TL;DR: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is movin’ on up! Its scheduled software hard fork upgrade for Friday, November 15th, 2019 includes the activation of two features: Schnorr signatures for OP_CHECKMULTISIG(VERIFY) and the enforcement of MINIMALDATA in script — both in an effort to enhance functionality. We caught up with Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet to ask about what to expect. This episode is available embedded in the article below, and on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Radio Public, Breaker, PocketCasts, PodBean, YouTube for Newer Episodes, YouTube Older Episodes, and Overcast.
Amaury Séchet on the Bitcoin Cash November 2019 Hard Fork Upgrade
Séchet describes the two changes for November 2019 as being on the technical side and not really impacting BCH users immediately. Developer Mark B. Lundeberg contributed to Schnorr signatures for OP_CHECKMULTISIG(VERIFY), which 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. The combination means enhanced functionality, furthering potential development in areas such as hidden smart contracts. Tendo Pein, Rosco Kalis, Antony Zegers, and Séchet provided feedback for the November hard fork.
Scheduled upgrades for BCH are necessary to address code debt and the plethora of engineering issues that come with working toward global scale for a peer-to-peer electronic cash project. However, they have also been viewed by attackers of the coin as an opportunity to seize eyeballs, a good time to attempt and snatch headlines.
A year ago to the day, a takeover of the Bitcoin Cash network was attempted. A faction declared a so-called hash war, promising to bankrupt and bury supporters of BCH, insisting there would be no split of the chain. The 2018 contentious hard fork led indeed to a split, no bankruptcies, and the faction’s coin struggling to stay in the top ten by market capitalization. More recently in May, a strange attempt at disrupting the network was timed for maximum impact and negative press. There were plenty of theories as to why it took place.
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