The Bitcoin v Bitcoin Cash civil war is well known and documented. It occurred due to a split in the Bitcoin community about the block size issue. Dissenters formed their own cryptocurrency, heralded as being faster and cheaper, known as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). For a while, it was, though this is no longer the case with innovations in the Bitcoin blockchain such as Lightning Network. Additionally, there is further fragmentation for Bitcoin Cash due to the upcoming hard fork on November 15th, with Craig Wright and Roger Ver once again in the spotlight.
Craig Wright threatens BCH warfare
Bitcoin Cash is set to split in a hard fork every six months. However, there is no consensus for this upcoming hard fork. There are two competing tokens, Bitcoin Cash SV (Craig Wright) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (Roger Ver). BCH ABC is the coin that split from the BTC blockchain and is concerned with atomic swaps while keeping the 32MB block size. BCH SV is a split from the BCH ABC blockchain and intends to increase the block size to 128 MB. Craig Wright, the self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, recently sent an email to Roger Ver threatening to kill off his competing coin. The email was strongly worded –
“If you want a war, I will do two years of no trade, nothing.”
“If you want ABC, you want s***coins, welcome to bankruptcy.”
“Side with ABC, you hate bitcoin, you are my enemy. You have no f***ing idea what that means. I AM Satoshi”
To complicate matters, BCH proponents refer to their blockchain as Bitcoin, claiming that it more accurately reflects the white paper created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Roger Ver is just as aggressive in his opinions and actions as Craig Wright. He was imprisoned for the illegal sale of fireworks and was recently in an argument with Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song, who described Ver as a politician with no ethics and no interest in the truth. In an interview on CNBC Africa Crypto Trader, Ver indicated that the views of ‘Faketoshi’ change daily and that Wright, the Australian cryptographer, was a “dumb person.” In response to the email sent to him by Craig Wright, Ver commented that –
“[What Craig wrote is] not the sort of thing that a forty-something-year-old man, that a mature businessman would say… I’ll close this video with a point made by Vitalik Buterin, another one of these absolute geniuses that the crypto-coin ecosystem is so lucky to have: In reference to Craig he said that if it turned out that Craig was Satoshi, it would lower his opinion of Satoshi, but it wouldn’t improve his opinion of Craig… And I think I agree with Vitalik on that point.”
Can BCH SV choke BCH ABC?
The unfolding of events has been described as a soap opera by Ethereum World News, and this seems to be an accurate description. As it stands, BCH SV does have the hash rate to kill off BCH ABC, with more than 50% of the mining pools supporting BCH SV. This means that miners can simply band together and mine empty blocks to kill off the competing blockchain. According to data from Coindance, four large mining pools (CoinGeek, Mempool, BMG, and SVP) constituting 56% of the BCH hash rate are supportive of BCH SV.
It is also not an idle threat. A group of miners has already banded together to mine empty blocks and kill off the competing cryptocurrency. The mining group is called ‘Sharkpool,’ and the stated aim is to exclusively mine empty blocks and destroy BCH ABC and all other competing or ‘fake’ BCH derivatives.
However, it is not quite a clear-cut affair. When Craig Wright was asked if he felt threatened about a large BTC mining pool owned by Bitmain turning its support to BCH ABC, he implied that legal actions would ensue. Additionally, Bitpay, Bitmex, and other large BCH processors have indicated they will support BCH ABC after the fork, not BCH SV. Merchants and exchanges seem to be on the side of BCH ABC.
The death of Bitcoin Cash?
This is not good news or behavior for Bitcoin Cash. Taking the network hash rate and killing off a competing cryptocurrency should not be supported by anybody who values decentralization. It is almost identical to an antitrust case in the business world where a certain entity has a monopoly and is estopped from a specific activity. There are no such laws and regulations in the cryptocurrency industry, and BCH ABC could be strangled before its time. The only way to prevent this kind of behavior is a financial vote of usage; stop using a cryptocurrency that espouses this type of action. These activities simply pave the way for a centralized world built on cryptocurrency instead of a centralized world built on fiat. In the BCH world, large mining companies and political figures are dictating where the network is going to go.
It can be contrasted to Bitcoin. For all its flaws and shortcomings, the Bitcoin community is quite cohesive. This is essential for the success of any network, and the innovations taking place are addressing all of its shortcomings. Additional layers built on the blockchain are tackling speed, scalability, and cost. The lack of a figurehead is playing a large part in its success and adoption. Roger Ver and Craig Wright are in many ways the antithesis to a decentralized movement, constantly vying for power and control.
Ultimately, a cryptocurrency is as strong as its principals upon which it is built and the cohesion of the underlying community. Bitcoin Cash is likely going to keep on fragmenting due to the attitudes of the community, as represented by the two figureheads. The aggressive and confrontational attitudes of both Roger Ver and Craig Wright seem much more conducive to centralized dictatorships than decentralized problem-solving.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.