Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has recorded a 14.7 percent gain in the last 24-hour period ahead of an upcoming hard fork slated for May 15. The price move was seemingly triggered by the London Block Exchange, which announced on Wednesday that it would list BCH and Ethereum Classic (ETC). Through a press release, LBX CEO Benjamin Dives stated:
"As we open our doors to UK crypto enthusiasts, we’re listening and acting on what the community wants - and that’s an array of good quality coin options to trade; all backed by a reliable, comprehensive and user-friendly service that they can trust."
The spike, which saw the cryptocurrency reach $1,472 at press time, is seemingly a continuation of its April bullrun, which according to CryptoCompare saw it go from under $700 to over $1,500, before falling back to about $1,200.
The Hard Fork
The hard fork will introduce Bitcoin Adjustable Blocksize Cap’s (ABC) version 0.17.1, which will increase the current 8 MB block size to 32 MB. In comparison, the block size on the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain is only of 1 MB. In addition to increasing the block size to four times its current size, the software upgrade will remove the SegWit (Segregated Witness) protocol. SegWit allows for more transactions to be executed per block by removing signature data from the start of a block and appending it to a structure at the end.
Reportedly, Bitcoin Cash’s main developers, Bitcoin ABC, have been working on the much anticipated hard fork since December 2017. The announcement related to the fork specifies that on May 15th “the median timestamp of the most recent 11 blocks is equal to, or greater than 1526400000.”
In order to facilitate the hard fork, the Bitcoin Cash developers have instructed the platform’s node operators to immediately perform upgrades to accommodate the required changes. The announcement further instructs Bitcoin Cash community members to let exchanges, wallet providers, and other ecosystem participants “know they should upgrade their software or run an updated version of Bitcoin ABC or other compatible software.”
Basic Smart Contracts To Be Added
The software upgrade will also add OP_Return, which will let users store more data on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. OP_Return and several other related upgrades will help start the groundwork required to run smart contracts on the cryptocurrency’s network.
This is a noteworthy development, as nChain programmer Steve Shadders pointed out: “Bitcoin was created with a rich scripting language.” By “rich”, Shadders means that the very first Bitcoin protocol aimed to support several OP-codes (operation codes), which are now actually going to be implemented in Bitcoin Cash’s upcoming hard fork.
Satoshi Nakamoto left out the OP-codes because he came across vulnerabilities in the source code that included them. By removing them, he aimed to ensure that the network remained secure. Since then, however, developers have been working on eliminating these vulnerabilities in order to incorporate the OP-codes.
Shadders added: “the edge cases around these OP-codes are much better understood now.” In layman terms, what this means is that many of the features which were left out of the original Bitcoin protocol are now in the process of being added to the Bitcoin Cash platform.