For those people who are wondering whether or not more services will support Bitcoin Cash in the future, it looks like we may have an answer on our hands. The ElectrumX server – which is a popular full node implementation for Electrum servers – now uses the BCH chain as its main setting. People who want to use SegWit will need to make some modifications to the way they run this software package. It is an intriguing change, although some official communication beforehand would have been appreciated.
ElectrumX Switches to Bitcoin Cash
It is never good to see popular open source systems make drastic changes to the way they operate without announcing them first. In the case of ElectrumX, its decision to change from the Bitcoin blockchain to Bitcoin Cash as the “main” implementation without alerting users will not be appreciated. It is unclear why the team never made this change public in the first place, even though it can be found in the GitHub notes if you know what to look for.
Everyone who runs an Electrum server needs to be aware of this change. Although ElectrumX is only one of the multiple server implementations people can use, it is possible there will be server operators who have no idea this change occurred. If they update the software and do not read through the documentation properly, they will be unknowingly running Electrum for the Bitcoin Cash network. Support for the SegWit chain has not been disabled, but operators will need to manually modify the way they run ElectrumX. This is not the best decision by the team, to put it lightly.
In fact, one could argue it makes a lot more sense to enable BCH support through a dedicated command, rather than making it the main implementation suddenly. After all, there is no reason to think Bitcoin Cash will suddenly become the main Bitcoin blockchain. Despite a few price pumps over the past few days, the overall market trend is still incredibly bearish for BCH – (and BTC for that matter). With the lower mining difficulty still in effect, there are far too many new coins generated every single hour. The majority of those coins will be sold on the open market in the next few days, further driving down the price.
It is still more profitable to mine Bitcoin Cash compared to Bitcoin itself. That situation will not change until its difficulty adjusts properly, as it sits at 7% of the original chain’s difficulty right now. This low difficulty, combined with the increasing hashrate, will certainly result in a lot more blocks found on the network. All of these blocks still have the 12.5 BCH reward right now, increasing the inflation for new BCH coins hitting the market. If ten blocks were found in a one-hour period, there would be 125 additional BCH to be sold on the market. At a price of US$685.57, that is a lot of money entering the market quickly. The scales will be tipped eventually.
In the end, it is good to see companies openly support Bitcoin Cash. However, the way they go about it, especially in the case of ElectrumX, leaves a lot to be desired. We can only hope other companies are far more transparent when it comes to supporting the BCH chain and currency. Doing things in a hush-hush manner will not go over well with the general Bitcoin community. This decision by ElectrumX is bound to have some repercussions for the project.