Tech 16 January 2018

Vince Dioquino

Antpool upgrades block size to 4MB, anticipates more BCH users

In a slew recent developments in the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) ecosystem, transactions have now gained better traction and handling, with Bitmain’s Antpool shifting its block size limit to twice its current capacity.

The decision came after Antpool’s senior engineers noticed that while the network itself is handling transactions quite well, more are coming as the popularity of Bitcoin Cash merges and adopts with merchants. The move comes in anticipation of a surge of new Bitcoin Cash users.

Now mining 4MB blocks, Antpool’s upgraded limit indicates the possibility of 8MB blocks in the near future. At this level, the current combined hashrate will have to accommodate the rate of transactions, easing up the Bitcoin Cash memory pool. Because of its wild popularity among users who prioritize utility over store of value, it is highly likely that BCH will face the same congestion issues as legacy Bitcoin, also known as SegWit1x (BTC). The difference, however, is that BCH’s robust network design won’t have to resort to centralized escape routes such as Segwit, or its unscalable cousin, the Lightning Network. Because BCH’s development team (currently six teams at work, compared to just one for BTC) is decentralized, it doesn’t face internal conflicts when it comes to code development, updates are rolled out with a community-approved consensus. Here’s a meme from the twitter account @Bitcoin that properly expresses the philosophical quandary posed by this setup.

Given Moore’s Law, using up the limitation set by a mining pool might break their current infrastructure, requiring unnecessary hardware upgrades to their ASIC miners, as well as requiring more energy to operate. The engineers would then have to seek an equilibrium between the demand to stretch the block limit and the current median of usage for its computing resources. Maintaining smaller block sizes for mining Bitcoin Cash is fairly easy, and minor complications as a result of the performance upgrade can be mitigated with simple updates in the client-side software.

Currently, Bitcoin Cash outperforms BTC in terms of transaction capacity. Doubts over the capabilities of Bitcoin Cash have largely been due to misinformation campaigns launched by the Blockstream-owned BTC.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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