For those hoping to avoid a hard fork in the Bitcoin Cash wars, avert your puffy white eyes: miners running BitcoinABC’s upgrade, supported by the uncontroversial Bitcoin.com’s Roger Ver and Bitmain’s Jihan Wu, mined the first two post-fork Bitcoin Cash blocks at around 6PM UK time, after the networked forked at block 556766. Whether Craig Wright’s SV chain will endure is now very much an open question.
This initial victory, symbolically, came from Bitcoin.com’s mining pool, which nabbed the first two blocks of the new chain by ramping its hash rate up to 4000 petahash. That is a lot of computing power, “more than has ever been on the BCH network,” claims Jake Smith, an advisor to Bitcoin.com.
Craig Wright’s competing SV chain, though not dead, will now have to fork off onto a new chain if it hopes to live on, losing the “bitcoin cash” moniker. Yet Wright, as he has said, will not fork gently into that good night.
He’s already promised to prolong the “hash war,” deploying every weapon in his arsenal: “Satoshi’s shotgun,” whereby his miners spam the ABC chain with dud transactions; “Poison blocks,” foisting ultra-high difficulty blocks onto ABC’s unsuspecting miners to slow down their mining speed and kill the network; and “double-spend” attacks, in which Wright’s mining army would use their mining leverage to crash the ABC network with fraudulent transactions.
That, in any event, was what Wright threatened when his hash rate was the highest. After Bitcoin.com’s hash rate reached 4000, however, Wright was temporarily beat, and it’s unclear whether he’ll regain his footing. If Bitcoin.com can maintain its superior firepower, says Smith, Wright’s screwed. “It depends how long miners are willing to continue the war of attrition,” he adds. Let’s hope Ver has paid his electricity bill.
UPDATE, 18:41: ABC is now five blocks ahead.