In a little more than three weeks time the Bitcoin (BCH) network will hard fork by upgrading its block size to 32MB and incorporate additional functionalities to the protocol. Currently, the entire community is steadily preparing for the consensus change as development teams release new code, while users and infrastructure providers upgrade their full node implementations.
The BCH Network Will Perform the Biggest Block Size Increase in History
The decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin cash and its network will be upgrading this May 15 at approximately 12:00:00 UTC, 2018. The Median Time Past (MTP) method will activate the consensus change. BCH proponents are pretty excited for the upgrade, to say the least, as the 32MB block size increase will be the largest block size expansion of its kind within the cryptocurrency landscape. The increase will allow developers to maintain consistent transaction throughputs for the billions of people living in the world, alongside on-chain fees anyone from any developing nation can afford. Using today’s statistics BTC is more than 10.73X more expensive to transact with than BCH. Next month’s bitcoin cash 32MB block size increase will allow enough room for transactions for years to come.
Tokenization and Smart Contracts Are Coming
In addition to the large block size increase, the BCH chain will incorporate other features that have created excitement throughout the bitcoin cash community. For instance, the BCH development teams have added certain OP_Codes and a larger OP_Return data size. This upgrade will enrich BCH with a variety of robust features such as tokenization and the ability to program simple smart contracts via the BCH chain. Instead of using a separate platform like Ethereum or Counterparty, BCH developers will be able to create representative or color coins that can be backed by anything. After the hard fork and some community development, things like bonds, stocks, precious metals, commodities, and any physical or virtual object can be represented by a BCH backed color coin. With a smart contract functionality, the BCH chain can be used to program autonomous actions like dispersing BCH to your children or spouse at a later date in time.
Prepping for the Upgrade
Out of the 1,762 public Bitcoin (BCH) full nodes in 42 countries, many of these nodes who use the ABC client have begun to upgrade their nodes to the latest Bitcoin ABC release which contains the necessary May 15 changes. At the moment according to node data, Bitcoin ABC represents 62 percent of the BCH network, while more than 58 percent of those nodes have upgraded to the version 17 ABC release. Other clients represented within the BCH network include Unlimited, Parity, XT, and Bitprim. The Parity client’s development team seems to be adding the necessary code changes this week on Github. Bitcoin Unlimited’s (BU) 126.96.36.199 BCH implementation has been prepared to accept the consensus changes and a public release is now available.
“This release implements Bitcoin Cash, compliant with the latest hard fork (May 15, 2018), including 32MB blocks, extended OP_RETURN data, and additional opcodes,” explains the BU team.
The Bitcoin XT Cash client has also updated its full node implementation and has released its latest version to the public that mandates a 32MB block size limit consensus change. The XT release changes indicate support for the Bitcoin Cash May 2018 protocol upgrade and Cashaddr by default.
After the May Upgrade More Features Are in Store for Bitcoin Cash
Bitcoin cash proponents seem ready for the pending upgrade, as last year the community completed a successful revised Difficulty Adjustment Algorithm (DAA) change, alongside a Base32 address serialization. The pending 32MB upgrade and re-enabling Satoshi Op_Codes are on the way this May. Then BCH enthusiasts still have more innovation to look out for after those changes are complete. For instance, the Bitcoin ABC team is working on UTXO commitment changes, and ABC and XT developers are collaborating on another DAA using a new PID control algorithm. The BU development team is in the midst of researching and testing a new block method called Graphene, and enabling binary contracts via OP_Data sig verify.
What do you think about the upcoming Bitcoin Cash upgrade slated for May 15? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, Bitcoincash.org, and BCHnodes.online.
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