Bitcoin Cash hard fork: smart contracts, bigger block size, cheaper transactions

After the Bitcoin Cash’s primary group of developers, Bitcoin ABC, has been busy crunching numbers since December, BCH will perform an upgrade labeled Bitcoin ABC 0.17.1 on May 15th.

Technically, the coin will undergo a hard fork which will update the Bitcoin Cash protocol rendering the older version of BCH obsolete. This hard fork, unlike many hard forks, is not creating two different coins.

The BCH community is very excited about this upgrade. And understandably so.

The most important change, according to a Bitcoin ABC’s announcement, is the increase of the maximum block size from 8 to 32 MB. This is going to be the largest increase in block size in history. It will allow billions of people around the world and anyone in any developing country afford BCH transaction fees. To compare, Bitcoin (BTC) still has a block size of 1 MB.

In addition to increasing the block size, BCH will reduce block intervals to 2.5 minutes, giving the blockchain speeds similar to Litecoin.

Among other features being added, tokenization and the ability to write simple smart contracts through BCH.

To add smart contract functionality to Bitcoin Cash similar to Ethereum, a number of op codes (functionality that was removed by Satoshi Nakamoto 7 years ago because there were vulnerabilities in them) will be added/reactivated and OP_Return increased which will allow extra data to be stored on the blockchain.

There is an opinion that this potential for smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash caused recent BCH price increases. The coin saw 20% gain last week, which brought it among the top 10 of coins in terms of gains. Over all, the price of BCH has doubled since the beginning of April.

The next Bitcoin Cash hard fork is scheduled for November 2018.

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