What is Bitcoin ABC?

Scaling Bitcoin will happen sooner or later. The only question right now is how different teams of developers plan to accomplish this. There are different camps trying to make this happen, either through a soft or a hard fork. One of the latest proposals trying to push for a Bitcoin hard fork goes by the name of Bitcoin ABC. It is an interesting proposal, which suggests an adjustable blocksize cap.

Bitcoin ABC is All About Raising The Cap

Introducing a Bitcoin hard fork solution is always a contentious proposal. There are quite a few differences between a hard fork and a soft fork. In most cases a hard fork has a greater chance of causing a network split, which is the last thing Bitcoin needs right now. Despite the risk, we currently have a few Bitcoin UAHF proposals competing for community traction.

The latest project to gain some momentum is Bitcoin ABC. The “ABC” part stands for Adjustable Blocksize Cap, which indicates users can determine their preferred blocksize accordingly. This feature will be appreciated by both miners and users alike. However, this may cause issues for people dealing with slower internet connections or internet data caps.  It appears the maximum block size of this proposal is 16MB, although that is only a temporary placeholder.

Certain aspects about Bitcoin ABC will interest some people and infuriate others. For example, Bitcoin ABC will not support replace-by-fee, which has been a popular solution to avoiding Bitcoin network congestion. In theory, a larger block size will be a more effective way to avoid paying high fees, but it may still warrant the use of replace-by-fee. Not supporting this solution is rather strange.

Additionally, Bitcoin ABC has no plans to activate Segregated Witness whatsoever. That should not come as a big surprise to many people. A large part of the Bitcoin community is in favor of seeing SegWit activate, but still want nothing to do with it. Moving away from SegWit is also in line with Bitmain’s contingency plan, which was introduced several weeks ago. A user-activated hard fork without SegWit makes sense for this particular part of the community.

It is possible Bitcoin ABC is one of the “three UAHF implementations” that Bitmain referred to in their infamous blog post. This has not been officially confirmed by either party, although many suspect this is the case. The Bitcoin ABC developers are in contact with miners, as well as Jihan Wu and Haipo Yang. This seems to virtually confirm Bitcoin ABC is “endorsed” by them, even without all the specifics of the program being available.

It appears Bitcoin ABC has the support of various mining pools, but the group behind the proposal seems hesitant to confirm or deny which pools. According to a recent Reddit post, it is up to the pools to publicly announce their intentions. It will be interesting to see which – if any – pools come forward in support of Bitcoin ABC. We can expect more specifications over the coming weeks and it will be interesting to see if this UAHF solution can truly contend with other proposed solutions.