Tech 30 April 2018Erik Gibbs
What’s the second Bitcoin Cash capacity upgrade all about?
Another major upgrade for Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is scheduled to take place on May 15. This update is a substantial step forward for the cryptocurrency, and will introduce features that are designed to make the BCH blockchain more robust and help the network process more transactions than BTC.
The hard fork was first announced in November. It will raise BCH’s block size from 8MB to 32MB, greatly increasing the number of transactions allowable per block. It will also increase the “OP_RETURN” field from 80 to 220 bytes, allowing users to store data on the blockchain. This function paves way for use cases like time-stamping, rights management or asset creation.
In addition to introducing new features, some old ones will be making a comeback. Some types of smart contracts, removed previously over concerns that they could allow the blockchain to be hacked, will be reintroduced. Steve Shadders, a developer for nChain, said in a blog post, “Essentially out of an abundance of caution and lack of time to fully explore and fix the edge cases that needed to be addressed, the decision was taken to simply disable any opcodes around which there were doubts or even hints of doubts.”
It would appear that BTC developer Johnson Lau recommended the same types of smart contracts for the BTC network in February. BCH has now beaten BTC to the punch, and the inclusion of these features will make BCH much more versatile than BTC. BCH will only introduce a few of the smart contract types that were previously removed, as some still have the potential to be a weak link in the blockchain.
These are just a few items in the list of changes included in the network upgrade, which have been accepted by virtually the entire BCH community, making it an almost completely agreed upon upgrade. But the May capacity upgrade is only one of several that have potentially been slated for this year. The community will see another one in November that would introduce even more features.
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.
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