Bitcoin Cash Node v0.21.0 Formally Released as Drop-In Replacement for Running ABC Client

TL;DR: Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN), the “drop-in replacement for miners and businesses already running the ABC client,” version 0.21.0, was formally released on February 27, 2020. BCHN is the work of a dozen developers who oppose the controversial Infrastructure Funding Plan for Bitcoin Cash (IFP) announced late last month which would redirect portions of the codebase block reward to whitelisted addresses.  

Bitcoin Cash Node v0.21.0 Formally Released

With a mere 78 days until the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) scheduled network upgrade for May 15, 2020, BCHN devs are under pressure to present a viable alternative to the reference client, Bitcoin ABC, in the stated hope of preventing a chain split over ABC including an option for the IFP coded into its version 0.21.0 client. The ABC team, for its part, met for the first time since the IFP’s announcement recently and seemed to shrug off the controversy, explaining how the IFP is just an option the mining community requested.

“The only difference between the new client and ABC v0.21.0 is the removal of the coinbase reward diversion code and its associated signaling and activation,” lead BCHN dev freetrader assured back on February 20, 2020 when the node concept was introduced. “The primary goal of this initiative is to provide a safe and professional node implementation that will neutrally follow the longest chain without contributing to the risk of a chain split,” functioning “as a drop-in replacement for miners and businesses already running the ABC client.”

Bitcoin Cash

It’s the first release of BCHN, and it is indeed based on ABC v.0.21.0, but with “minimal changes necessary to disable the Infrastructure Funding Proposal (IFP) soft forks,” freetrader explained February 27, 2020. “For exchanges and users, this client will follow the longest chain whether it includes IFP soft forks or not. For miners, running this client ensures the getblocktemplate RPC call will return a block with version bits that vote ‘NO’ for the IFP soft forks. Additionally, unlike Bitcoin ABC, getblocktemplate will not automatically insert IFP white-list addresses into the coinbase transaction.”

Besides the obvious rebranding to Bitcoin Cash Node, those “minimal changes” include removing all IFP soft fork and signaling logic along with any mention of a whitelist. “Qt GUI settings are automatically copied from Bitcoin ABC on first use of Bitcoin Cash Node […] BIP9 is inactive due to no available proposals to vote on and it may be removed in a future release,” freetrader noted. “All other upgrade changes from ABC 0.21.0 are untouched.”


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