Opinion: Bitcoin ABC, which has been awarded the Bitcoin Cash [BCH] ticker on Coinbase, recently announced an update to their implementation of the BCH protocol. Interestingly, and controversially, this version includes deep reorganization protection, effectively cementing its place as the valid chain.
Even as ABC has more Proof of Work than the Satoshi’s Vision chain, which has led to its adoption as the standard for the BCH chain, this update effectively protects the chain from attacks from the competing platform.
Theoretically, hashpower can be diverted from the BCHSV chain in order to force a reorganization of transactions on the BCHABC chain, which effectively means that any businesses or services in the BCH ecosystem cannot use the coin without fear of the transaction being reversed. This also challenges the idea of the blockchain being immutable, as transactions can be changed at a later point in time.
Therefore, Bitcoin Cash ABC seems to have taken the step and made reorganization substantially more difficult to occur on the current BCH chain. This, according to them, is due to a “threat to the fundamental functionality of the chain” caused by a “few miners that continue to threaten the BCH network”. They began their announcement by stating:
“We are happy to inform you that the Bitcoin Cash network has been very stable since the upgrade on November 15th. You may have read on different media there are a few miners that continue to threaten the BCH network with chain reorganizations. Many see this as a threat to the fundamental functionality of the chain and its use as peer to peer cash.”
ABC went on to state that they understand the uncertainty for users and the market in general, leading to them taking the step to make transactions immutable after 10 confirmations on the blockchain. This could be the first step in ensuring that the majority chain is going to be ABC’s implementation, which would later make way for Wormhole and other updates to potentially upgrade the very definition of BCH.
jtoomim, a user on Reddit, clarified:
“The current system allows a short-term bursting hashrate attacker to win far too easily against a constant-hashrate defense. With this change, it requires 2x as much attacker hashrate to pull off the attack, and the attacker does not get to automatically reorg. Instead, it gets raised to human intervention, and the judgment of humans will be less favorable to attackers than the default judgment of code.”
This also acts as a nail in the coffin of BCHSV, who are now required to muster over two times the current hashing power of the BCHABC change to reorganize transactions. Craig Wright seems to be fighting a losing battle as his chain has now become the minority network. While this is not exactly a replay of the hash wars of 2017, it is evident now that there are two widely divided chains with a large divide in support, community, and hashpower as well.