Bitcoin Cash May 2020 Upgrade Completed: Controversial Funding Plan Rejected by Miners

TL;DR: The scheduled May 15, 2020 network upgrade for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) took effect on May 15, 2020 at block height 635258 mined by AntPool (with slightly less than 60% of nodes upgrading as of publication). As a result, the BCH network transaction chain limit increased from 25 to 50, received support for OP_REVERSEBYTES opcode in script, and gained improved counting of signature operations using the SigChecks method. For most observers, however, support for a controversial miner-activated infrastructure funding plan (IFP) was watched closest in the lead-up to May 15. The IFP appears to have been rejected.

Bitcoin Cash Scheduled Upgrade Completed

Amaury Séchet, lead developer for BCH reference implementation, Bitcoin ABC, explained during a dedicated upgrade podcast series how three of the four code changes would impact Bitcoin Cash. The increased transaction chain limit from 25 to 50 came as the result of community feedback and even a bounty from gambling sites who found BCH to be an otherwise perfect match.

The limit itself was inherited by developers as a holdover from BTC. It turned into a backporting issue largely because of the impact making a change might have with regard to ongoing maintenance of the chain. It was ABC’s contention raising the limit was simply too costly, but ultimately the team concluded a modest raise, after testing, would be possible without it being prohibitively expensive to the overall workload.

OP_REVERSEBYTES opcode support in script and improved counting of signature operations using the SigChecks method means advancement in BCH-related smart contracts. On some level, the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem wishes to compete with the Ethereum industry standard but with a scaling advantage. Recurring payments, covenants, tokenization, etc. have become quite popular within the BCH dev community and investors, and so the May 15, 2020 upgrade hopes to go a long way toward helping that ecosystem within an ecosystem grow and thrive.

Support for a miner-activated infrastructure funding plan was, again, what most in the BCH community were watching. Since late January of this year, the IFP grabbed headlines and much social media ire as the BCH community processed the proposal put forth by influential mining pool operator Jiang Zhuoer of BTC.TOP. It seemed to have broad support at first among key influencers. Later, however, it was revealed such was not the case, ending with Zhuoer himself coming out against the IFP even after a few amendments to address community concerns were floated. That, along with notable developer defections, doomed IFP acceptance for now.


Bitcoin Cash

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