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.
IFP TIMELINE THUS FAR
- 01222020 Infrastructure Funding Proposal
- 01222020 BCH devs react
- 01232020 Jiang Zhuoer AMA
- 01232020 Amaury Séchet addendum to IFP
- 01242020 Bitcoin.com releases statement in support of IFP
- 01242020 Jonald Fyookball’s position on the IFP
- 01252020 Justin Bons, Tobias Ruck suggest voting on IFP
- 01252020 Antony Zegers support of IFP
- 01262020 Early market reaction to IFP
- 01262020 Anon dev imaginary_username’s reaction to IFP
- 01262020 Peter Rizun’s reaction to IFP
- 01272020 Opposing Miners Group
- 01272020 BUIP143: Refuse the Coinbase Tax
- 01282020 Bitcoin Verde’s reaction to IFP
- 01282020 Bitcoin.com drops support for IFP
- 01282020 BCHD’s reaction to IFP
- 02012020 Jiang Zhuoer heavily amends IFP
- 02032020 Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin, Zcash’s Zooko Wilcox-O’Hearn react to IFP
- 02072020 More Miners Voice Skepticism at Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Proposals
- 02102020 Giving Bitcoin Cash a Fighting Chance
- 02102020 imaginary_username Speaks: He’s Working to Build a Developer Funding Alternative
- 02122020 Lockdown: From Mainland China, Bitcoiner Talks Coronavirus and Fallout for Crypto
- 02152020 Flipstarter: BCH Voluntary Commons Funding
- 02152020 Bitcoin ABC Will Implement Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund of 5% During May 15, 2020 Upgrade
- 02162020 Roger Ver on Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Fund Update: Too Controversial, Not Worth it at This Point
- 02162020 Bitcoin Cash Infrastructure Funding Update: BTC.TOP Founder Proposes 2/3 Hash Voting Threshold
- 02172020 Bitcoin Cash IFP Author, Influential Mining CEO to Chinese Bitcoiners: Decentralization is Key
- 02192020 Two Notable Bitcoin Cash Developers Announce Opposition to the IFP
- 02202020 Bitcoin Cash Developers Fork ABC Reference Implementation Client, Create “BCH Node”
- 02212020 First Bitcoin Cash Developer Meeting After IFP Proposal
- 02272020 Bitcoin Cash Node v0.21.0 Formally Released
- 03012020 Wrapping Our Heads Around the Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash
- 03032020 Bitcoin Cash Node Team Releases General Roadmap Through November
- 03042020 Author of the Bitcoin Cash IFP Vows to Vote Against It, Using Personal Hash in Opposition
- 03242020 Brain Drain: BCH Dev Leaves for AVA and Has Choice Words for Community
- 04012020 Bitcoin ABC Launches $3.3 Million Fundraiser
- 04162020 Trustless, Non-custodial Assurance Contract Platform Flipstarter Launches Five Node Campaigns
- 04252020 PODCAST Bitcoin Cash Reference Client Looks to Raise Sustainable Funding
- 04262020 Bitcoin Cash Node is First to be Fully Funded on Flipstarter; $372,000 Pledged Across 5 Campaigns
- 05092020 PODCAST Amaury Séchet, May 2020 Upgrade Part 2: The IFP and Why it Remains in the Code
- 05142020 BTC TOP & CoinEx CEOs Join BCH Community During 3.5 Hour Pre-Upgrade AMA Livestream
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DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.