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BCash’s Brexit: how not to fork

BCash’s Brexit: how not to fork

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Like Bitcoin Cash, the UK is currently in the process of undergoing a contentious fork – and by nature, that’s messy.

When a vote is held, the ideal outcome is one that’s decisive. In other words, a clear majority should agree. That way, you bring as many people with you as you can, and those who do not agree recognise they are in the minority and that their views are not representative, so they don’t cause too much trouble.

That’s just as true for a democratic election as it is for a blockchain fork.

In the US and the UK, we have seen highly divisive votes in recent times. Both countries have been as split as it is possible to be. In the US, Clinton won the popular vote but lost the election to Trump – it was that close. Similarly in the UK, 51.9% of the population voted to leave the EU. It could not have been much more divided.

That division is playing out before our eyes today. Yesterday the UK Prime Minister announced that a deal for the terms of the UK’s departure had been struck with the EU after months of intensive negotiations. The cabinet agreed collectively, but was divided on the result – the first resignations have already occurred. Parliament is similarly divided, to the point where it appears no deal will be approved by MPs. And the country is still divided, perhaps as much as it was in 2016 when the referendum was held.

BCH is currently undergoing a hard fork, splitting off into BCHSV (Craig Wright’s project) and BCHABC (Jihan Wu and Roger Ver). The split is highly acrimonious, with Wright claiming he wants to kill the other chain. Absence of replay protection means that only one will be valid. Wright currently has the hashrate to destroy BCHABC, but Wu looks like he will fight back with some of the immense hash at his disposal. It’s like an election in which guns are used as votes (also known as ‘war’).

This reverberates far beyond BCH itself. Wright has been tweeting that if the hash war cranks up, each side will fund their effort with BTC – which will need to be sold to pay for hardware and electricity. And that will tank bitcoin. Wright says he will do it, and doesn’t care if BTC drops to $1,000 or less. Whether or not he has enough BTC, whether he does it in the end, is immaterial: that’s the propaganda.

Politics and crypto: they’re both pretty tawdry places right now. The BBC writes that the British government is ‘falling apart in front of our eyes’ – which could equally be said of BCH. And that’s why today the shape of the chart for Sterling against the dollar looks a lot like BTC/USD, albeit on a different scale.

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