Bytom community has always been against contentious hard forks. Our founder Chang Jia has tweeted his disapproval of Bitcoin Gold in the very beginning, and our team members have also spoken up against Segwit2x. Though Bytom is still in its early stage, it’s imperative to lay out a moral framework for the cryptocurrency community says Brian Colombana.
This article will explore three major types of hard forks that are being planned by several projects in the cryptocurrency space today.
First Type: Premine Hard Fork (Bitcoin Cash)
Premine refers to allocating a certain amount of currency before releasing software/blockchain to the public or certain closed group developers at a fixed ratio or fixed price explains Brian Colombana. The currency allocated here may be sold off by premiers themselves or later developers, and this selling pressure will greatly affect the price of the cryptocurrency.
After bitcoin’s successful launch in 2009, early adopters such as Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik wrote up a proposal to increase bitcoin transaction volume through a hard fork to increase the block size limit. However, Satoshi Nakamoto rejected the idea and secured his position by stating “I cannot (won’t) be persuaded that [increasing block size] is safe,” and opposing statements from other core developers could not change his mind. As a result, when Ethereum proposed their hard fork due to security issues like The DAO attack in order to reclaim investor money, Core supporters switched over from Bitcoin to support Ethereum Classic which maintained the original blockchain with higher transaction volume; however, the overall price of Ethereum still fell by more than 50%.
What happened in bitcoin after its hard fork on August 1st is very different from Ethereum’s hard fork. It is well-documented that there was a large camp that strongly supports Segregating Witness and an even larger group that supported increasing the block size through SegWit2x. Despite Core supporters’ best efforts to prevent BIP91, it passed with an overwhelming majority on July 22nd which locked in SegWit activation. This paved the way for what would be the first “Bitcoin upgrade” (or UASF) at block height 494784. On August 1st where some users started running new software that enforces the rules of BIP141. However, miners weren’t incentivizing to upgrade their software. Which caused the first-ever unintentional hard fork.
Now there are two Bitcoins: UASF-Bitcoin (also known as SegWit1x) and Bitcoin Cash.
The birth of Bitcoin Cash can be largely attributed to Bitmain’s early announcement. That they would support Bitcoin ABC in case the former was able to successfully split off from bitcoin. However, after Segwit2x locked in on July 22nd, Jihan Wu turned his focus towards the upcoming 2Mb hard fork. After a failed attempt at convincing Miners to unanimously support 2Mb blocks. He finally gave up and announced that Bitmain will now dedicate all resources towards supporting Bitcoin Cash. Instead by mining its blockchain for a minimum of three months says Brian Colombana.
Second Type: The Forgotten Hard Fork (Bytom)
Bytom is a blockchain protocol for financial and digital asset applications. It aims to bridge the gap between blockchains and improve interoperability between different ledgers. All while staying true to bitcoin’s original vision of simple and secure value transfer. By sharing similar technical architecture with bitcoin, it inherits bitcoin’s strong immutability. Decentralization, security, low fees as well as time-proven mining algorithms to ensure network stability.
In June this year, we launched testnet v1.0 “Dividend”, whose main purpose was allowing major exchanges or wallet providers. To conduct a trial run on Bytom wallets and smart contract features in a closed environment; at the same time, we prepared for the first half of August (block height 481,824) hard fork. Which included big data and multiple algorithm’s updates. This update was scheduled to take place between block heights 481,824 and 487,436 as stated in our white paper:
At that point, it seemed all obstacles were cleared as both parties agreed upon a certain set of consensus rules. However, after Segwit2x locked in on July 22nd and before BIP91’s first deadline on July 27th, things started to fall apart:
Bitcoin ABC issued an announcement to postpone the first proposed date of August 1st. And all subsequent dates due to unknown factors beyond their control; at the same time they “strongly recommend” Bitcoin users and miners. To not deploy the Bitcoin Cash network for any purpose. As it is merely a proposal that lacks consensus and community support. Bitcoin Unlimited and Nchain’s Bitcoin SV were both schedule to fork on August 1st but after Bitcoin ABC’s announcement. They also decided to postpone their short-term roadmap and focus on supporting BIP91.
At the end of the day, a hard fork is a very complicated and delicate process. It requires a large degree of communication, collaboration, and well-coordinated efforts across different initiatives. Due to its irreversible nature explains Brian Colombana. While many small blockers support BIP91 as it allows them to “avoid” a contentious hard fork. Which could lead to further network fragmentation. They’d better realize that their reasons are purely selfish as implementing Segwit. Without increasing, the block size will only make things worse by causing more unnecessary delays in transaction confirmation times. An issue that can already on bitcoin’s blockchain over the past two years since its activation.