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How the Bitcoin Cash “Hash War” Came and Went and Not Much Happened?

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How the Bitcoin Cash “Hash War” Came and Went and Not Much Happened?
Issue Time:2018-12-01
How the Bitcoin Cash “Hash War” Came and Went and Not Much Happened?

Hash War Over

The Bitcoin Cash split drew as much attention as it did in part because Bitcoin SV proponents had announced a “hash war.” Where previous “coin splits” were relatively peaceful — both sides of the respective disputes went their own way — nChain chief scientist and Bitcoin SV frontman Craig Steven Wright threatened that miners would 51% attack a potential Bitcoin Cash ABC chain out of existence.

But as the coin forked and the world watched, nothing irregular happened. Possibly because Bitcoin Cash proponents brought in additional hash power to secure their side of the chain, no 51% attack took place.

One day after the split, Wright said Bitcoin Cash SV miners would instead maintain an “endurance attack.” If and when more miners left the Bitcoin Cash ABC network, the 51% attack(s) would commence. For well over a week, both chains did attract more hash power than their respective block rewards warranted, suggesting that miners were losing millions of dollars in a seemingly pointless “hash power race.”

However, by the beginning of this week — some 10 days after the split — CoinGeek published a press release announcing support for a permanent split. As the publication is owned by online gambling tycoon and major Bitcoin SV miner Calvin Ayre, this declaration was considered an “official” end to the hash war.

Technical director of the Bitcoin SV project Steve Shadders even committed to implementing replay protection (ensuring that users don’t accidentally spend coins on both chains), while Ayre acknowledged he would let go of the name “Bitcoin Cash” and ticker “BCH” and instead adopt “Bitcoin SV” and “BSV.” Hash power on both coins has droppedsignificantly since (with Bitcoin Cash ABC still ahead).

The two coins will now compete with one another and the market, as all cryptocurrencies do.

Wright and Ayre

Both Wright and Ayre took the stage at the CoinGeek Week Conference in London this week. Here, Wright proposed a plan to transform the internet through Bitcoin SV, while Ayre emphasized in interviews that he believes Bitcoin SV is the “original Bitcoin.”

Perhaps more noteworthy, on Friday Satoshi Nakamoto’s old P2P Foundation accountcuriously became active again. The account followed a person named “Wagner Tamanaha” and posted a mysterious message: “nour” which, according to Google Translate, is Arabic for “light.”

A little later, Wright tweeted “Some seek a world of shadows... We seek a universe of light” and added another tweet in Arabic: “Light is chasing the darkness." While this, of course, proves nothing, and Wright offered no explanation, it’s hard not to interpret the tweets as an attempt to link Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity to his own. (Wright, of course, famously claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto but publicly has only provided fake evidence.)

Also worth noting is that Ayre had announced last week that he would reveal documents to prove market manipulation which would involve several prominent names in the Bitcoin Cash ABC camp: bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Bitcoin ABC lead developer Amaury Séchet and Kraken CEO Jesse Powell. At the time of writing this article, no documents have been revealed, however, and since CoinGeek Week is over it seems unlikely any will be.

At the tail end of the week, Ayre’s CoinGeek did announce it will be acquired by Squire Mining Ltd.

Settling In

It is clear by now that both sides of the Bitcoin Cash split will continue as their own cryptocurrencies with their own communities.