon became obvious factions within the BCH development community were not aligned. The debate raged from block size to tokenization and various code inside-baseball lost on average users.
They were important enough, however, that at least two sides formed, SV and the original BCH chain, lead by development from team Bitcoin ABC. The upgrade soon became a contentious fork, and then morphed into an all-out “Hash War” (dubbed so by SV supporters). In the end, BCH marshaled enough hash to convince exchanges and payment platforms to maintain the BCH ticker status quo. The broader crypto market has since tanked, and many analysts cite the Hash War as its main culprit. All enthusiasts seem to have lost.
We Also No Longer Want the Name Bitcoin Cash
And so, Ayer believes “the two chains are now so far apart and have such divergent plans ahead that there is just no path back to joining them. We also no longer want the name Bitcoin Cash BCH,” he wrote, believing the SV implementation to be superior.
Of the costly battles, Ayer acknowledged, “having nChain no longer fighting with [ABC and other implementations] over roadmaps was the single most important issue to the BCH side. nChain tells me they are happy to leave ABC chain alone if they enact replay protection and do a permanent split. This is very convenient as the definition of winning is fundamentally different to each side so there is a win-win solution here.”
Civility, Wasteful Distraction
“I am confident that CoinGeek can enforce civility if the other side wants this in any permanent split,” Ayer assured. “We believe this is in the best interests of all and call on all the exchanges and payment processors and others who have an interest in making this all go away to help us convince everyone to accept this solution so we can all focus on our visions for the future and get rid of this wasteful distraction.”
Initial reactions were decidedly mixed as of this writing. Some were relieved to see a real exit strategy. Others hoped SV would provide yet more choice for the market. Still others wondered why the majority chain would be asked to implement replay protection, a highly unconventional request since it is usually the minority chain that implements this. Doing so would also impose much burden upon already exhausted exchanges, wallets, and explorers who might expect SV to add replay protection instead of BCH. Another observer asked SV to return to the original sighash algorithm, making SV closer to the earlier Bitcoin code and garner replay protection.
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