Bitcoin Cash Fork: the ABC-SV Schism, Hash War Begins

Bitcoin Cash Fork: the ABC-SV Schism, Hash War Begins

The Bitcoin Cash protocol has undergone a scheduled, though contentious, hard fork. Now, a much-trumpeted “hash war” between the Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV implementations is underway, with ABC taking an early lead in blocks mined but with SV having quickly closed the gap.

Also read: Cryptoeconomy Acutely Shellacked in November 14th Selloff

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Two Roads Diverged In A Digital Wood

The Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV implementations of the Bitcoin Cash protocol diverged via two separate technical roadmaps today, November 15th, at blockheight 556,766.

Fork buzz reached a fever pitch in the BCH community on November 15th.

Under the new rulesets, Bitcoin SV will embrace a 128 MB blocksize while retaining topological transaction ordering (TTOR), and Bitcoin ABC will retain 32 MB blocks while embracing canonical transaction ordering (CTOR).

The divergence has led some exchanges, foremost among them being Bitfinex, to roll out two new ticker symbols: BAB for the ABC-backed chain and BSV for the SV-backed chain. It’s not clear for now whether one side will win out and consolidate under the title of “BCH” or if the BAB-BSV schism will remain.

At press time, BAB was hovering around $330 USD and BSV around $85 on Bitfinex. On November 14th, bitcoin cash had sunk to just over $400, suggesting investors were initially gravitating toward ABC’s roadmap in the wake of the fork.

Bitcoin Cash Fork
At the start, investors seemed more confident in BAB. Image via Bitfinex.

On the flip side, many other exchanges, like Coinbase, temporarily paused bitcoin cash trading as the smoke settled.

ABC Takes Early Lead, SV Catches Up

As BCH blocks continued to roll in after block 556,766, the hash war that SV backers like CoinGeek’s Calvin Ayre and nChain’s Dr. Craig Wright have recently been calling for was officially underway.

That “war” came on the heels of SV-focused mining pools gaining a majority of the Bitcoin Cash network hash rate in the days preceding the November 15th upgrades.

It was a different story in the first two hours post-fork, however, as Roger Ver’s Bitcoin.com pointed its BTC mining pool toward mining BCH via ABC’s implementation immediately before block 556,766.

“This extra 4 EH should shift the playing field in favor of ABC/BU,” noted Bitcoin Unlimited Chief Scientist Peter Rizun on Twitter.

“The Bitcoin.com pool now has more hash rate on it than the entire BCH network had earlier today,” Ver said for his part.

nChain’s Dr. Wright retorted “[s]till not enough.”

The shift was at least enough to give ABC the early tilt versus SV in the hash war. At one point in the aftermath of the fork, ABC-focused mining pools had achieved an eight block lead over Bitcoin SVers.

There’s no telling who will ultimately win out, though. At press time, ABC’s advantage had evaporated and SV had achieved parity in blocks mined.

Bitcoin Unlimited on the left, ABC in the center, and SV on the right. The ABC/BU alliance took an early lead over SV in blocks mined, but SV quickly caught up. What comes next? Image via Coin Dance.

ABC took the earliest rounds of the battle, then, but SV has now drawn even. And it looks like Ayre and Dr. Wright won’t go down without a fight.

BU = green, ABC = yellow, and SV = red. Nodes, company support, and hash rate acutely tilted in ABC-BU’s favor. Will these dynamics last? Image via Coin Dance.

Bitsonline will continue to track the aftermath of the Bitcoin Cash fork as the situation develops.

What’s your take on the Bitcoin Cash fork? Do you back ABC, SV, both, or neither? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images via Bitfinex, Coin Dance, Pixabay

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