A Step-by-Step Walkthrough:Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks:

At the moment there are two forks planned for the Bitcoin network, and cryptocurrency proponents are curious about taking the best preparations. One fork is called Bitcoin Gold which is scheduled for October 25, while the other hard fork Segwit2x (BTC1) will take place roughly around mid-November or block height 494784.

 

The Tale of Two More Forks

This past summer news.Bitcoin.com wrote a lot about preparing for a fork when the entire Bitcoin network and its participants experienced the August 1 blockchain split. Currently, there are two bitcoin forks scheduled to happen over the next few weeks. This means if splits happen to occur between all of them, there could be a total of four blockchains that share the same transaction history of the original Bitcoin blockchain created by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough
The Bitcoin Gold project is expected to fork the bitcoin network on October 25. However, the network will not go live until November 1.

The Bitcoin Gold (BTG) project aims to fork the network so they can create an Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) ‘resistant’ version of bitcoin. The reason they are forking the network is because the team thinks ASIC mining is too centralized. So BTG developers plan to make bitcoin mineable using Graphic Processing Units (GPU), by changing the original protocol’s consensus to an algorithm called Equihash. This hard fork is planned for October 25 the developers have stated, but the network itself won’t be live until November 1.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough
The Segwit2x project is expected to fork the bitcoin network at block height 494784

The Segwit2x hard fork is a technical compromise stemming from the New York Agreement (NYA) this past spring, between a vast majority of bitcoin miners and businesses. Some people believe the NYA compromise helped push miners to use their hashrate voting power to ultimately implement the Segregated Witness (Segwit) protocol. But the activation of Segwit came with the agreement that three months later a 2MB block size hard fork would take place. This hard fork will take place at approximately block height 494784 or roughly around November 18 depending on hashrate.

At the present time, both of these forks may or may not take place on the expected dates.

Before During and After the Forks

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step WalkthroughThere are a few things bitcoin holders should know before, during and after the fork. Before the fork, users should make sure their funds are in the right place, at the right time. This means choosing to leave money on an exchange, which some folks like traders do, or hold the funds in a non-custodial wallet. Most people agree the best practice, to remain in full control of any amount of bitcoin holdings, is to maintain your own funds by possessing your own private keys. So before the fork, if users keep their BTC stash in a non-custodial wallet they should make sure they have their seed phrases or private keys available. If an individual possesses their private keys, they are in full control of their funds before and after the fork.

If a user chooses to keep funds on a custodial wallet or a centralized exchange then they should be fully aware the provider is in control. Trading platforms will cease deposits and withdrawals during a fork and may even stop trades temporarily. Users keeping money on an exchange must always know they will be ultimately subject to that business’s discretion.

During the fork, most people would also agree that sending bitcoin transactions while the consensus change is taking place is not the best idea. People should remain patient until 100 percent of the dust has settled before they transact with the bitcoin network. There could be confusion with the fork like blockchain re-organizations, replay attacks, and prolonged confirmation times.

After the fork, it is still a good idea to remain patient, and you can start investigating reliable infrastructure for both forks before using the split networks. From here you can research how to import your private keys so you can claim split tokens, as well as wait for splitting tools from wallet and exchange providers. For instance, many bitcoin wallet users had to wait for the app maintainers to create a tool or fully support the new network that was born this summer. Some people may have to wait a few days or even weeks before wallet providers and exchanges follow through with support and special chain-splitting tools.

Replay Protection and Attacks

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step WalkthroughAt the moment both of the planned forks, Bitcoin Gold and Segwit2x, do not have replay protection added to the specific project’s code. Segwit2x initially had an opt-in type of replay protection, but developers have since removed the protocol. Bitcoin Gold promises replay protection, but the code also has not been added to the Github repository. Both forks could add an opt-in version or a stronger means of replay protection before the forks happen. During a replay attack, it’s possible Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXO) can be verified by miners on both chains making it easy for an attacker to manipulate or unknowing investors could make mistakes. Some individuals believe replay protection is necessary, while there’s also an argument against the implementation as well.

Additionally, light clients, otherwise known as Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallets, follow the chain with the most cumulative proof of work. SPV wallets don’t check the rules and ultimately sync transactions with the longest chain headers. Those using SPV wallets will want to make sure they are on the preferred chain. While some wallet providers let users decide on which node they should tether to, other light clients will choose for you. If you don’t like the wallet startup choosing for you, then it is probably best to move your bitcoin to a client that allows choice or is tied to the chain you prefer. You can also choose to use other wallet options like paper, hardware, and full node clients.

Hardware Wallets, Exchanges, and Full Nodes

Some people believe that hardware wallets and paper wallets are better places to keep funds during a hard fork. With paper wallets, an individual can obtain or spend their funds whenever they want after the fork on both chains. With a hardware wallet, you may have to wait for a tool to be released as hardware companies like Ledger, and Trezor had to launch firmware updates for their users regarding bitcoin cash.

Preparing for the Bitcoin Hard Forks: A Step-by-Step Walkthrough

Users can also choose to side with a chain of their choice by downloading a full node client. Full nodes will enforce the rules on the specific chain they are tethered to, and these types of wallets have keys that can also be imported to retrieve split tokens at a later date.

As explained above, leaving funds with an exchange during and after a fork exposes users to the will of a company’s decisions. The business may not let you deposit or withdraw between a specified period. So if you need access to funds that are on an exchange, you may not get them right away. Additionally, some exchanges may not release support for split tokens right away, and again you will have to wait. For instance, the exchange Coinbase has not yet released bitcoin cash (BCH) holdings to their customers who kept funds on the trading platform prior to August 1 and the firm aims to release the BCH in January 2018.

Keep Calm and Bitcoin On

Over the past few weeks, wallet providers and exchanges have been releasing their contingency plans, and more will likely follow shortly. News.Bitcoin.com has been covering nearly every popular bitcoin service’s contingency plan, and we will continue keeping our readers informed every step of the way. Further, our team will provide information regarding these forks before, during and after each event so users can be sure they know what’s happening throughout each period.

Lastly, we need to reiterate further that keeping private keys yourself is truly the best way to proceed during a fork, and also being patient during a blockchain split event by not sending or receiving transactions will ensure losses won’t happen.

How are you preparing for the upcoming hard forks scheduled to take place on the Bitcoin network? Let us know your game plan and thoughts in the comments below.hjgyttrreeww-1068x1068

Research Shows Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

The company behind the ad blocking program Adguard has analyzed the most popular 100,000 websites for cryptocurrency mining scripts. They found that over 500 million people have been mining cryptocurrencies and “they have no idea it is happening.” Each website running the script earns an estimated $43,000 within the three-week period studied.

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Over Half a Billion People Affected

Adguard, which produces an ad blocking program with the same name, recently analyzed websites for cryptocurrency mining scripts following the news that some of them have been using their users’ browsers to mine cryptocurrencies. The top 100,000 websites as ranked by Alexa were inspected. Co-founder and CTO Andrey Meshkov shared his company’s findings on Thursday.

“We looked for the codes for Coinhive and JSEcoin, the most popular solutions for browser mining in use now,” Meshkov wrote. The analysis revealed that 220 of these websites have been using crypto-mining scripts. The four most targeted countries are the U.S., India, Russia, and Brazil.

Research Shows Over Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

Meshkov detailed:

We found 220 sites that launch mining when a user opens their main page, with an aggregated audience of 500 million people. These people live all over the world; there are sites with users from the USA, China, South American and European countries, Russia, India, Iran… and the list goes on.

Replacing Ads with Mining Revenues

Adguard estimated that each website running a crypto-mining script earned about $43,000 within the examined three-week period. While they have not made millions, Meshkov said, “this money has been made in three weeks at almost zero cost.”

Research Shows Over Half a Billion People Are Mining Cryptocurrencies Without Knowing It

Most of the sites using cryptocurrency mining scripts are “pirate TV and video sites, Torrent trackers and porn websites,” he described. Video streaming platforms are ideal for mining, he explained, citing “they boast a huge audience that keeps their site open in their browsers for a long time.” The largest torrent search engine, The Pirate Bay, was recently caught using Coinhive, which was also found to be used on CBS’ Showtime websites. Meshkov suggested:

The ethical way for a website to earn money by mining through its audience’s computers is to ask the audience for permission first, and to allow them the possibility to opt out. Actually, such a practice could make mining even more ethical than ads. After all, nobody asks us if we would like to see ads on a website.

While the Coinhive team has issued a statement asking website operators to ask user permission before using their CPUs to mine cryptocurrencies, Meshkov explained that it is difficult to enforce this recommendation. “For example, they cannot forbid stealth mining,” he said, adding that there are other ways to prevent websites running crypto-mining scripts without users consent. “A popular CDN service called Cloudflare recently started to suspend accounts and deny service to sites that mine without user permission,” he detailed, noting that “a number of ad blockers and antivirus programs also added features that block browser mining.”

Do you think that more popular websites will use browser mining to replace advertising? Let us know in the comments section below.

Coinbase Reveals its 2x Fork Plans

Another large bitcoin exchange in the industry, Coinbase, has announced an update concerning the upcoming Segwit2x hard fork. The San Francisco-based trading platform and wallet provider follows the recent Bitfinex announcement detailing plans for a possible bitcoin splitCBAAs-1068x1068

 

Coinbase Reveals Customers Will Have Access to Bitcoin on Both Blockchains

Coinbase Reveals 2x Fork PlansThis week the exchange Coinbase which provides over 36M wallets to bitcoin users revealed some parts of its plan for the upcoming Segwit2x fork. Coinbase states that they want to let customers know the company’s business mission is to ensure trust and safety within the cryptocurrency environment. Further, Coinbase emphasizes that there is no action required from users and “bitcoin can be securely stored on Coinbase before, during, and after the fork.”

“Customers with bitcoin balances stored on Coinbase at the time of the fork will have access to bitcoin on both blockchains,” explains the exchange.

After the fork, we will enable access when we have determined each blockchain is secure and stable. We expect this to happen within a few days after the fork, but it may take longer if additional risks emerge.

The San Francisco Exchange Will Reveal Distinct Names of the Two Bitcoin Blockchains Soon

The company executive, Dan Romero, explains they are still in the process of working on bitcoin cash withdrawals. The firm is also presently researching “engineering and security requirements for each bitcoin blockchain.”

Of course, the announcement did not give away what everyone wanted to hear — Which is an answer to the question on how Coinbase will name each fork (due to the online debates around which fork has “the right to be called Bitcoin”). The announcement is also different than when the exchange revealed its initial plans to not support the previous hard fork, bitcoin cash. This time around, the company is saying they will allow access to the new chain, and customers do not have to withdraw their coins by a certain date.

Community members are curious about the decisions made by companies like Coinbase and Blockchain.info as these firms have a lot of users within the bitcoin ecosystem. Coinbase does intend to tell the public how it will deal with the naming the two forks, as the company reveals it will be releasing this information in the near future.

In the coming weeks — nearer to the date of the fork — we will provide a more detailed plan for how Coinbase will approach naming the two Bitcoin blockchains.

What do you think about the announcement from Coinbase concerning the Segwit2x fork? Which protocol do you think they will call ‘Bitcoin?’ Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Lead Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

This week the lead developer of Bitcoin ABC, Amaury Séchet, engaged in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) discussion about the future of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and the protocol’s future scaling.

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An AMA With Amaury Séchet – Lead Developer of Bitcoin ABC

This summer Amaury Séchet (otherwise known as ‘deadalnix’), the lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client, revealed the team’s intentions at The Future of Bitcoin event to hard fork the Bitcoin network on August 1. Since then Bitcoin Cash has been thriving, and Séchet recently explained his vision for the future of the BCH chain and the ABC client. Many other BCH supporters and developers were involved in the conversation with Séchet including Yours network founder Ryan X Charles, Openbazaar’s Chris Pacia, Bitcoin Classic’s lead developer Thomas Zander and others.

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash

A Configurable Block Size and Finding the Right Fee Structure for Bitcoin Cash

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin Cash
Amaury Séchet, lead developer of the Bitcoin ABC client.

Participants asked Séchet questions concerning the current roadmap for bitcoin cash; such as future block sizes, BCH and BTC compatibility, and protocols like layer two solutions. For instance, the developer of the Electron Cash wallet, Jonald Fyookball asked the ABC developer what he thinks about “algorithm-based block size” solutions. Séchet explains the BCH block size can be configurable using the protocol in the ABC client.”

“I like these proposals,” explains Séchet. “Right now the block size is configurable in ABC, but I would like to have a way to determine this configuration automatically in the future.”

Yours network developer, Ryan X Charles, asks Séchet how the protocol can avoid ‘dust limits’ and fee management. “We [Yours developers] run into dust limits quite easily,” Charles explains regarding the software’s recent implementation of bitcoin cash.

“There is work to be done on fee management,” Séchet responds. “Finding the right fee structure will take time, if one exists at all.”

The next version of ABC will reserve a percentage of the block space for low fee transactions. This will improve over time.

BCH & BTC Compatibility and Layer Two Solutions

Developer Amaury Séchet Discusses the Future of Bitcoin CashFollowing this discussion, an AMA participant asked Séchet if he believes BCH and BTC can coexist in the future with different use cases or if he thinks all the hashpower will converge to one chain.

“Because of the way the difficulty adjustment works on the Bitcoin chain, it makes it very unlikely that it would survive being a minority chain,” Séchet states in response to the question. As a result, it is unlikely that this chain will survive if Bitcoin Cash gets a lot of traction. As long as Bitcoin Cash is a minority chain, both chain will continue to live.”

Séchet also gives his opinion about layer one and layer two scaling solutions. The ABC developer reveals he’s not against layer two solutions but believes pushing every issue towards a layer two solution is unrealistic.

“I have nothing against layer 2 per se, but I think some important points have been ignored,” Séchet explains. “First layer 2 can only be as reliable as layer 1.”

When blocks become congested and layer 1 becomes unreliable, layer 2 does so as well. Second, layer 2 will have different characteristics than layer 1 and thinking we’ll push everything into layer 2 is not a realistic roadmap.

Learning from Past Mistakes

Séchet explains a whole lot more about how he envisions the future of bitcoin cash and the ABC client, including BCH anonymity – where he hopes the protocol’s lower fees will allow for cheaper tumbling processes. The ABC developer also gives further opinions about programmers like Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik not being “protective enough” to keep the original values of the Bitcoin project in the past.

“It [Bitcoin] ended up being hijacked. We need to learn from this mistake and not reproduce it,” Séchet states.

Maxwell Claims Bitcoin ABC Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Code

However, there is no shortage of drama around the Bitcoin Cash code base. In a recent Github post, Gregory Maxwell claimed the Bcash developer plagiarized a piece of code. He said that Amaury Séchet (deadalnix) copied the migration to the per-txout UTXO database from the Bitcoin Core project, and did not credit the original authors with it. Instead, he used his name and copied everything verbatim down to the “grammatical oddities,” according to Greg Maxwell.

Do Séchet’s Actions Infringe on a Licensing Agreement?

Furthermore, Maxwell claims Séchet’s actions infringe on an open source licensing Maxwell Claims Bcash Developer Séchet Plagiarized Bitcoin Core Codeagreement and constitute a copyright infringement. He said, “Beyond being fraudulent and sleazy behavior, this action is a violation of the very minimal requirements of the MIT license.”

There is controversy over Maxwell’s position, though. Some commentators believe there is no infringement on the commit, because there is information on the source code within it. Séchet further said the code was “backported” and is “mentioned in the series of commits.”

The schnorr code is backported from https://github.com/deadalnix/schnorr/blob/master/schnorr.d
The per txout db is backported from core and it is mentioned in the series of commits.

Is He Fixing it Faster? Multiple Copyright Violations by Séchet

Maxwell continued his accusations, saying Séchet is also claiming he fixed the issue quicker than Blockstream. Maxwell also mentioned Séchet was been accused of copyright violations before. This is not a first offense. He said, “Amaury SECHET has a well known history of these copyright violating false attribution events. To give a few other examples. I also understand that he is advocating in your private issue tracker to remove all attribution to Bitcoin Core in the codebase from your repository.”

Community Response

The community has responded to Maxwell’s accusations with dramatic flare. Some users are attacking Maxwell and Blockstream for focusing on trivial issues instead of updating Bitcoin Core. One user, sandakersmann, said, “So you guys are prioritizing this instead of releasing a new version of Bitcoin Core that is not vulnerable? Fits the pattern of backward priorities from you blockstreamers.”

Other users defend Maxwell and Core, saying people like sandakersmann were shifting the goalposts of the original post. They were trying to create a diversion from the serious issue of fraud and copyright infringement. User thijstriemstra responded to sandakersmann:

This has nothing to do with the fact you’re copy/pasting code and stripping out author. This is not done in any opensource project and you’re trying to divert attention away from it. It’s this project that creates unneccessary annoyance and extra work for the maintainers of bitcoin core.

Maxwell Asks Séchet to Discontinue Violating Copyright

Maxwell finished his blog post by asking Séchet to discontinue violating their copyright. He also wants him to correct his repository and credit the actual authors. At press time, Séchet had not responded to the request, other than to say the original code was “backported.”

 

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

dip-1068x1068The price of bitcoin dropping over 8 percent immediately after the digital currency’s all time high of $4,980. On September 4, bitcoin dropped to a low of $4,140. Speculators now believe the price drop today may be due to the recent announcement from the People’s Bank of China banning Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

 

Bitcoin Markets Shave a Few Billion Again

There’s a bearish sentiment throughout bitcoin markets, just as we predicted would happen two days ago in our last price analysis. At press time, bitcoin’s price is trying to hold above the $4,150 territory as the currency’s value dropped another six legs down on Monday, September 4. Volume is still pretty decent with over $2.4B traded over the past 24-hours, but most of the action is stemming from this morning’s huge sell off. Bitcoin’s price dip caused the entire top eighteen cryptocurrency market capitalizations to drop, slashing prices from 5 to 34 percent, as most altcoins right now are in the red. This past week’s sell off has been the largest to date since mid-July, and we are seeing a similar 25-30 percent total correction during the bearish cycle.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price 11:30 am EDT September 4, 2017. Prices are now below the sub-$4,300 range.

Technical Indicators

Right now technical indicators show the Relative Strength Index (RSI) continues to head downwards, confirming that sellers right now have the upper hand. Of course, over the past three days, the two Simple Moving Averages (SMA) crossed hairs, and the long term 200 SMA is well above the short term 100 SMA. This again assures traders the storm is not yet over, and there is great resistance down the road. Looking at order books on some of the most popular exchanges, there are monstrous walls between the $4,600-5,000 positions. If support holds steady in the $4,160-4,200 area, bulls will have some work to do to eat through the next wave of resistance levels.

Markets Update: Bitcoin Price Dives Deeper in the Midst of ICO Shakedown

Bitcoin price, September 4, 2017. 200 SMA (white trendline) is well above the 100 SMA (green).

PBOC: ‘No ICOs For You’

Market sentiment seems to be geared towards the recent announcement from China’s central bank concerning ICOs. Cryptocurrency markets were already battling through a significant correction after bitcoin reached new price highs. So speculators think the recent banning of ICOs in China adds uncertainty to these types of markets. Otherwise, bitcoin is running its course through a typical 25-30 percent correction, after rocketing close to the $5K levels. Other spectators believe banks are spreading ‘fake news’ about bitcoin right now, because cryptocurrency popularity has risen exponentially. The UK publication the Mirror reports that certain banks are spreading these phony news stories to “restore the status quo.”

Bitcoin’s dip redlines the top eighteen altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap.

The Verdict

Right now bitcoin is holding above $4,150, so it may consolidate in this territory and push higher this week with some bounce back. Most of the top ten altcoins below bitcoin’s market cap lost larger percentages than bitcoin, which is likely tethered to the ICO news. This has pushed bitcoin’s market dominance up to 48.5 percent among the hundreds of altcoin market caps in existence. After the lull, bitcoin could follow its typical trend of moving up higher than before after a deep correction. So far this has been a consistent trend this year for bitcoin’s price, but we should never place all of our bets on this trend, because it may not be the case going forward.

Bear Scenario: Bitcoin markets could drop lower if the $4,100 floor collapses, bringing the price into the $4,000-3,900 territory. Right now big players have stepped off to the sidelines to catch more satoshis from weak hands and wait to choose a better entry point. Most technical indicators like the Stochastic, RSI, SMA, and order books are showing a strong negative sentiment at press time.

Bull Scenario: Right now, we are either going to consolidate in the $4,125-4,200 range, or we are seeing a short term bull trap at the moment. Bitcoin needs to break upper-level resistance past the $4,600 territory, but right now walls are considerably high. Of course topping the $5K range again is not out of the question, but it’s going to take some significant time to get there again.

Where do you see the price of bitcoin heading from here? Let us know in the comments below.

U.S. Pressures BTC-e Exchange as They Plan to Distribute Funds Next Month

Last week the Russian bitcoin exchange, BTC-e, told the public about the trading platform’s plan to repay customers. Now the exchange is back and says there will be a full update come August 30 and the organization will follow with daily announcements. Further, BTC-e answered multiple questions from customers who want access to their funds.

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Releasing 55% of Funds & Pressure from the U.S.

U.S. Pressures BTC-e Exchange as They Plan to Distribute Funds Next MonthEarlier this summer news.Easypaypakistan reported on the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e being taken down by U.S. law enforcement for connections to bitcoin laundering and illegal money transmissions. Following the FBI arresting alleged employees and seizing funds, the exchange announced on August 3 it had control over its servers and “some of its bitcoin purses.” The trading platform has released a few messages through Twitter and the forum Bitcointalk.org over the course of the past two weeks.

In those messages the exchange spoke of rebranding, working with other partners, and utilizing a unique in-house token to pay customers back similarly to how Bitfinex handled their hack. Now the exchange says come August 30th the organization will update customers every day.

“To date, there is a process of transferring digital resources to an investment company,” explains BTC-e’s latest announcement. “The company is preparing the resource for our launch. As it was announced earlier, at startup users will be able to withdraw 55% of the funds.”

We want to notify all users that there is a political background in closing our service and pressure from the U.S.

BTC-e Claims Fully Functional Exchange is Coming and Bitcoin Cash Refunds

The exchange also fielded questions from forum visitors who said they lost a lot of money due to the trading platform “going under.” Many of the traders were not happy with waiting and called BTC-e’s situation a “circus.” “There was a problem, and we will try to solve it in the shortest possible time,” the exchange says to upset clients. Another person stated that he needed his money now and called the exchange “evil.” BTC-e responds by saying that if it were possible funds would have been given out earlier and the real ‘evil’ resided with a “flag with a bunch of stars.”

The organization says they are hoping to open this September and will publish a “FAQ” in the near future. The FAQ was delayed due to an agreement with lawyers, BTC-e explains, and they can’t release it until the investigation completes. The exchange also answers a trader who asks if the exchange will have only “minimal functionality” and the company seems to think trading will be fully operational. Moreover, the exchange also detailed when they disperse customer holdings next month, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) will also be given to customers at a 1:1 rate.

What do you think about BTC-e’s recent announcement? Let us know in the comments below.

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly – Speeding Up The Chain

On Sunday, August 20, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network dropped its mining difficulty another notch down to 7 percent of BTC’s difficulty, on block 479808. Since then another mining pool has joined in on processing blocks on the BCH chain as the mining pool BTC.com has found its first block on the network.

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Bitcoin Cash Difficulty Drops to Seven Percent of BTC’s Mining Difficulty

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly – Speeding Up The ChainThe game theory for miners begins to get more interesting as the BCH network has become 115 percent more profitable to mine than the Bitcoin blockchain. This is due to the digital currency’s price which is hovering between the $760-790 range and because of the difficulty drop down to 7 percent of the Bitcoin network’s difficulty. Blocks are being processed rapidly now on the BCH chain as each block is being found every 3-7 minutes. BCH average hashrate per day has spiked significantly over the past four days to roughly 10 percent of the Bitcoin network’s seven exahash.

The mystery miner is now capturing fewer blocks over the past few days as other mining pools have picked up the pace. Mining pools like pool.Bitcoin.com, Bitclub, and Viabtc especially have been processing a lot more blocks recently, spreading out hashrate distribution. Viabtc has mined over 27 percent of the last 144 BCH blocks found, and the mystery miner now has only 68 percent. So far since the fork 1507 blocks have been mined and the fork is currently 1349 blocks behind the BTC chain. However, at the current speed of processing blocks and with the BCH network difficulty so low the chain should start to catch up.

BTC.com Mining Pool Joins In on BCH Mining, Other Pools to Follow This Week

In addition to the network difficulty changes, another mining pool has joined in on processing BCH blocks. The mining pool BTC.com mined its first block, 480002, on August 20, being the first pool to join since Bitclub last week. Additionally, according to Trustnodes the large mining pool BTC.top will begin mining BCH on Monday, August 21. Jiang Zhuo’er, BTC.TOP’s founder told the publication that there would be an option for miners to choose between BTC or BCH from the pool’s settings.

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly Drawing in More Miners
BTC.com joins in on mining BCH capturing 1.39 percent of the network.

Bitmain’s Jihan Wu Speaks on Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash Mining Difficulty Drops Significantly Drawing in More Miners
Jihan Wu founder of Bitmain, and operator of the mining pool Antpool.

The new pool follows statements made on August 17 by Bitmain founder and Antpool operator, Jihan Wu, saying “Antpool will start to provide bitcoin cash mining option after at least one of Segwit supporter/fan pools start to mining bitcoin cash.”  This means as more mining pools jump in on processing BCH blocks Jihan Wu’s Antpool may join in on mining the digital currency in the near future. A couple of days later Jihan Wu made some more interesting statements about BCH and BTC as well.

“If you want to kill bitcoin cash, please pitch Brian Armstrong to list bitcoin cash. Because lots of investors at Coinbase want to sell their bitcoin cash,” Jihan Wu states on Twitter. In another statement, Jihan Wu gives his Twitter followers a thought-provoking analogy.

America is not England. America is America. Bitcoin Cash is not Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash is Bitcoin Cash.

BCH supporters are looking forward to this week as they believe there will be some more action with the digital currency’s hashrate and the token’s market price. At press time the BCH price has dipped well below this past Friday’s $960 highs and is currently hovering in the $760 price territory.

What do you think about the changes taking place within the Bitcoin Cash network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


 

Segwit2x and Bitcoin Core Drama Flares Up ‘Community’ Tension

On August 17 the bitcoin payment processing company Bitpay published a blog post about Segwit2x that stirred quite a bit of controversy with the bitcoin ‘community.’

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Bitpay Sparks Controversy for Promoting the BTC1 Codebase as a Reference Client to Bitcore Nodes

The post called “What Bitcore Users Need to Know To Be Ready for Segwit Activation” gives a detailed explanation to its Bitcore user base about the upcoming consensus process with Segwit2x. However, the post also leaves btc1 software (Segwit2x) as a form of upgrade for Bitcore full nodes.

Immediately a few bitcoin proponents and developers such as Peter Todd, Tuur Demeester, Francis Pouliot‏, John Carvalho‏, Rodolfo Novak‏ and others got angry with Bitpay for recommending an alternative to the Core reference code. Developer Peter Todd called Bitpay’s statement “fraudulent” and talked of litigation. Programmer Eric Lombrozo has asked his Twitter followers to openly ban any company that supports Segwit2x. Across forums and social media, the blog post caused relentless debate throughout the entire day of August 17.

Segwit2x and Bitcoin Core Drama Flares Up 'Community' Tension
Drama on the Twitter feeds.

Bitcoin.org Operator Theymos Seeks to Remove Copay Wallet and All Bitpay Services from the Website

Then later on into the day the owners of Bitcoin.org decided to create a pull request to remove Bitpay’s services and the Copay wallet from the site’s recommended wallet section. One of the operators of Bitcoin.org and the lead administrator of r/bitcoin, Theymos, explains that Bitpay is pushing “fraudulent” software.

“Bitpay is fraudulently passing off btc1 as Bitcoin software to which people are required to upgrade,” explains Theymos. “This is highly unethical and a violation of the bitcoin.org hard fork policy.”

Therefore, this pull request removes from bitcoin.org any references to Bitpay and their software/services Copay and Bitcore.

Segwit2x and Bitcoin Core Drama Flares Up 'Community' Tension

Bitcoin developers like David Harding detailed that Bitcoin.org should “proceed slowly and try to get Bitpay to clarify their position before we delist them.” Other developers agreed with Harding’s opinion, but others agreed with the proposal set forth by Theymos. Then btc1 developer Jeff Garzik explains his view stating, “NAK. It is reasonable and practical to follow the blockchain with the most hashpower (thus most secure).” Bitcoin.org operator Theymos didn’t like this statement and replied back to Garzik by saying, “Bitcoin is not and must not be ruled by miners,” and leaves a link to a Bitcoin Wiki site he controls.

Segwit2x Developer Jeff Garzik Removed From Github Repo

Just when you thought the drama would end, it didn’t, as later on that day Jeff Garzik was removed from the Core bitcoin repository as a contributor. This also created quite a stir on Twitter as people who are angry about Segwit2x stated things like, “you brought it upon yourself Jeff, enjoy working on btc1 alone.” While others defended Garzik and called the action “ludicrous.”

According to bitcoin Core contributor, Matt Corrallo, Garzik’s statements in the past would agree with the decision. “As Jeff himself advocated for several times, this is just the removal of people who haven’t been active in the project for years. No need to read too much into such things.” Software developers Peter Todd and Greg Maxwell also confirm the reason why Garzik was removed was due to inactivity. However, there are some speculators who believe the move was far more political, and coincidently done before the second half of the compromise.

Segwit2x and Bitcoin Core Drama Flares Up 'Community' Tension

It doesn’t seem like Segwit2x is off to a good start for the second half of the New York Agreement. Already bitcoiners are talking about the birth of a third bitcoin called “B2X.” Meanwhile, bitcoin cash supporters are telling Segwit2x proponents to join them, as most believe the compromise is a failed attempt. It’s safe to say the quarreling will be very intense over the next couple months in bitcoin-land, and another blockchain split is looking more probable as the days continue.

The Segwit2x Working group (btc1) plans to hard fork the network to increase the block size to 2MB on block 494,784 on the Bitcoin blockchain.

What do you think about the drama surrounding the Segwit2x code and Bitcoin Core reference client? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication Breakdown

Segregated Witness has officially locked-in and bitcoin’s price is currently coasting along at $3430. Even though Bitcoin market prices have rallied to new all time highs after the August 1 hard fork, both Bitcoin and the newly formed network, Bitcoin Cash still have some uncertain futures ahead.

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Bitcoin Cash Pushes Forward as Network Strengthens

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication BreakdownThe hard fork happened, and the Bitcoin network split into two different blockchains that share a previous history. The Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network has survived an entire week, with five mining pools dedicating hashpower towards this alternative chain. Currently, the Bitcoin blockchain is still 899 blocks ahead of the new BCH chain, and it’s also 54 percent more profitable to mine BTC than BCH. However, this will change on August 8 as Bitcoin’s difficulty is going to increase approx. 7 percent while the BCH chain has been lowered to 17 percent of BTC’s current difficulty.

At the moment there have been 240 BCH blocks mined since the blockchain split and an ‘unknown miner’ has processed more than 83 percent of all the blocks in existence. So far there have been a total of 16 ‘big blocks’ (over 1MB) found on the BCH network with a few large ones being over 4MB. The other mining pools which are dedicating hashpower to the BCH chain include Suprnova, pool.Bitcoin.com, Viabtc, and the Bitclub. These four pools have only found 16 percent of the 240 BCH blocks mined. At press time the BCH chain is processing blocks consistently at a rate of 30-60 minutes per block with some longer intervals here and there.

Bitcoin Cash Markets

The price of Bitcoin Cash has helped mining profitability quite a bit as the price per BCH is roughly $380 at the time of writing. BCH markets dropped to an all-time low of just under $200 per BCH, but on August 6 the price rebounded during the day. Currently, BCH markets are up over 40 percent in the last 24-hours with a market capitalization of over $6.2B. Bitcoin Cash also has the third highest trading volume processing $394M over the past 24-hours. Both BTC and BCH prices started ascending on August 7 and Bitcoin hit an all time high of $3490 during the overnight.

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication Breakdown
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) prices have rebounded touching $380 on August 8, 2017.

Segwit Lock-in On August 8 Block 479707

Earlier this week news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Segwit2x roadmap and the possibility of Bitcoin turning into three separate networks. Segregated Witness (Segwit) has officially locked-in at block 479707, and a ~3 month hard fork timeline will now begin. Segwit activation will go live on the Bitcoin network on August 9. A vast majority of miners and businesses have supported the compromise to implement Segwit first and then follow with a 2MB hard fork this November. So far the plan has been successful, but many Core developers vehemently disagree with the second half of the plan. Every single Core developer has stated that they will not support a hard fork in November, which means Core software will not be aligned with the Segwit2x plan.

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication Breakdown
Segregated Witness (Segwit) has officially locked-in at block 479707.

The Civil War and the Rest of the Segwit2x Plan

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication Breakdown
Bitcoin Core contributor Matt Corallo (TheBlueMatt).

Now, software developer Matt Corallo (TheBlueMatt) and other Core developers have introduced a concept for the Core reference code. It seems the new idea will have Bitcoin Core 0.15.0 automatically disconnect nodes running Bitcoin-ABC and the Segwit2x fork.

“Immediately disconnect peers that use service bits 6 and 8 until August 1st, 2018,” explains Corallo’s proposal. “These bits have been used as a flag to indicate that a node is running incompatible consensus rules instead of changing the network magic, so we’re stuck disconnecting based on the service bits, at least for a while. Staying connected to nodes on other networks only prevents both sides from reaching consensus quickly, wastes network resources on both sides.”

‘A Very Hostile and Unsafe Change Prior to Segwit2x Fork Deployment’

Fork Wars: Segwit Lock-In and Communication Breakdown
Segwit2x lead maintainer Jeff Garzik.

After further feedback, Corallo explains that they updated to only disconnect bit 8 (Bitcoin-ABC), and the concept may be reviewed for other nodes in the near future. Segwit2x’s lead maintainer Jeff Garzik doesn’t like the idea and thinks it will create a “premature network split.”

“Deploying this change for NODE_SEGWIT2X – bit 7 – creates chain splits in the wild on an inconsistent basis” explains Garzik. “This creates chain splits even though Bitcoin Core and Segwit2x nodes are validating 100% the same rules today; it creates chain splits because of a presumed future rule deviation. The outcome is a bunch of non-deterministic islands.

This is a very hostile and unsafe change prior to Segwit2x fork deployment. It is safe and a convenient optimization for this codebase to make this change after a chain split, but not before.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

‘Core’ developer Matt Corallo tells others that Garzik is just creating “FUD” and people should “ignore” his comments. “This obviously doesn’t create a split until their incompatible rules kick in, it will only make upgraded nodes more cleanly separated, it’s not like the network won’t still be well-connected,” explains Corallo.

It doesn’t look like the Segwit2x roadmap will be smooth sailing as Core developers want nothing to do with the second half of the compromise. Many speculators wonder why Corallo and other Core developers didn’t mention this concept earlier, as Segwit implementation was just about to lock-in. The argument on Github has continued for quite some time, and many ‘Core’ developers agree (Ack) with the idea of blocking Segwit2x and Bitcoin-ABC (Bitcoin Cash) nodes.

“@TheBlueMatt, Please reconsider that every disagreement of opinion is not “fudding”, and we can have an honest debate,” adds Garzik.

What do you think about Bitcoin Cash and Segwit2x? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Included Over 6K Transactions

As Easypaypakistan reported earlier today, Bitcoin Cash miners initiated the beginning of the fork on August 1 at 12:37 p.m. UTC at block height 478558. Now, six hours later Viabtc mined the first Bitcoin Cash block (nr 478559) at 6:14 pm GMT. This was followed by the second block (nr 478560) that was also mined by the mining pool Viabtc.

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Bitcoin Cash is Born

The Bitcoin Cash blockchain has successfully split away from the legacy chain as of block 478559. The block was mined by the China-based mining pool Viabtc at 2:14 pm EDT (6:14 GMT) and the pool also found the next block 478560 shortly after. The first Bitcoin Cash block was 1915175 Bytes or 1.9 MB in size, holding 6,985 transactions. This is much larger than BTC’s 1MB limit and approx. 3,000 transaction throughput. The mining pool Viabtc also wrote in the block’s Coinbase data “Welcome to the world.” The organization also showed excitement via Twitter stating;

Welcome to the world, Shuya Yang! And Bitcoin cash!

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Clears Over 6K Transactions

Block #478559 the first official Bitcoin Cash block mined on August 1, 2017, at 2:14 pm EDT.

Bitcoin Cash Network Sees a Hashrate Increase, but a Swift Drop in Price

Bitcoin Cash prices have dropped significantly since this morning’s high of $400 to a low of $220 at the time of writing. The price of BTC seems unfazed by the first blocks found and is still hovering around the $2740 range. Throughout forums and social media, everyone is talking about the fork. Of course, big blockers are celebrating the split while small blockers are waiting to see something bad happen.

Fork Watch: First Bitcoin Cash Block Mined Clears Over 6K Transactions

At the moment the Bitcoin Cash hashrate is growing slowly and is currently operating at 247 PH/s or 3.9% of the BTC network hashrate. So far, at press time, five blocks total have been mined on the Bitcoin Cash network. Bitcoin.com will be sure to follow the split events closely so our readers can be informed every step of the way.

What do you think about Bitcoin Cash officially splitting off from the legacy chain? Let us know in the comments below.