What is a Hard Fork?
A hard fork is a radical blockchain protocol upgrade. In simpler terms, a fork is a moment when there is a protocol version different from the main one. Sometimes forks lead to a split of a chain and creation of a new coin, but it is not always the case. For example, such is the last BCH upgrade in May when the whole chain upgraded their software. As for the splits, we can illustrate the possible outcome with help from Bitcoin Cash, too.
Bitcoin Cash itself was created because of a hard fork. The whole story started with a discussion on how to make the original Bitcoin better. Developers needed to find a solution to cope with the increasing number of users and find a way to make BTC faster and cheaper. After a long period of debates, Bitcoin protocol upgrade happened, resulting in a chain split. Now, there were two coins – Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).
Why do we need protocol upgrades?
Developers need to upgrade their chains for several reasons:
- To increase security. It takes time to find security issues of a given cryptocurrency. So, when the soft spots are found, it is necessary to perform an upgrade and create a new, better and safer version of a currency.
- To add new functions. Developers always work on their creations. Just like your computer system, cryptocurrencies need to be improved from time to time. Hence, when a good feature to be added is found, the creators make a decision on whether it is worth it to add to the existing protocol.
What are Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC?
The Bitcoin Cash November hard fork is problematic. This understanding came in long before the due date. The Bitcoin ABC release proposed adding new features such as enabling smart contracts and atomic swaps. Besides, Bitcoin ABC is supported by the controversial figure of Roger Ver (head of Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin evangelist), also known as Bitcoin Jesus.
The main clash happened when the community of miners and Craig Wright stated their displeasure with the proposals of Bitcoin ABC. Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) was introduced as an alternative solution. Developers have officially stated that Bitcoin SV will help the network to come back to its roots by incorporating the original Bitcoin protocol, four Satoshi’s opcodes and increased block sizes (to 128MB). Bitcoin SV gained the support of major mining pools and, after a successful start, Mr Wright declared a war on any other hard fork protocol, including Bitcoin ABC.
Roger Ver vs. Craig Wright / What is going to happen during the BCH November fork?
When radical chain upgrades happen, they often result in a split of the community. Three fractions – conservative Bitcoin ABC favoured by Roger Ver, liberal Bitcoin SV lead by Craig Wright, and neutral Bitcoin Unlimited clash as the date of fork gets closer. For the first two opponents, things get heated up – Wright, a self-proclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto, sends Ver cheerful emails:
“Side with ABC, you hate bitcoin, you are my enemy. You have no f***ing idea what that means. I AM Satoshi”
Ver answers in a similarly aggressive manner calling Wright a “dumb person”.
As the fight goes on, all the crypto-related influencers announce their positions in this feud and support one of the leaders with great devotion. Twitter is the place where the crypto battle takes place.