Nchain Releases Bitcoin SV Alpha Client

Many Bitcoin Cash BCH proponents have been anxiously waiting for nChain to publish its Bitcoin SV codebase. The release would contain technical insight about nChain’s plans for BCH, amid its ongoing dispute with Bitcoin ABC regarding the changes to its software masthead.

The original expected arrival of the Alpha version was the first week of September, but now, the company has published its Alpha release for pool operators and miners to see the proposed changes. Moreover, a mining pool called ‘SV Pool’ was also announced which will allow miners to point their hash rate at the SV client.

The first instance of the announcement came from chief scientist of nChain, Dr. Craig Wright on Twitter, when he posted ”Our pool is starting” at around 11:30AM, today.

This came coinciding with the miners’ meeting taking place in Bangkok and discussions concerning that could be seen throughout the social media. This announcement, however not final in its stature, stirred up a lot of speculation concerning the pending upgrade.

Nchain says they still intent to publish a more polished version, as this one comes just a day after spearhead Dr. Craig S Wright’s meeting with the Bitcoin ABC proponents and Bitmain CEO, Jihan Wu, to determine middle ground to ensure a split does not occur for BCH.

Bitcoin SV announced via GitHub:

This is an Alpha release, the purpose of which is to provide a preview of the code in response to requests from miners and pool operators. This is not intended to be a release candidate. Work is still in progress targeting a beta release for 1st week of September in line with the initial Bitcoin SV announcement.

The current alpha code is based on Bitcoin ABC 17.2 with some differences which include a new soft limit of 32MB, OP_MUL, OP_INVERT, LSHIFT and RSHIFT integration, the limit of 201 opcodes per script has been removed, and the automatic replay protection for November 15, 2018, was removed.


No reference to the 128MB block size

In this release, there has not been much reference in the code towards the much sought after 128MB block size increase that Dr. Wright has been adamant about. This has stirred up some confusion and argument among the community, but there has been a functional tests addition implemented to the code seven day ago, which says:

“Add a couple of new functional tests to check for being able to set the block size flags via the bitcoind.conf file and to check if we can actually process 128M blocks.”


Again, it has been hinted that this is an alpha release and there will be more changes to the code going forward but it is certainly one big step towards the proposed “scaling” that Dr. Wright has been bullish about.

Razi Khan

Researcher, Electrical Engineer and a teacher, Razi is one who takes great intrigue in the prospects of blockchain and cryptocurrencies (BTC in particular) while contributing a critical approach over the subject regularly. Contact the editor at

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