Bitcoin Cash Fork Leaves some Users Behind

Bitcoin Cash has just updated, and the update just added 32 MB blocks and smart contracts.

The contentious hard fork of Bitcoin has just completed another hard fork several days ago in an effort to add new functionality to the cryptocurrency protocol and further differentiate it from its lofty predecessor. But in the process – executing at block 530350 – a portion of the bitcoin cash community was left behind.

Around 16 to 17 percent of Bitcoin cash nodes happen to be running old software and because of the way upgrading by hard fork works (whereby changes are not backward compatible), those nodes are now running on a separate network. As such, if any user running one of those nodes were to make a transaction, the new, larger bitcoin cash network would not recognize it.

Critics of the cryptocurrency argue that it is a bad sign for the network that so many nodes haven’t upgraded since those users are now completely cut off from the rest of the network.

Some critics have even gone on to argue that based on this, plus silence around the hard fork, that few people care about bitcoin cash. If more people cared, critics, contend, the changes would see more debate, because people would be worried about the implications.

Proponents of Bitcoin Cash disagree with this take.

“That’s a rather meaningless statistic. Likely the reason those nodes haven’t upgraded is because they aren’t in use and the owners haven’t bothered yet,”

Chris Pacia, lead developer at OB1’s OpenBazaar reported.

Despite a small portion of users not yet upgrading their systems to go along with it, he said, all miners have upgraded. And sure enough, leading up to the fork, social media comments among bitcoin cash advocates were overwhelmingly in favor of the changes.

“The network update has the full support of the community, with bitcoin cash aiming to compete with the [lightning] network of bitcoin,”

said Matthew Newton, an analyst at crypto investment platform eToro, in a statement.

The statement continued:

“Increasing the block size and allowing smart contracts to be built is seen as an important step in its quest to become the dominant cryptocurrency.”

The new features look like they’re working properly so far.

Pacia noted that

“If this was a contentious change and those nodes didn’t upgrade because they legitimately wanted to stick with the world rules than that could be a problem. But I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case here.”

The hard fork still continues to receive a mixed reception from the broader crypto community.

The hard fork that led to the creation of Bitcoin cash was controversial, to say the least, and both groups continue to snipe at each other overuse of language and marketing of their respective brands.

Kalle Alm, Bitcoin Core contributor says he thought it was “insane” that bitcoin cash developers don’t care about the node statistic more and “that goes to show how little [they] care about individual sovereignty.

“In Bitcoin, the nodes are everything. They are the users of the system. To dismiss cutting off a fifth of your users in a hard fork, controversial or not, is reckless, to say the least,”

Alm continued.

Furthermore, other critics also point out that upgrades in the latest bitcoin cash hard fork don’t have good trade-offs for the system as a whole.

Advocates still see the upgrade effort as a sign of necessary competition within the environment.

“What events like these are also making clear, however, is the underlying sense of competition between the bitcoin cash and bitcoin communities,” Newton says. “Both are fiercely passionate about these assets and confident that one will emerge as the victor.”

He added:

“Ultimately, it remains to be seen how that will play out over the long-term, as both cryptocurrencies continue to develop.”

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