Bitcoin BCH protocol upgrade: Which groups offer ‘neutral’ choice?

At around 4:40 p.m. UTC on November 15, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) network will undergo its scheduled protocol upgrade. Unlike last May, this upgrade involves two technical proposals—Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) and Bitcoin ABC.

Bitcoin SV, a new full node implementation for Bitcoin BCH, is designed to specifically advance the Satoshi Vision of Bitcoin’s original protocol, with a plan for faster scaling to bigger blocks on BCH. Bitcoin SV will raise the maximum default block size from its current 32MB to 128MB—another step toward massive on-chain scaling—in addition to re-enabling of the original “Satoshi” set of op_codes, particularly OP_MUL, OP_LSHIFT, OP_RSHIFT, and OP_INVERT.

The goal of Bitcoin SV is to give BCH miners another choice—one that competes with other existing BCH implementations like Bitcoin ABC, which is pushing for a canonical transaction ordering rule (CTOR) that is not only risky to implement, but is also unproven in providing its claimed benefits.

The recent preview for the stress test scheduled for November 17 has already validated the growing hash support for Bitcoin SV, which is the first BCH implementation to cross over 50% estimated hash support since Coin Dance began reporting such data in advance of the November 15 protocol upgrade. As of press time, Bitcoin SV is already seeing a huge jump in estimated hash rate—about 72-75% compared with Bitcoin ABC’s 16-27%, according to data from Coin Dance.

It’s worth noting, however, that blockchain research and development firm nChain is not seeking a Bitcoin variant with Bitcoin SV, it’s simply providing another choice for BCH miners. Still, this hasn’t stopped groups from taking a side. Here at CoinGeek, we are highlighting the platforms that have opted for a neutral stance, offering their users the chance to put their money where they believe Bitcoin BCH is headed.

Poloniex leads the pack

Poloniex is one of the earliest exchanges to offer pre-fork trading for BCH mined with Bitcoin SV (BCHSV), as well as that using Bitcoin ABC (BCHABC) implementation.

In a statement, the Circle-owned exchange said, “We believe the responsible thing to do in this case is remain neutral and allow the community to decide which chain to support, and we want to empower the community to demonstrate their support through trading activity.

Following in the footsteps of Poloniex is Bitfinex, which assured users that it will complete a full account snapshot of Bitcoin Cash balances at 4:40 p.m. UTC. Deposits and withdrawals of BCH on the platform will be suspended effective 3:30 p.m. UTC.

“Bitfinex will not advocate for or against any particular fork, and miners have full prerogative to commit their hashing power to whichever projects they choose. At the time of writing, we do not believe that there is sufficient consensus to identify a clear winner in the Bitcoin Cash hard fork,” the exchange wrote in a blog post.

Crypto Facilities also suspended deposits and withdrawals of BCH as of 10 a.m. UTC “for an extended period of time to avoid any adverse impact of network instability on BCH deposits and transfers.”

The platform said BCH transfers will resume once Crypto Facilities has determined “…at our sole discretion, that network stability is satisfactory and a clear consensus has emerged for BCH. If you would like to control how you handle the upgrade, the best option is for you to withdrawal your BCH so you are in control of your private keys.”

In a bid “to protect customer funds,” Coins.ph, the crypto wallet service operating in the Philippines, will also suspend sending, receiving, and conversion functionality on the Coins.ph BCH Wallet two hours before the protocol upgrade. It will also halt all BCH trading on Coins Pro (BCH-PHP and BCH-BTC markets) and will cancel any open BCH-related orders. Service will be reinstated on the Coins.ph BCH Wallet and Coins Pro platforms once “the protocol upgrade is in a stable state.”

According to Coins.ph, “At the moment of the fork, the Coins team will save a record of customer BCH balances. In the event that the minority fork produces tokens that are deemed to have long-term viability, Coins.ph would consider whether or not it would be feasible to return these funds to customers, as we have done with certain forks in the past. The viability of any tokens resulting from minority BCH proposals during this fork will be assessed based on its broader industry support, hash power, and value.

Meanwhile, Asia-facing cryptocurrency exchange BitAsiaEx has opened trading pairs for BCHSV as well as BCHABC. Starting November 12, users of the platform can trade BCHSV or BCHABC against BTC, CNY, and BCH, or they can also convert 1 BCH to 1 BCH (SV) + 1 BCH (ABC) for trading.

HitBTC will also support pre-fork trading of BCHSV and BCHABC. On its website, the platform noted, “Starting from November 15, 15:00 UTC, an hour before the fork, all BCH deposits will be automatically converted to BCHABC + BCHSV in 1 to 1+1 ratio.” Withdrawals for BCH will be stopped at 15:30 UTC, followed by separate deposits enabled for BCHSV and BCHABC. Withdrawals for the two coins will be enabled after the network is stabilized.

Bittrex, meanwhile, assures its users that it “will take all reasonable steps to ensure that customer funds can be preserved on both chains.” The platform has already suspended withdrawals and deposits of Bitcoin BCH on November 14, and the wallet will remain closed “until the hard fork block is complete and it is deemed safe to open.”

Other platforms that have suspended deposits, withdrawals, and trading ahead of the BCH protocol upgrade include CoinBene, ZB.com, Bibox, Ledger, and Jaxx. On its website, Jaxx announced it will “support the chain that has the most hash power following the fork,” noting that “at this time, we do not plan to support any of the additional chains.”

Follow the Bitcoin Way

After the protocol upgrade, Bitcoin BCH with Bitcoin SV will finally come of age—no longer a dev experiment, but a mining-backed project. If you’re interested in seeing the true original power of Bitcoin, we recommend you to join the bComm Association and to also come to the CoinGeek Week conference from November 28-30 (with a special advance Miner’s Day on November 27), the perfect venue to meet the thought leaders and discuss the implications of the worlds first Bitcoin Hash War fought according to Nakamoto Consensus. Be part of the community that wants to let the original Bitcoin show the world its true power as sound money and so much more.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Poloniex exchange offers ‘neutral’ choice before BCH protocol upgrade

A week ahead of the protocol upgrade for Bitcoin BCH, and one cryptocurrency exchange is offering users the chance to put their money where they believe the cryptocurrency is headed.

Poloniex, the exchange acquired earlier this year by Goldman Sachs-funded Circle, announced in a blog post that it has begun selling BCH as mined with the Bitcoin SV (Satoshi Vision) implementation, as well as that using the Bitcoin ABC implementation. This is on Poloniex’s assumption that the November 15 upgrade will result in a hard fork that creates two tokens.

“This is the first time we are offering pre-fork trading… We believe the responsible thing to do in this case is remain neutral and allow the community to decide which chain to support, and we want to empower the community to demonstrate their support through trading activity,” the exchange said.

It also said that it was offering four trading pairs: BCHSV/USDC, BCHABC/USDC, BCHSV/BTC, and BCHABC/BTC. Customers will not be able to withdraw their BCHSV and BCHABC assets ahead of the upgrade.

Bitcoin SV has been designed specifically to support the idea of Bitcoin as first developed by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, enabling the BCH network to continue to massively scale, and allowing tokenization on the BCH chain. Just recently, CoinGeek awarded £5 million to Tokenized, an on-chain token system designed exclusively for the BCH network and that proudly uses the original Satoshi Vision design of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin ABC developers, on the other hand, have proposed a canonical transaction ordering rule (CTOR), that nChain, the blockchain research and development firm responsible for Bitcoin SV, maintains is risky to implement and unproven in providing its claimed benefits.

nChain has pointed out that with the imminent chain split, it is not seeking a Bitcoin variant with Bitcoin SV, but merely providing another choice for BCH miners. It also said that with significant miner hash power supporting Bitcoin SV, the Bitcoin SV consensus rules “stand a very strong chance of becoming the dominant implementation on the BCH blockchain.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Poloniex ends margin trading, lending services for US customers

Cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex is removing margin trading and lending products for its customers in the United States, effective “by the end of the year.”

In a blog post last Oct. 3, the company announced it is also delisting three digital assets as part of its “ongoing commitment to ensure that Poloniex complies with regulatory requirements in every jurisdiction,” although it did not specify which regulation it’s referring to.

Additionally, Poloniex reported that by October 10, they will delist three cryptocurrencies—Synereo, Expanse and Gnosis. Because of this, customers are advised to stop trading the coins and withdraw any remaining balance until November 9 at 12 p.m. ET.

Established in 2014, U.S.-based Poloniex was acquired in 2018 by Dublin-based payments technology firm Circle for $400 million. It is currently ranked 38th by the adjusted trading value.

Poloniex came under scrutiny in July when its users took to social media and its support center to report that they had been locked out of their accounts. This called for intervention from the Delaware Department of Justice (DoJ), which initiated an investigation in July. Users had reportedly been receiving emails from Poloniex requiring them to verify their accounts within 14 days failure to which they would be frozen. This was to be done through a policy calling for people to update their IDs.

In May, CoinGeek.com reported that customers of Poloniex have been complaining of frozen accounts. Complaints have been piling up on Reddit and other social networks that a number of Poloniex’s legacy users have not been able to access their accounts or even successfully go through the verification process.

This isn’t the first time that regulation has prompted Poloniex to halt its services in the United States. In 2017, the exchange pulled out of the Washington State due to the state’s “impractical financial services regulatory framework.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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