Bitcoin Cash May Fall Victim to Centralized Control by Developers

Ever since the launch of Bitcoin Cash, its future development roadmap has remained unclear. Just increasing the block size to 8MB in itself is not the most innovative feature we have seen in the altcoin world to date. A recent email by developer Amaury Sechet hints at some of the potential upcoming changes. One of those proposals pursues even more transaction capacity through regular hard forks. This is a very interesting stance, considering BCH does not lack transaction throughput.

BCH Roadmap Looks Interesting but Strange

Now that the Bitcoin Cash network has finally started to stabilize, the time has come to look to the future. That also means coming up with a development roadmap for the foreseeable future. Up to this point, there was no real plan of action, as the stability of the network has always been the main priority. Now that we have a basic idea of what the future will hold, things look very different for Bitcoin Cash. That being said, the proposed concepts will raise a lot of questions from the overall community.

Bitcoin ABC main developer Amaury Sechet proposed a rather interesting change. He argues that the BCH network must continue increasing its transaction capacity. The BCH block size limit already sits at 8MB. That means the network can, in theory, process a lot more transactions compared to Bitcoin itself. So far, very few of these network blocks have been over 1MB in size, mainly because there is no demand for more transaction throughput right now.

Sechet proposes that this transaction throughput be pursued aggressively by introducing new hard forks on a regular basis. A hard fork can always lead to a network split if some part of the community does not agree with the proposed Bitcoin Cash changes. Having developers enforce hard fork changes without consensus sets a very dangerous precedent. A split of Bitcoin Cash will probably destroy the altcoin once and for all, which is not something the developers should be looking forward to at this stage.

The biggest problem faced by this network is the mining difficulty adjustment and how it seemingly can be gamed by any mining entity on demand. That in itself is not a problem one can fix all that easily by any means. Another side effect of the Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA) is how it can sometimes take hours until a new network block is discovered. Solving that particular problem first and foremost will help with transaction throughput. There is no reason to mine a hundred blocks in three hours if there are less than 50 transactions per block, to give an arbitrary example.

Bitcoin Cash developers are going over some of the alternative solutions at their disposal for their mining problem. It remains to be seen if any major changes will happen in the near future. The current EDA has faced a lot of scrutiny and continues to create difficulty changes which hardly make sense. With the short-term mining profitability situation well behind us, the time has come to look at things from a long-term perspective. It is not all about maintaining the longest blockchain – as that is the one-trick pony Bitcoin Cash is right now – in the eyes of some experts.

All things considered, it is good to see developers contemplating future developments. Using hard forks to centralize control over the development of Bitcoin Cash will not play out all that well. There will be a lot of discussions taking place regarding these proposals. Hard forks have their place when it comes to software development, but they are never a go-to solution. This is especially true without consensus from the network users.