For a brief moment this week, it looked like Bitcoin Cash could gain more hash power than Bitcoin. However the hard-forked chain failed to reach totality, clearing the path to Bitcoin SegWit activation.
Bitcoin Cash Moons, Briefly
In the days leading up to the activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit), a hotly-debated extension of the Bitcoin protocol intended to improve the scalability of the cryptocurrency, among other fixes and improvements, Bitcoin Cash enjoyed a price rise of over 100 percent — touching 900 USD at its apex. This temporarily made the chain much more profitable, and miners responded in kind.
Over two days, miners left Bitcoin in droves for the non-SegWit fork, peaking at approximately 44 percent of the total available hash power, but failing to reach the tipping point. Some feared this would delay Bitcoin’s SegWit activation if the trend continued.
However the hash power migration halted abruptly at Bitcoin Cash’s next difficulty adjustment, putting BCC at about the same levels as before the coin’s price spike.
The Anonymous Mining Bloc Disappears
Before the Bitcoin Cash bull run, the vast majority of hash power on the network was supplied by a large operation not openly affiliated with any pools. But they are now mining a minority of blocks, despite accounting for roughly a third of the BCC hash rate during the mining peak.
This development coincides with a reduction in the combined hash power of the two coins, so it’s possible the mystery actor has deactivated a portion of their ASICs.
Whether the Goliath Bitcoin Cash miner’s disappearance is permanent remains to be seen, but either way, the hash power balance seems to be far in favor of Bitcoin once more.
SegWit Activates in Wake of Hash Power Scare
After years of speculation and argument, SegWit finally activated on the Bitcoin network with block #481824.
The malleability fixes implemented with SegWit will open up the doors for extensions of the Bitcoin protocol, like Sidechains and the Lightning Network — vastly increasing its breadth and transaction capacity.
With the difficulty increase proving that miners only transitioned opportunistically, an ideological blockade of the activation doesn’t seem likely at this juncture.
What will happen next for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash? Let’s hear your thoughts.
charts courtesy of coin.dance