TL;DR: As scheduled, shortly after 12pm UTC on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at block height 609135, mined by AntPool, which carried 306 transactions for a total size of 90.90kB, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network successfully upgraded, completing two proposals, involving security and scaling: enforce minimal pushdata for scriptSig and enable Schnorr Signatures on OP_CHECKMULTISIG. To get the very latest, CoinSpice is live streaming with host Collin Enstad.
Bitcoin Cash Network Upgrade Consensus Rules Take Effect
According to the GitHub note, “When the median time past of the most recent 11 blocks (MTP-11) is greater than or equal to UNIX timestamp 1573819200” is when the upgrade was to take place. However, CoinDance reported the BCH upgrade as stated above, 6 blocks after 12pm UTC. At press time, BitMEX Research Fork Monitor reported reference implementations Bitcoin ABC 0.20.6 and Bitcoin ABC 0.19.0 were both online. The world’s fourth most valued cryptocurrency by market capitalization appears to have successfully enacted its third scheduled network upgrade in two years.
Scheduled upgrades are in line with the project’s roadmap. Its stated goal “is to become sound money that is usable by everyone in the world,” while acknowledging the “basic design of Bitcoin Cash is sound. However, this does not mean it is perfect. It is prudent to make incremental improvements to the system with technically sound design and careful engineering. By implementing optimizations and protocol upgrades, peer-to-peer digital cash will scale many orders of magnitude beyond current limits.”
This go-round, two consensus rule changes took effect, contributed to in large part by independent developer Mark B. Lundeberg. As CoinSpice noted in our podcast with Bitcoin ABC lead Amaury Séchet, Schnorr signatures for OP_CHECKMULTISIG(VERIFY) is a continuation of the previous upgrade, which enabled Schnorr signatures to be used with OP_CHECKSIG and OP_CHECKDATASIG. The upgrade will extend that support to OP_CHECKMULTISIG so that all signature checking operations will support Schnorr signatures.
Enforcing MINIMALDATA in script removes the final Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) 62 malleability vector, making most transactions on the BCH network (including all P2PKH transactions) non-malleable. Mark B. Lundeberg was the main contributor here as well. The combination of the two new consensus rules means enhanced functionality, furthering potential development in areas such as hidden smart contracts. Tendo Pein, Rosco Kalis, Antony Zegers, and Séchet all provided feedback.
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DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.