Craig Wright's BCH fork is shaping up to be a losing battle over crypto ideology

14 Nov, 2018
by Arthur Sillers
Craig Wright's BCH fork is shaping up to be a losing battle over crypto ideology

A war is brewing on the BCH blockchain, and noones really sure what will happen. Craig Wright represents a kind of Bitcoin fundamentalism, but his fight will only strengthen and hasten crypto's path to become an institutional technology which supports the very institutions that Bitcoin was presumably created to destroy.

As reported, tomorrow’s BCH hard fork is creating an unprecedented rupture in a public blockchain and a possible ‘splitting’ of a cryptocurrency. The war continues to heat up, with more crypto figures backing one of the two possible continuations of Bitcoin Cash.

The two competing sides are the proposed BCH ABC update, which is backed by Binance and has the public support of Roger Ver, as now Vitalik Buterin as well.

On the opposing side is a group publically represented by Craig Wright, head of nChain, who is backing competing the BCH SV fork, and has threatened to fight a hash war with the proposed ABC upgrade to keep SV viable, including crashing the BTC price down to ‘$1,000,’ if need be.

 This is a dramatic fight, and its anyone's guess what will happen. While it is technically possible that BCH can split into two versions, with anyone owning 1 pre-fork BCH owning 1 BCH SV and 1 BCH ABC after the fork, this introduces a tremendous number of double spend problems and technical unknowns. Furthermore, the lines in the sand have been drawn, and neither side will concede until one blockchain comes out victorious.

Notably, Coin Dance has estimated that Wright’s BCH SV has a majority hash power ready, but this battle is far from over.

Bitmain, the main manufacturer of ASIC mining rigs is preparing to put their weight behind the ‘official’ ABC version, according to The Bitcoin News. In a dramatic bid, they are sending a ‘caravan’ of 90,000 mining rigs and Bitmain personel to rural China to join the already extant 120,000 rigs. This will be a significant development no matter what happens, as Bitmain is distributing about 5,000 machines per farm, space permitting, which will double or triple Bitmain’s already centralized control over the world-wide mining infrastructure.

In light of what the whole fight is about, this is a particularly interesting development. Craig Wright, and his allies including Calvin Ayre of the CoinGeek BCH mining pool (the largest in the world), are refusing to endorse the ABC upgrade specifically because it is raising the block-size, which is incidentally the reason behind the split of BCH from Bitcoin in the first place.

Increasing the block-size, in this case to 128MB, goes against Wright’s principles, which are based on some of the original precepts of Satoshi’s original notions and design principles when they first created Bitcoin. In accordance with this, Craig Wright’s contingent are calling their contentious fork, which maintains the current, smaller, 32MB block-size BCH SV for ‘Satoshi’s Vision.’ Their problem with increasing the block size, is that, while advocates look to it as a necessary method for scaling the cryptocurrency, it is designed towards institutional adoption and the inclusion of smart contracts, which Wright and like-minded Bitcoin fundamentalist are opposed to.

Wright and his SV supporters are motivated essentially by a desire to keep mining accessible to individuals, in an attempt to keep BCH mining decentralized, and retain its exclusive use as a financial instrument for individuals.

The fact that Bitmain, which already represented control over the majority of worldwide cryptomining, can unilaterally double or triple their hash power, does not look good for Craig Wright or his SV fork. The simple fact of the matter is that so far, cryptocurrency does not have a viable base of people using it as a payment platform, nor a corresponding mining pool of individuals who can compete with the computing resources of Bitmain.

Read more: ASIC mining rigs, decentralization, and the future of the crypto market

Instead, firms like Bitmain exercise majority control over cryptotokens like Bitcoin Cash because crypto is predominantly, as it so far has always been, a speculative product. Bitmain flexing its power by introducing such a huge influx of miners, if it will win the hash war, which Roger Ver casts as a 10:1 bet, will only solidify its control not only of BCH, but cryptotokens in general. While Craig Wright is willing to go down fighting, he will not only give Bitmain reason to solidify their control over mining, but will taint whatever legitimacy BCH and all other cryptocurrencies had as a payment platform in the ensuing uncertainty and the crypto price bloodshed which is currently underway, something in fact, Wright claims direct responsibility for.

Read more: Wasn't crypto supposed to disrupt governments and corporate interests? It isn't looking like it.

Institutions are in control of crypto, and whatever reasons that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies were created for don’t matter anymore. The simple fact of the matter is that the cooption of the technology has already happened, and tomorrow’s fork will show that resistance to this fact will only hasten that reality.

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