[Due to a publishing error this musing didn't make it onto the blog in regular scheduled manner.]

Weekly musing #21 - The slow rise of Bitcoin Cash

Return of Bitcoin use cases

Bitcoin Cash has a huge advantage in that it is able to absorb a large amount of actual economic use by inviduals and small to medium sized businesses which have been driven away by the high fees on Bitcoin.

In a short time, we have seen interesting use cases return, including tip bots on Reddit, and the content platform Yours.org which intends to build an innovative micropayment-based service has also moved back from Litecoin to Bitcoin (Cash). Fairlay have stated that they plan to provide tipping integration services with big social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. This will greatly help to get people interested and using the currency, which is our number one priority right now.

Other important use cases like coin mixing services are bound to make a comeback on Bitcoin Cash as long as fees remain low. This could give the currency a privacy / fungibility advantage over legacy Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Cash Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA)

There has been much discussion around the topic of the Emergency Difficulty Adjustment (EDA).

My view agrees largely with that of deadalnix as he expressed on the bitcoin-ml mailing list.

The EDA has ensured the survival of the chain up to now, but it is not optimal and not intended to be used repeatedly in the longer term. Unless there is a definitive and permanent majority swing of hashpower to the Cash chain, a replacement will need to be ready (but not necessarily deployed) in the next weeks.

A number of proposals have been made on the mailing list. These need to be carefully studied, simulated and compared, before a choice is made for the next hard fork. Whatever is chosen needs to demonstrate that it is clearly superior to Bitcoin's existing algorithm and to the EDA, and does not leave the chain more vulnerable to attacks.

Realistically, indications are that the fight over hashpower is going to take a while, and the outcome is uncertain. Being in a permanent competition for hashpower with another coin is not desirable, even if it may be survivable.

Discussion picks up on bitcoin-ml mailing list

It is refreshing to see volume pick up on the bitcoin-ml mailing list, with various people, including the developers of the Cash-supporting clients, contributing to the discussion. Naturally, the topics revolve around EDA, the further roadmap and hard fork planning.

Like most others, I think we should give businesses a chance to become familiar and comfortable with Bitcoin Cash before we fork again. Unless there is an emergency requirement to fork, I would hope we can have a period of stabilisation for at least six months.