On May 15th, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) underwent another highly anticipated hard fork which packages a number of features that will help the network to process more transactions than the original Bitcoin. Two weeks later, it’s revealed that 13% of the Bitcoin Cash nodes are yet to run on the new blockchain software, which is incompatible with the rest of the Bitcoin Cash network.
Latest network statistics on the performance of the new blockchain software reveals that Bitcoin is outperforming Bitcoin Cash when it comes to network cost. Cryptocurrency users and critics noted that the original Bitcoin offers lower transaction fees than Bitcoin Cash yet low transaction costs was one of the reason for the first ever hard fork.
The different approach that was proposed by Bitcoin Cash to address the speed of transactions and increase the block size intended to not only reduce over-crowding in the network but also lower the transaction costs than Bitcoin.
The change to quadruple the block size parameters to 32 MB from 8 MB was to allow for more transaction per block thereby reduce the transactions cost even further.
Bitcoin Cash developers also added back some of Bitcoin’s old capabilities which were earlier on stripped away by the creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. The most notable of these additions was a new kind of smart contracts that added more functionality to how BCH could pass between network users. The inclusion of smart contracts was first proposed by Bitcoin contributor Johnson Lau, in early 2016 for the Bitcoin network. This proposal was intended to reduce the size of complicated smart contracts thereby decreasing the demand for block size while increasing privacy.
However, BCH users are split when it comes to the future of smart contracts in the Bitcoin Cash network, and following this statistics, it seems like that’s not all. Many are beginning to question the success of this aggressive approach taken by Bitcoin Cash given Bitcoin’s more limited approach since only 87% of the network has upgraded all the nodes in the 0.17.0 release. The remaining 13% perhaps accounting for the dormant nodes and pushback sceptics to the hard fork in the network.
Bitcoin core developer Kalle Alm noted just a day after the hard fork, that 16-17% of the nodes in the network were not running the new blockchain software, adding that if such were to happen in the Bitcoin network, nodes running the Bitcoin software would react explosively not to jeopardize the $130 billion network. This sort of reaction is mainly because such sweeping changes would be put through a community-wide vote even before coding began. However, this was not the case for Bitcoin Cash.
The governance model of the Bitcoin Cash network is significantly different from Bitcoin’s working at 100% capacity with consensus rules. The term denotes the mechanism by which both developers and miners of a cryptocurrency organize to deliberate on future upgrades. However, this is so controversial to the Bitcoin Cash network; many say it puts the network in danger, as the users don’t get a chance to debate the merits and demerits of changes on the network.