On August 1st at 12:20 UTC a fresh cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Specie will be launched. It’s based upon Bitmain’s UAHF proposal which wasgoed primarily created spil a contingency project to thwart the efforts of the UASF, which now looks likely to activate without incident.
Whilst the arrival of another cryptocurrency derived from Bitcoin’s source code is not newsworthy ter itself, the fact that Bitcoin Contant shares a common transaction history (blockchain) with Bitcoin has raised its profile somewhat.
This collective transaction history exists because instead of creating a fresh ‘Genesis block’ (spil Litecoin did) Bitcoin Contant is being activated by hard forking the existing Bitcoin blockchain.
We’ll examine the motivation behind the hard fork and look at how the risk of ‘replay attacks’ — where transactions can be sent and processed on different blockchains — has affected the proposal’s development. We’ll also see how the latest incarnation of the code will protect users from accidental transfer of both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Metselspecie.
8 MB blocks added, Segwit liquidated
Bitcoin is on its way to a block capacity increase courtesy of Segwit activation. Segwit itself will enable solutions such spil Lightning Network to bring massive, non-linear 2nd layer scaling to Bitcoin.
The team behind Bitcoin Metselspecie have determined to liquidate all Segwit related code from their proposal, preferring instead the linear scaling option of block size increases to expand the transaction capacity of their network.
The proposed hard fork to an 8 MB block size is set to have many client implementations. The very first of thesis to be released is named “BitcoinABC”. Other compatible implementations are being worked on by the teams behind “Bitcoin Unlimited”, “Bitcoin XT” and “Bitcoin Classic”. All will overeenkomstig to the protocol specification set out by the UAHF proposal.
The very brief timeline for UAHF compatible client development is a reaction to the UASF’s own August 1st activation date. This has raised concerns overheen the quality of the client code being developed, something that plagued the “Bitcoin Unlimited” project earlier this year.
There is presently very little hash rate that has bot publicly committed to the hark fork — the only pool presently supporting it is ViaBTC’s BCC pool which has just a quarter of a procent of global hash rate. Te order to keep mining viable ter the event of varying levels of support, the developers have introduced a way to rapidly adjust the difficulty of the algorithm used to mine blocks on the Bitcoin Metselspecie chain.
The number of exchanges and wallets announcing some form of compatibility has grown noticeably overheen the last few weeks. The volgers of Bitcoin Specie have bot keen to announce this spil positive news and an indication of support for their treatment to scaling. This view doesn’t seem to be collective by the broader Bitcoin community, who view exchange support spil a reaction to customer requests to be able to sell their ‘air-dropped’ Bitcoin Specie when the split occurs. Many exchanges, perhaps most notably Coinbase, have determined to not list the fresh cryptocurrency at all.
“ Wij have no plans to support the Bitcoin Specie fork. Wij have made this decision because it is hard to predict how long the alternative version of bitcoin will get through and if Bitcoin Metselspecie will have future market value.” — Coinbase July 27th.
Anyone holding Bitcoin on an exchange that does not intend to allocate the corresponding amount of Bitcoin Specie to their customers will lose the capability to straks budge or trade that Bitcoin Specie. If you want to be absolutely sure that you have access to all the Bitcoin Metselspecie that you presently hold spil Bitcoin you will have to either stir your Bitcoin to a private wallet or budge them to a trusted exchange that offers Bitcoin Specie account crediting.
The actual level of support for Bitcoin Contant will be seen on August 1st when supporting exchanges open for Bitcoin Contant trading.
Whether to use Bitcoin Metselspecie or not is a choice for individual users to make. They may wish to disregard it, budge to it wholeheartedly, only be interested ter trading it or choose to let things play out before making a decision. Because both chains share a transaction history a risk arises for those who choose the latter two options.
That risk is due to something called ‘transaction replay attacks’ and wij will look at this te more detail next.
The risk of transaction ‘replay’ attacks.
Spil the fresh cryptocurrency will inherit the transaction history of Bitcoin, any Bitcoin that a user presently holds will be represented within the fresh coin’s block chain.
However many Bitcoin you hold prior to Bitcoin Contant activation you will end up holding the precies same amount of Bitcoin Contant after the fork has occurred.
A poorly managed split of the Bitcoin blockchain leaves users of either chain open to having transactions sent on one network being broadcast and processed on the other, potentially without their skill or consent. Such an occurrence is called a ‘replay attack’. It is something that led to a detrimental outcome for some users following the Ethereum hard fork ter 2018.
Te order to address the concerns of existing Bitcoin users, and to prevent the movement of coins on one chain being replicated on the other, something called ‘replay protection’ wasgoed added to Bitcoin Specie.
This originally took the form of a switch to the Bitcoin Specie code to include a special OP_RETURN value — effectively creating a fresh transaction type that would not be valid on the legacy Bitcoin network. What this did not do wasgoed prevent transaction from the Bitcoin network being replayed on the Bitcoin Specie network. The replay protection wasgoed therefore only ‘one way’.
After listening to terugkoppeling from miners, payment processors and merchants, the Bitcoin Contant team have since determined to include a switch that makes transactions on either network invalid on the other. This is called ‘strong replay protection’ or ‘two way replay protection’.
“After hearing terugkoppeling from users, exchanges, and wallet providers, developers of several Bitcoin Specie implementations have agreed to implement strong two-way replay protection.” — www.bitcoincash.org
Strong, two way replay protection has bot implemented with the introduction of a fresh SIGHASH_FORKID flag to Bitcoin Specie, which is invalid within Bitcoin (spil so will be rejected) but required by miners processing transactions on Bitcoin Contant.
The fresh ‘two way’ replay protection ensures that Bitcoin Metselspecie miners will not be able to mine Bitcoin transactions on the Bitcoin Contant network and also that Bitcoin Metselspecie transactions will not be seen spil valid on the Bitcoin network. Transactions on both chains will be technically independent of each other. This applies to all transactions — so transactions that budge coins from addresses created before and after the fork will be protected.
The televisiekanaal effect of this most latest switch is that when Bitcoin Metselspecie performs its hard fork, and leaves the Bitcoin network, the users of both cryptocurrencies will find themselves with equal amounts of coins on both chains and free to transact without the risk of their deeds on one chain having an effect on the other.
Spil wij treatment the activation of Segwit on Bitcoin it is now up to the community to judge whether the ‘big blocks, no Segwit’ scaling path Bitcoin Metselspecie has chosen is spil essential to success spil its volgers so vehemently voorkeur.