Hash Wars: The Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork Has Begun
Today Thursday, Nov. 15, a majority of the cryptocurrency community is fixated on the contentious Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork and watching the spectacle with great anticipation. At approximately 1:00 p.m. EST miners backing both implementations started the fork process in order to change the Bitcoin Cash protocol ruleset. Currently, at the time of publication, the chain has split and the Bitcoin ABC side of the chain is three blocks ahead of the forked SV chain.
The day is here for the highly anticipated BCH network hard fork, with the protocol set to undergo some consensus rule changes. However, this particular ruleset change has two different competing client implementations that are incompatible — Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. There’s been a lot of debate and name-calling across social media, but today many BCH proponents believe hashrate will ultimately trump internet chatter.
According to data from Coin Dance cash, at approximately 1:00 p.m. EST the first ABC block was found by the mining pool Bitcoin.com at block height 556767. Bitcoin.com mined another block at height 556767 with the new Bitcoin ABC implementation’s ruleset. After the first block was mined, Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu congratulated Bitcoin.com on the social media platform Twitter.
The first Bitcoin SV block to be mined
Then at around 1:22 p.m. EST the first Bitcoin SV block was mined at height 556767 by Mempool, cementing the bifurcation of the Bitcoin Cash chain. Not long after, SV Pool found another block at height 556768, giving the chain a total of two blocks. Bitcoin.com then found block 556769 on the ABC side of the chain and then captured blocks 556770, and 556771.
The current state of both chains at 1:55 p.m. EST on Nov. 15, 2018
Bitcoin.com’s pool then found blocks 556772, and 556773, giving the ABC chain a five-block lead. BTC.com found the next block at height 556774 on the ABC side of the chain, but the SV chain found a few more blocks (556769, 556770 and 556771). Even though data sites have been lagging due to the traffic, the SV chain has been slower at showing blocks processed. At 1:55 p.m. EST the ABC chain had a three-block lead ahead of the SV chain.
— Jihan Wu (@JihanWu) November 15, 2018
There are a number of places online where people can continue watching the fork unfold in real time, as many analytical data sites are available. Coin Dance cash has a lot of information on its website, including recently mined BCH blocks, hashrate and distribution, and node count. The website Ramen.chopsticks.cash shows four charts containing separate BCH implementations, including Bitcoin ABC, SV, Unlimited, and Naybc. Colors correspond to the ECMH signature of each block’s content and help distinguish equivalent blocks, regardless of transaction ordering, the website explains. Forkmonitor.info, a tool created by Bitmex, shows multiple BCH nodes and monitors the chaintips for any bifurcation. Similarly, the data site Fork.btc.com also shows viewers whether or not the BCH chain has split in a visual fashion. Users can also monitor Twitter and the Reddit forum r/btc for opinions concerning the BCH fork.
Even though the fork has commenced, it is highly recommended not to transact on either chain until the dust has settled between both chains and one chain gets a significant lead over the other. There is a chance a BCH transaction could be replayed on both chains by accident, unless the sender has already split the coins using some of the tools available online. The websites mentioned above — Twitter, r/btc, and especially news.Bitcoin.com — will have a lot of eyes on the network’s stability over the course of the next several hours and days to come, and we’ll continue to report on the matter.