Satoshi Nakamoto’s heir to head up the Bitcoin project, Gavin Andresen, has become a lightning rod in the community. Many in the space are still sour over the perception that Andresen was forced out of Bitcoin Core. That’s why everyone’s perked up upon an interesting proposal Andresen’s just made for Bitcoin Cash.
While there’s no indication that Andresen’s moving back into Bitcoin full time, his latest proposal certainly brings a heightened level of intrigue to the Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) debates.
On his personal GitHub page, Andresen posted a gist entitled “Storing the UTXO as a bit-vector.” The coder self-billed the proposal as “half-baked,” but in reading through it, there’s no question that Andresen has given serious focus to an issue Bitcoin Cash could be facing down the road.
As he explains in his introduction:
“[…] exploring a different way of implementing a fully-validating BCH node.
The idea is to shift the storage of full transaction data to wallets, and explore how little data a fully validating node could store. This isn’t a problem today (the UTXO set easily fits in the RAM of an inexpensive server-class machine), but might eventually be at very large transaction volumes.
Initial block downloadis a problem today (it is annoying to have to wait several hours or days to sync up a new node), and this scheme could make it orders of magnitude faster by shifting the time when full transaction data is broadcast from initial block download to new transaction announcement.”
Andresen goes on to explain that his proposed solution is to let nodes create “bit-vectors” for each and every BCH block, with the idea being that “bit-vectors for old blocks are HIGHLY compressible, because most outputs are spent […] so the UTXO set can be much smaller on disk.”
In theory, this dynamic would allow BCH node operators to validate old transactions exponentially faster.
Andresen’s new proposal to the Bitcoin Cash project comes as no real surprise, as Bitcoin’s former lead came out just weeks ago and declared in a tweet that BCH was the heir apparent to original Bitcoin project.
Bitcoin Cash is what I started working on in 2010: a store of value AND means of exchange.
— Gavin Andresen (@gavinandresen) November 11, 2017
This declaration caused shockwaves in the cryptocurrency space, but Bitcoin Cash has been on a legitimizing upshot ever since.
Between BCH’s new Coinbase listing, four different Colored Coin proposals, and Andresen’s support from the periphery, 2018 could be a big year for Bitcoin’s biggest rival.
Where do you stand? Will 2018 be the year of Bitcoin, or can BCH gain a lot of ground? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via GitHub, Pinterest