In brief

  • The Bitcoin Cash blockchain has split into two: Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA).
  • The division occurred as the community rejected a "miner tax" proposed by the lead development team ABC.
  • Currently, BCHN retains the overwhelming majority of the network's hash rate.

On Sunday, the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain was split into two competing networks—Bitcoin Cash Node (BCHN) and Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHA)—following a major divide in the community. This was caused by a controversial proposal from the coin’s lead development team.

On November 15, the last “common block” between the two competing versions was mined, after which the blockchain was split and each of the new versions went its own separate way.

As Decrypt reported, over 80% of BCH miners were “signaling” their support for BCHN prior to the split by adding various corresponding messages—such as “PoweredbyBCHN,” for example—to the blocks they produced.

According to crypto statistics platform Coin Dance, miners have indeed followed suit as BCHN’s hash rate continues to climb up after a brief drop during the split. Hash rate is the cumulative amount of computing power currently applied to a blockchain. The higher the hash rate is, the stronger and more supported is the network.

At press time, the BCHN network is 121 blocks ahead of the BCHA, signifying strong support by Bitcoin Cash miners. The hash rate of BCHA is currently in a sharp decline.

BCHN is clearly leading in terms of its hash rate. Image: Coin Dance

Speaking to Decrypt, well-known Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver noted that, in his opinion, there were never any doubts as to which network would remain the dominant one.

"At this point, I don’t think it is fair to even call it a fork. It was a free airdrop of ABC coin to all existing BCH holders," said Ver.

What led to the Bitcoin Cash split

Such splits occur when a significant portion of the community—and, most importantly, miners—becomes unhappy with changes included in an upcoming software upgrade. This can split a blockchain into two slightly (or drastically) different versions.

In the case of BCH, the “block of discord” was an 8% tax on all miner profits—dubbed the “coinbase rule.” It was proposed by BCH ABC, a development team led by Amaury Sechet. According to the proposal, a portion of each block reward was supposed to be deposited to an address directly controlled by BCH ABC. 

Unsurprisingly, many users and miners alike weren’t thrilled about the initiative. Roger Ver, for example, went as far as calling the initiative “a Soviet-style central planner’s dream come true.”

How exchanges are dealing with the split

While there might be some confusion in the coming days as to which Bitcoin Cash is the real BCH, some crypto exchanges have already announced that they will support the fork with the majority of hash power—which appears to be BCHN at the moment.

Trading platform Crypto.com, for example, said that it will support the network upgrade but “should a competing chain be created, Crypto.com plans to only support the chain with more hash power.” Likewise, Huobi announced its support for the upgrade but acknowledged the overall uncertainty of the situation.

“Since there are still many uncertainties in the current fork, if one of the two parties decides to abandon the fork, HuobiGlobal will respect the opinions of the community and name the final winner BCH,” said the platform.

Kraken, on the other hand, was much more straightforward in its post published on November 6, stating that it will support BCHN “regardless of the outcome of the fork.”

“Bitcoin Cash Node tokens will be called ‘Bitcoin Cash’ on our platform and represented by the ticker symbol ‘BCH.’ We will support Bitcoin Cash ABC ONLY IF the hash power on the ABC network is at least 10% of the hash power on the Bitcoin Cash Node network,” the exchange stated.

Currently, it looks like the community is winning after all.