Bitcoin Cash Forks Again This Spring
Bitcoin cash is forking again on May 15, 2018, and the protocol’s consensus rules will change going forward. The fork was expected as the Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet announced intentions to fork a few months ago. Further, Séchet explained that it would be easier to fork after the new year and detailed some of the reasons why the fork would take place. Now, this week the ABC development team has released version 0.17.0 which contains the code to change the Bitcoin Cash network’s consensus rules.
The scheduled activation time will be on May 15 but there is no specific block height for this hard fork. Much like the birth of BCH, and the last fork in November consensus rules will change based on the “Median Time Past” (MTP) method. So on Tuesday, May 15 at 12:00:00 UTC, 2018 when the MTP takes place with the most recent 11 blocks equal to or greater than 1,526,400,000, the very next block will activate the hard fork.
A 32 Megabyte Block Size Increase and Op-Code Additions
The development team explains that anyone running an ABC node should immediately upgrade to the 0.17.0 release or other compatible software. As far as other clients are concerned, ABC developers state they cannot speak on behalf of these other implementation teams, but ABC has communicated with them. “Bitcoin ABC is currently testing both the new rules and their activation — a testnet should be available soon,” explains Bitcoin ABC. The latest announcement also details the important changes within the new software:
“The most notable change is the increase of the maximum block size to 32 MB — There are also several bitcoin script operation codes (op-codes) being added or reactivated.”
No Hard Fork Fears
The developers also detail that they are in the midst of talking with major exchanges and wallet providers concerning the May 15th upgrade. The team emphasizes that the community can help by contacting infrastructure providers to make the process go more smoothly. The last Bitcoin Cash network upgrade back in November of 2017 had zero complications, and the Difficulty Algorithm Adjustment (DAA) consensus changes have kept the mining difficulty consistent. It’s safe to say the BCH community, in general, doesn’t seem to be afraid of hard forks. Proponents are looking forward to a 32 MB block size increase and op-code additions that could bring ethereum-like characteristics to the BCH network.