Tech 21 November 2018

Paul How

New ABC code release departs (further) from Nakamoto consensus

Bitcoin ABC has just released its Bitcoin ABC 0.18.5 that adds “deep reorg protection” which will effectively render blocks permanent once confirmed ten times.

Feedback on the update, as announced on Twitter, Reddit, and other forums, was quick and critical, with many indicating the proof-of-work (PoW) system subverted to whoever first manages to get ten confirmations. However, ABC explained the feature was a “safeguard” that “helps users, businesses, and exchanges stay secure and free from disruption.”

nChain lead developer Steve Shadders tweeted his reaction to the update, saying, “Nakamoto consensus is now dead on the ABC chain… They do not believe in bitcoin.”

Under Nakamoto consensus, the more confirmations of a block, the higher the probability of being accepted by the network. Miners are thus incentivized to devote sufficient hash power for their operations, and receive a reward for blocks mined.

Yours.org creator Money Button had earlier criticized ABC’s use of “endless checkpoints” as not being of a decentralized protocol, which leads one to question if ABC should still be considered Bitcoin at all.

Defending the reorg-protection feature on Reddit was Olivier Janssens, Bitcoin entrepreneur, who said that in the event of a malicious miner mining blocks, full nodes will be able to not accept the blocks anyway. This is assuming ABC nodes could consistently make a distinction between honest and malicious miners.

Bitcoin SV’s developer nChain had long warned of ABC using Bitcoin BCH as a developer’s experimental playground. Reorg protection is just the latest of several code changes since the November 15 hard fork, that appear as ABC’s means of defending itself while the hash war between it and Bitcoin SV continues.

As far as CoinGeek is concerned, such changes by ABC weren’t arrived at by consultation with those in the BCH community. Miners who don’t like the changes, however, do have Bitcoin SV as an option where miners’ choice is a priority while maintaining the strength and stability of the Bitcoin protocol.

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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