Bitcoin Cash To Hard Fork In May, Could Add "Ethereum-Like" Features

Conor Maloney
  • Bitcoin Cash's hard fork set to allow a "Paypal-like volume" and mimic elements found in Ethereum
  • The fork will see the cryptocurrency have 32MB blocks, among other changes

Amaury Séchet, the lead developer of full-node client Bitcoin ABC, has recently announced that a Bitcoin Cash (BCH) hard fork discussed last August will take place on May 15, 2018, and will introduce a larger block size and some new operational coding.

The block size will increase to allow blocks of up to 32MB in an effort to allow more transactions at greater speeds, scaling the blockchain with the ever-increasing user base. Séchet also pointed out that new OP-codes (operation codes) and color coin technology could allow the introduction of basic smart contracts and representative assets to the BCH network in a move deliberately designed to emulate Ethereum's qualities. 

The fork willl take place at 12:00:00 UTC, and like previous BCH updates will be determined by Median Time Passed (MTP). Bitcoin ABC developers released a statement saying “when the median timestamp of the most recent 11 blocks is equal to, or greater than 1,526,400,000 then the new consensus rules shall apply to the next block.  The exact time of activation depends on the time this block is found.”

Bitcoin ABC is not the only BCH client - others, like Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin X have apparently also agreed to adopt the new changes. In an intrview at Satoshi's Vision conference, when asked about whether having multiple implementations of BCH was a complication, Séchet said he felt it benefitted the community to have different versions for a number of reasons, stating that different client implementations meant the network could go on if there was a bug. He also pointed out that "if one client started going rogue it would start to lose market share and another client will gain that market share. It’s keeping everybody honest."

The developers also urged the community to ease the transition by contacting wallets, exchanges, and other infrastructure providers and space participants and informing them of the change. The announcement reads:

"Bitcoin ABC will take steps to contact major exchanges and wallet providers. All assistance in this effort is welcome. You can help by contacting exchanges, wallet providers, and other ecosystem participants, and letting them know they should upgrade their software or run an updated version of Bitcoin ABC or other compatible software."

Amaury Séchet

Anyone running a BCH node is urged to download the 0.17.0 update with new consensus rules at once. Per Bitcoin ABC, Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin X clients stated they will also be updating their software.

Ripple CEO: 'You Don’t Want to Use BTC at Starbucks'

On Thursday (January 23), Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, told the Wallet Street Journal (WSJ) that Bitcoin is not a good means of payment because BTC transactions take too long.

The Ripple CEO's comments were made during his talk with Phillipa Leighton-Jones (Editorial Director for Innovation) at a Ripple-sponsored event (organized by the WSJ) called "Ripple Panel: Changing the Finance Industry From Within" held alongside this year's World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Although we don't yet have a full transcript of this interview, we do know about two of the things he talked about thanks to tweets by Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple, who was at this event.

First, it seems that although the Ripple CEO likes Bitcoin as a store of value, he does not see (at least, as of now) as a viable means of payment. The example he gave was paying for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He believes that BTC transactions take so long to confirm that by the time you have finished paying for your coffee, "it'll be cold." 

Second, within the next 12 months, he sees several companies in the crypto space holding initial public offerings (IPOs) and he wants Ripple to be "on the leading side" since this is "a natural evolution" for Ripple, which raised $200 million via a Series C funding round (which valued the company at $10 billion) last month. 

On Wednesday (January 22), Ripple published the "Q4 2019 XRP Markets Report", which is a quarterly report that allows Ripple to "voluntarily provide transparency and regular updates on the company’s views on the state of the XRP market, including quarterly programmatic and institutional sales updates, relevant XRP-related announcements such as Xpring and RippleNet partnerships and commentary on previous quarter market developments." 

In Q4 2019, Ripple's total XRP sales were down just over 80% compared to the preceding quarter ($13.08 million vs. $66.24 million). Ripple "continued the pause of programmatic sales" (to crypto exchanges), and focused exclusively on over-the-counter (OTC) sales to "a few strategic partners, who are building XRP utility and liquidity in strategic regions including EMEA and Asia."

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