Bitcoin network on the brink of second capacity upgrade

Bitcoin network on the brink of second capacity upgrade

On August 1st, 2017, the Bitcoin network experienced an upgrade which saw the maximum capacity throughput multiplied by 8. Bitcoin Core developers’ resistance to upgrade their own software, meant that the majority of nodes did not receive the luxuries now enjoyed by the Bitcoin Cash community – namely, instant transactions, sub-cent fees, and a bigger pipeline. Their stance also created a polarity, which meant that the upgraded nodes were forced to re-stablish an entire eco-system.

The mere fact that in under one year, Bitcoin Cash has managed to establish itself on territory lost by Core, is very, very telling. Make no mistake it was from the ground up – Merchants, payment processors, exchanges, a new ticker, a new address format, some new development teams… The political climate was toxic, but as the movement to re-enable Bitcoin as Cash once again drew momentum, it became unstoppable.

The two biggest commerce based entities in the space – BitPay and Coinbase, have already integrated Bitcoin Cash (BCH) within their systems, and full integration is almost complete. A wave of app explosions has caused speculators to take sharp notice.

Applications that tie into the Bitcoin blockchain can realistically only take off the ground in a low-fee environment. Satoshi Nakamoto had created a profound technology, that invited developers all around the world to create applications in a permissionless environment. Fees were always meant to stay small. With tiny fees, comes the incentive to create and innovate, freely.

Satoshi once said “the fee the market would settle on should be minimal. If a node requires a higher fee, that node would be passing up all transactions with lower fees. It could do more volume and probably make more money by processing as many paying transactions as it can. The transition is not controlled by some human in charge of the system though, just individuals reacting on their own to market forces.”

Bitcoin was supposed to be a self-sustaining system. Free of dictatorial influence. It was almost complete – except for one aspect that required human intervention. – That was, raising the maximum blocksize (a capacity variable). Satoshi’s mistake was adding that one element of ‘trust’ in what was supposed to be inherently a trustless system. He trusted that humans would be incentivised to increase the capacity, in the best interests of the system, and themselves. What he did not anticipate was a corporate takeover.

So when he left an instruction to raise the blocksize “in versions way ahead” as he put it, Blockstream aligned Core developers chose to ignore it, and instead worked towards a second layer solution, which they hoped would turn profitable.

With Bitcoin Cash, effectively being the legitimate upgrade to Bitcoin, a revitalised eco-system of developers, merchants, businesses and enthusiasts have swarmed right back to the home, where most crypto purists, always wished it did.

So which BCH, Bitcoin has the express back on the rail, and on May 15, another major upgrade takes place, to yet again, increase the maximum transaction throughput, but also, to re-activate smart scripting capabilities that were in the original Satoshi codebase, but have laid dormant since… The upcoming hardfork is this time non political for BCH, which means there’ll be no coin-split.

On May 15, Bitcoin BCH becomes many things that Ethereum dreamed to be. While important scripting capabilities that work with strings and arithmetic operations are being reactivated, there’s still a few more that remain outstanding, which the community can look to re-enable in another future hard-fork.

What we do know is that the app-explosion that has materialised on the BCH blockchain is only going to become more acute, given the additional smart scripting options developers are provided.

Incredibly, in less than one year, we already have an incentive based content network like, a social platform:, the SMS based CoinText, the tap’n’go HandCash, tipping bots, point of sale apps.

One keen redditor even noted how simple it would be to utilise the platform to build a un-censorable file sharing capability.

When you have a coin, that can, and is allowed to grow, the sky’s the limit. And the market is beginning to realise this. Bring on May 15.

Eli Afram

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.